Irish Washer Woman

March 17th, 2013 10:43 am

It’s St. Patrick’s Day! It just seems fitting to post a traditional Irish melody. This is a finger style arrangement of “Irish Washer Woman”. Not everyone knows it by name but most recognize the melody right away.

The tune has a quick tempo but start slow as you would any new piece.

Click here for the music.

I – IV – V ( one, four, five)

February 17th, 2013 10:01 pm

The one I IV V in music refers to chord changes. Know that everything in music is relative. If you are playing a I IV V in the key of A the chords would be A, D, and E. A is 1. B is 2. C is 3. D is 4. E is 5. It’s fairly simple. You just have to count from the established “one” chord. Sometimes though, you have to know when to apply a sharp or flat. A I IV V in the key of F, for exampled, is not F B and C but F B flat and C.
Your average blues tune is a I IV V pattern. Because the dominant 7th chord sound is the essence of blues, the chords would be I7 – IV7 – V7. So, for example, in the key of A the chords used are A7, D7, and E7.
Here is a chart of each key’s I IV V pattern starting in the key of C and moving up in fifths.
This is good to know for any musician and a must know for blues players.

I IV V
C F G
G C D
D G A
A D E
E A B
B E F#
F# B C#
Db Gb Ab
Ab Db Eb
Eb Ab Bb
Bb Eb F
F Bb C

Jimmy Bryant and Chops

January 20th, 2013 11:13 pm

The Merriam-Webster on line dictionary gives one definition of the word “chops” as “the technical facility of a musical performer”. When I hear the term “chops” I can’t help but think of guitarist Jimmy Bryant.
Jimmy Bryant was from Georgia. He was born in 1925 and died of cancer in 1980. During the 1950′s he was active in studio work and made many recordings with pedal steel guitarist Speedy West. Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West were considered to be one the most exciting instrumental duos of that time.
So where this is all leading to is that Jimmy Bryant was a jaw droppingly great guitarist and had chops up the wazoo.
I’ve posted a link to “Little Rock Getaway”. It starts out relaxed and then really kicks in at the 38 sec mark.
Here it is – Little Rock Getaway

Till There Was You

January 13th, 2013 11:06 pm

For the longest time I thought “Till There Was You” was just another Beatles song. I’m not sure when it was when I learned it was actually a Broadway tune. More specifically it was in “Music Man” and written by Meridith Wilson. “Till There Was You” can also be found in jazz fake books and has been recorded by Sonny Rollins and Peggy Lee.

Here I’ve notated the tune based on the Beatles version. The melody is in standard notation and tablature.

There are two versions – both the same key but different octaves. There are two sets of chord voicings as well.

Here they are –

Till There Was You 1

Till There Was You 2

Nylon Strings and Young Hands

September 29th, 2012 8:53 am

We talked about nylon string guitars being great for large hands due to the traditional wider neck. Nylon string guitars are also great for young hands. The nylon strings are much softer than steel strings and can be much easier on the finger tips. Young students often complain of the steel strings hurting their finer tips. Actually a beginner at any age can find steel strings tough on their left hand fingers.
Although the traditional classical guitar neck might be too wide for small hands their are many smaller, children sized guitars available. There are also full size guitars but with slim necks available. These are great for adults who like the feel of a smaller neck but want the sound or feel of nylon strings.
Guitar Center, Sam Ash, and Musician’s Friend websites all have a pretty sizable list of nylon string guitars for anyone interested to check out.