Here we are, and I bet you thought you'd never get to Unit 4! In this unit we put everything that we've learnt together in an "Ode to Tommy" referring of course to Tommy Emmanuel. We have the driving travis picking, the chords up and down the neck and the melody. A band in one guitar, if you like! This is extremely challenging, but then again, we are in Level 3! So, when you're ready, pick up your guitar and let's get started!
As there is no more theory to learn, this whole unit is about the practice of applying everything we have worked on so far. With that in mind, let's jump into the first section.
Let's take a bird's eye view of this track, checking out the basic chords and chord boxes for the first section. This will help you as you get "bogged down" in the details!
An important thing to be aware of as you work through a piece like this, is that we need to study each beat and rehearse the fingers. So what I mean is that you are simply training your muscle memory here, and we need to work through one beat at a time. On beat one, what notes are together, then on beat 2, which notes are together or separate? This is what needs to be asked of each beat! Take it slow, and take your time!
We will now finish off the whole of the A section, which as you can see from the tab, is almost identical. There are differences on the F#7 and B7 though, as you can see here:
This is a really cool example of how you can take the same chord progression but work slightly different melodies to continuously breathe more and more life into the track! Have fun with this, take your time, and we'll see you in the next lesson.
Let's now move into the B section, which really starts to move us up the neck! It's worth noting that this whole track is in the key of E major, and we're now moving up to the C#m chord for this section, which pulls the focus to the natural minor, and is a great way to shift to a new section of the track.
Let's take a bird's eye view of this part of the track. We are using some beautiful voicings for these simple chords, all of which are from the CAGED chord system. Remember, if you want to tackle that theory, check out our Major CAGED course!
If you're anything like me, that fill Thomas plays in the final bar fills you with joy! Pun intended! It's worth diving into that a little more. These notes are all plucked from the E major scale and can be easily assigned to the C CAGED chord shape. Like this...
We're now returning to the E major chord, and we'll call this section A as it's based around the same chords. It does, however, have plenty of differences to the previous section A. Not only a slightly changed melody, but also a shift in chords towards the end.
Let's take a bird's eye view of this part of the track.
Let's just highlight this awesome little bluesy lick at the end of the track. It's based around the E blues concept of using E major pentatonic scale and blending it with the E minor pentatonic! The scale shapes we are using can be found in the Fretboard Diagrams section, and you can use this lick in any good acoustic blues as well!
For our final lesson of the track Thomas works with you, step by step, to try and get the song played all the way through. He kicks off at around 70BPM and starts to work up from there. Take your time at each speed level, and don't rush this process.
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