Lessons and Resources

This section of my website is a bit of a working progress, I'm hoping to make this page into a one stop shop for my students/youtube fans etc to download TAB's, listen to audio recordings of lessons, watch my youtube tutorials etc... anyway, have a look a round!

all the best

David

First Day of My Life (Bright Eyes) Strumming Lesson  

This is a lovely song from the noughties that features a lot of chord extensions and has a really lovely summery feel to it (owing largely to the capo on the 4th fret and that folky strumming pattern). 

Chord extensions are essentially extra notes added to chords - these are usually notes borrowed from the the major scale e.g an F add 9 is an F major chord with the addition of the 9th from the scale (F G A Bb C D E F...G!). These additional notes really add a flavour to chords and are definitely worth exploring. 

  • Check out the audio below and work through each chord change nice and slowly! The picking at the end is particularly tricky at full tempo!
  • Practise changing through the chords with a single strum and analyse where your fingers are and where they need to go. Are they moving in groups or by themselves? 
  • Visualise the chord changes in your head

Download the PDF here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HIWn1ykLuRO5yiq6XDkJKIf4gF0D8Hiv/view?usp=sharing

Good luck!

Picking Out Notes in a Chord - Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) Lesson  

This 1997 classic from Green Day is a really good introduction into picking out notes from a chord. The whole song is based on one very catchy but simple picking pattern / rhythm and as it only uses 5 chords its pretty easy to pick up for beginners. 

Have a listen to the original and then internalise the rhythm by clapping out the rhythm, mouthing the rhythm or counting along - this will give you a really good starting point so you can remember the picking pattern more effectively. 

Check out my audio file / lesson below!

Download the PDF here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11kep54Rwc9E0NecNieX0-gA1FkVDo7Cc/view?usp=sharing

Good luck!

Black Horse & The Cherry Tree Strumming Lesson  

KT Tunstalls 'Black Horse & The Cherry Tree' is a really great song whilst learning to strum. The song really utilises the sound of strumming 'ghost notes' to accent the groove of the strumming pattern. A good way to practise this technique is to play to a metronome while you strum out 1/16 beats keeping your right hand strumming  ↓ ↑ ↓ ↑  for 1 E & A etc...Once you get that, accent the desired rhythm!

After practising that then add the chords and mute the strings on the ghost notes!

Here's the PDF - https://drive.google.com/file/d/14ImbblbbWuhPs9o9A7oZnfDGn0Y7_Oxf/view?usp=sharing

Make sure you listen to the lesson below to get an idea of the groove we're going for!

Good luck. 

David

 

Learning to Strum  

Here I have devised a very quick and (hopefully) fun lesson to get you strumming. The whole lesson is based on strumming an Am chord, we're not going to change chord until the very last exercise as I really want you to focus on the strumming hand and concentrate on these things:

  • Try to keep really relaxed; Your body, arms, wrists and hands should be free of tension - remember to breathe whilst practising!
  • Keep your strumming hand moving, think of it like the ticking seconds on one of those old fashioned clocks. Rely on gravity to bring the wrist down and the upstrokes will take care of themselves when you return your hand to the starting position. Practise strumming up and down on quaver (8ths) and the semi quaver (16th) beats.
  • Internalise the rhythm. Can you sing it? Can you clap it? Are you moving your body in time with it? 
  • Be strong on the down strokes and be light on the up strokes - the upstrokes will take care of themselves remember! Don't force it - it'll come!

Click on the music player below to listen to me run through each strumming exercise.

To download the PDF of this lesson click here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Seu8difd5xL-_Y39bSt7jLzq2Zf2eT5j/view?usp=sharing

I'll post up a video when I get a chance!

Good luck!

David