So here are three questions I hear all the time in my lofty capacity as a pedagogical micro-star in the teeming Youtube firmament:
1. How do I make this song more interesting?
2. What do I do with it after I play through the melody once?
3. How do I start putting together songs myself?
Actually, these are questions I've heard my entire teaching career, along with a fourth one that usually goes something like: "If I master the nuances of an obscure pre-war musical art form created by people who typically sold records only in the hundreds and mostly died without recognition, will I really get more dates and shave ten minutes off my qualifying time for the Boston Marathon?"
Having only had mixed results with #4, I'm not in a position to comment, but I can say this: learning how to connect chord voicings both across the fingerboard and up the neck is a key step to making a song more interesting, developing and expanding songs you already know, and beginning to create your own song arrangements.
I'll be talking about all of this, and my new monthly membership, The Fingerstyle Five, at 3pm CST this afternoon on a live Zoom session. You can click the link below to register (it's free!):
If you attend, I'll show you how to wrangle a dozen familiar dominant chord shapes into one coherent map of the fretboard, and walk you through two arrangements of classic blues tunes, explaining how I used these voicings to create them. You'll walk away with the notation and tab for both arrangements and lots of ideas for how to expand your solo instrumental blues repertoire.
You can even download the voicings in advance. Just click on the link below. I'll have the rest of the tab available when the workshop starts:
If you're wondering, "Man, this Hamburger cat. Is he really worth an hour of my time?" here's what Bruce, a student in my Blues Chord Substitutions workshop, had to say recently:
"You can count me in as a founding member of your new membership site. You have given me a number of lightbulb moments. I also really appreciate the material that you have provided. The jazz/blues songs so far are exactly the kind of thing that I really love. Please keep it coming as it is truly outstanding.
"I really appreciate you giving us the “why’s” and “how’s” behind the more advanced/intermediate modification you can take to changing the basic arrangements. I am reaching the point that I want to be able to vary it and be able to play the tune through for several verses to make it more interesting, which is why this Blues Substitutions class has been so great."
Hope to see you this afternoon,
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