If you’re just starting out here is a nice chord progression to get those fingers working.
We’re using 3 chords, each has a name. The first is ‘G’, the second is ‘G7’ and the third is C.
In Video 1 we will learn easy versions of each chord where we only use one finger on our fretting hand (LH if you’re a right handed player, RH if you’re a left handed player).
Video 2 uses the same chord progression but is now using full ‘voicings’ (slightly more complicated chord shapes). The pressure points in this exercise are to get the shape of your fretting hand correct. The trick is to use your finger tips to play the notes on the strings, rather than the flatter pads. This may be uncomfortable for a while, but over time this discomfort will fade. Keep your wrist fairly low under (and just behind) the guitar neck, with your thumb pointing towards the ceiling and the pad of your thumb resting in the centre of the neck. This position should give you the angle you desire.
Video 3 now focuses on the strumming hand. Until now we have just been strumming the strings in a downward motion. In Video 3 we will add some upward strums too.
In this exercise we have 4 beats in each bar. When you are playing you need to keep the time between each beat even and try not to pause between the end of one bar and the start of the next. You should be counting:
1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4
In this exercise when we add in our up strum it will fall in between beats 2 and 3. Keep counting at the same speed and now add an ‘and’ in between each number. Your up strum will be played on the ‘and’ after 2.
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & | 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &
In the attached PDF I have tabbed out the chord changes for each video. Please keep in mind that the direction of the strumming arrows is relative to the pitch of the strings in the TAB; this means that the top E string (the highest string in pitch, which in reality is actually closest to the floor when you're playing the instrument) is represented by the top line of the TAB. The arrow that is pointing in an upwards position is instructing you to strum in a direction from the lower strings to the top strings relative to pitch, therefore actually instructing you to perform a downward strum.
Some news for you!
I am now offering gift vouchers for sale through my website! You can find these at my online store, with the option of one, three, five or ten hours of lessons available. Terms and conditions do apply so please read them carefully on the product pages.
In other news I am now playing with a band called Caramel, we have a number of great gigs booked in from December onwards, and I will keep a calendar up to date with all public shows. We play all kinds of material, from old school r n b to the latest radio hits. The group has two lead female singers, drums, bass, guitar (me) and full sequences to provide a live recreation of fully produced tracks. Most gigs booked so far are large pubs and RSLs, so keep your eyes peeled for us at your local club soon!
Keep in touch! Matt x
Hello fellow guitar geeks!
So I missed an instalment last week, many apologies! But, that means there's double the content this week!
Today, I uploaded a double video lesson on learning note names on the guitar fretboard. I believe this to be a fundermental area where a lot of players fall down in their understanding of the instrument. The fact that the guitar is a pattern-based instrument can be a double edged sword, players learn shapes for scales and just transfer those patterns up and down the neck for new keys. On one hand it's great, you can do exactly that, learn shapes and a handful of notes on the bass strings to work out which key you need to play in, but this means you are not asking yourself to fully understand what you're playing, eg 'is the scale I'm playing major or minor?', 'should I be calling this note F sharp or G flat?'.
For some, these questions and their answers maybe irrelevant, 'if it sounds good then I'm happy with that' and of course that's fine, but if you find yourself wanting to progress and utilise more exotic scale and chord choices then starting to develop this area of your knowledge is imperative. Over the coming weeks I will focus more on this area, for now you can find a general explanation of the relationship between the piano keyboard and guitar fretboard in both part one and two of this video instruction. Please see below the image of a piano to help visualise my explanations in the video. For (much) more information on 'guitar positions' please read this fantastic piece by Greg O'Rourke.
On the performance side of life this week there are a couple of new cover videos up for you to check out. Lauren and I had some technical issues uploading last week which set us back a bit, hence one of the reasons I didn't write for you. But we got it all fixed and online. So the two new songs up are a back to back medley of songs by The Weekend 'I Feel It Coming/Starboy', and the latest is a request made to us to do a version of Drake's 'Hold On, We're Going Home'. Both can be found in the playlist I created on my YouTube channel.
So my cover release for this week is a mashup of Wicked Game (Chris Isaak) and How Deep Is your Love (Calvin Harris and Disciples). We had a great deal of fun arranging this and recording it, so please check out the video below to enjoy it for yourself.
Lauren and I record our cover song the week before we release them just to ensure we get the best possible outcome. This week we recorded the most challenging of our covers yet, it was a pretty complex arrangement involving vocal loops, guitar loops, extra instruments and 2 different songs. So, keep your eyes and ears peeled for the release of that on Monday! If you think you'll forget head to my YouTube channel and check out the playlist with all the tracks we've done so far, and subscribe to Lauren's channel.
Otherwise it's been a fairly uneventful week on the music front. School term comes to an end this week which means teaching will die down for a bit, so I'll be gearing up a little more time to put towards my personal projects over the next two weeks.
On the other side of my professional life a huge congratulations are in order to the team I work with at Quay for achieving the accolade of 95th best restaurant in the world on the San Pellegrino list. With the top 50 ceremony having just been held in Melbourne last night it was an honour to have many of the worlds best chefs and restauranteurs through the doors at Quay over the past week or so. And massive congratulations to Attica and Brae for making the top 50!
Happy strumming girls and guys!
It's been a busy 2 weeks! Lauren and I recorded an new video, a cover of Drake's One Dance. This is posted on Lauren Day’s YouTube account, and has been shared on all the usual channels, so make sure you subscribe to her on youtube, and don’t forget to connect with me on GooglePlus, Facebook and Soundcloud to keep up to date.
The last blog was all about finishing a song I started a long time ago. Well now this is live on my Soundcloud page so please check it out. I’ll also be posting the audio for the videos I am making with Lauren on Soundcloud too.
This week marked the final instalment of the jazz course I have been studying at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. It's been great fun and I feel I have learnt quite a lot in regards to chord voicings and new repertoire to pursue. We had a little recital to mark the end of the course which had a modest turn out, so thanks to Kirsty, Ed, Lauz, Josh, Jared and Keels for all putting in a sterling effort to come and watch! I’ll be putting some videos up of the concert over the next week too.
Happy strumming girls and guys!
Being self employed is a fine juggling act. Making sure you’re getting enough work to stay afloat whilst advertising and not breaking the bank can prove to be hard work. Whilst I’m still building my business I work near to full time hours at restaurant at the weekend, putting in close to 35 hours between Friday and Sunday, week in, week out. I teach on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, sometimes Thursdays, and Saturday mornings. I rehearse with my duo partner on Monday evenings, I attend a course at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on Wednesday evenings, and somewhere along the line I try to find time for a bit of practice, some writing, some production work and social life.
This week I managed to finish something I started many moons ago.
After university I reconnected with an old school and college friend with the idea of writing music together. Well, we pretty much finished recording the song but for some reason we never finished the project. I decided a while back I would pick it back up and use it almost as a remix project. I got rid of a lot of the original programming and guitar parts, but kept the vocals and structure. Monday this week I completed it, a very strong sounding mix really gives this piece some energy! What was incredibly strange was that this project was started in the UK, I moved out here a long time back and Anna, whose song it is, moved to Singapore a few years back. Well, I was working on the piece without her knowledge, but the day I finished it I took my phone from my pocket to send her a message. The last time we spoke was 7 years ago probably. I opened Facebook, and no word of a lie the first post on my newsfeed was a photo album of Anna wit a bunch of friends in Sydney! I couldn’t quite believe the coincidence. Unfortunately she left to head back to Singapore the morning I completed it, so I couldn’t play her the track in person. But we’re due to speak on the phone this evening and with her permission I will post the track in various places for you all to listen to.
So, if you read my first post back in January, and were wondering why I was so quiet after saying I would post weekly videos, well the reason is two fold; one because I have been quite a bit busier with the teaching than I first expected, but secondly because I have been experiencing some technical difficulties with my computer. It’s now very old, and on its last legs, and I created a couple of videos but it won’t render the sound to the picture, despite the fact it plays fine in the program before exporting. So I decided I would get a new machine, but made the decision that I had to finish the song (the one I was writing about previously) before I did that, for fears of it corrupting or not transferring to a new system correctly. So, with a bit of luck I will have a fully operating system within the next month. Then I will get to work on more of the online content!
Also at some point a little video of myself and the singer I’m working with for duos, Lauren Day, will be posted on her channel of a cover of an old classic. I will like to that and repost when it is available.
Thanks for reading, hope all is well with you! Please comment, share, and I will update as soon as the track is online.
Ladies and gents, here is a quick post for those of you wishing to learn some open position guitar chords. I have included chord grids with the photos to help visualise the positioning of your fingers. where you see a 'X' this means you do not play this open string as part of the chord. Where you see a 'O' this indicates you do play this open string as part of the chord.
I'm Matt, currently 30 years old, from Surrey in the UK, but I reside in Sydney NSW (Australia) these days. I have done since 2011, when a planned-to-be eighteen month trip turned into an almost 6 year residence.
I'm a musician. I picked up my first guitar aged 5, and managed to get lessons from 7 years old. I loved it. I've struggled to make time for it over the years, and sometimes not taken it as seriously as I should have. I've probably under sold myself as well in certain situations, but 2017 is the year I become self sufficient in this realm we call 'the music business'.
I only ever wanted to be a session guitarist. All through my preteen and teenage years that would be the answer to the age old 'what do you want to be when you're older?' question. Usually one would expect to have some witty anecdote about a typical response to my somewhat specialised career choice as a 9 year old, but I think people were quite impressed, or maybe taken aback, by my claims. In my mind it was clear; I play guitar, I love to play guitar, I'm good at playing guitar, I'll end up getting paid to play guitar. Simple.
As I went through my schooling I realised