This morning I had a couple interesting lessons which led to topics I addresses in today’s update. One was holding notes to keep voices independent in John Renbourn’s Judy, and the other was about the harmonic minor scale and how it alters the natural minor scale. I opened with an improv in A Minor which did use the harmonic mostly. There was also a personal story on how this week’s release of the Tom Petty 5-Pack struck a chord with an old friend who tracked me down to let me know it got him back into loving the guitar. Another slight diversion went into the post of Tommy Emmanuel and his piece Questions. I hope everybody has seen the our Acoustic Snapshots with him from a visit in San Francisco a few years back (hotel room and toilet as the backdrop!).

Other than the usual ramblings and noodling, the new stuff we added this week include a ridiculous range of lessons; Be Bop, AC/DC, Steely Dan and Neil Young, including the folky Out Of My Mind, the jazz rock Josie, the mad guitar of Angus Young in Thunderstruck, and Charlie Parker’s Blues For Alice.

On to the rest of May…

Neil

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After a week of traveling I am back at TG Central and toiling away at my favorite pastime, working with students and sketching out new lessons. The latest from me was a journey through some past huge influences that included Neil Young’s War Of Man. I recently listened to Harvest Moon, his 1992 release, in its entirety and was driven to add more songs of his to our already extensive library. War Of Man really typifies many of the techniques and sounds we hear and love in his songs. Today’s update started with some random songs of his that use Double Dropped D Tuning, all of which are already lessons here.

Other recent new lessons include a couple from Steely Dan – Rikki Don’t Lose That Number and Any Major Dude Will Tell You, Make You Feel My Love as done by Adele, the rocking’ Dirty Deeds Done Cheap by AC/DC, and Always Remember Us This Way by Lady Gaga from A Star Is Born. Our latest FOTW lesson had Kevin working on Taylor Swift’s very catchy tune Mean, which a couple of my live students are now working on as a result.

I got a request recently to recap some of the songs that I consider essential for all guitar students and addressed that a bit in the course of today’s clip as well. Some of the ‘must do’ songs include My My Hey Hey, Don’t Fear The Reaper, House Of The Rising Sun, Landslide and Dust In The Wind. These really pave the way for the next level songs like From The Beginning and Stairway To Heaven. I will try to mention a few more of these in the coming weeks.

Neil

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Continuing a thread from last week, a few of my students came in this week with theory questions and I thought I would use this week’s update to elaborate on a lesson with Larry where he wanted a deeper explanation of why the triads in a key work out the way they do. He was particularly interested in being able to explain it to a friend of his who was just getting a little deeper into the subject. As we know, in order to explain something to somebody else you need a better understanding of it to begin with. At the end of this video I go into it a bit but leave some of it hanging. Please let me know if it clears anything up for any of you.

The musical thread this week went down the line of chord progressions with descending bass lines, like what we heard in our latest collaboration from the Time Zone Zombies and some of our other favorite familiar faces. I have to compliment Michele and David for an excellent video that was very entertaining. I played a few examples of songs with similar progressions, and I think I identified most of them.

This week we also released lessons on Just When I Needed You Most by Dolly Parton, Respect by Aretha Franklin, Rock’N Me by Steve Miller anda new 5 Pack of lessons from Ben Harper

Next week I will be traveling on Thursday so more News in two weeks.

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