Play like Bruno. Be like Bruno.

“Nothing On You” Straight from the source.

Learning to perform acoustic versions of songs is much easier when it’s the artist who has performed it. It settles all arguments and for sure gives you the correct fingerings and chord voicing if you are unsure.

 

Of course, you had to figure that Bruno Mars played guitar. A musician of his stature has learned many things most of us never see out of pure necessity. More importantly, Bruno Mars is not just an entertainer, he is much more than that. He is a very wise musician who knows how to cultivate success. He knows how to write material with a groove unmatched in its groove factor more than anyone else in the last forty years.

 

But, there’s another angle, dare I say formula, which Bruno knows well. Surround yourself with top-flight musicians who are flawless in execution and navigating the stage. Choose also musician’s who share your mind-set. Don’t grasp for musical mechanics who can play your music backwards and forwards, chose the ones who take the gig because they belong there.

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Learning “Nothing On You” is a great way to get back the the foundation of a song. To see it’s parts in an unfiltered environment and to play like Bruno.

“Nothing On You” Tutorial

XXXTENTACION bares his soul on “Depression and Obsession”.

Less definitely is more when you are trying to get a message into a song. The less clutter instrumentally, the less business in the harmonies and sections the better. It enables the vocal part to stand out and brings every nuance to the forefront. On “Depression and Obsession” by the late Alternative, Hard Rock, Nu-Metal, Rap, and Hip-Hop-influenced artist, XXXTENTACION (Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy), this is certainly the case.

Take a somewhat rough acoustic guitar part, mix it with a tight beat and let the vocals do the rest. I’ve gone to great lengths to make this tutorial as close as possible to the original. This is not an “Easy Guitar” version, which serves collect views and deceives many to believe that anyone can strum along captured the vibe of a song that is far deeper than they could ever imagine. No, this version shows the rough edges and the way to play it with expression.

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You will use only three chords throughout this song. But, in these three chords be prepared to dig deep if you want to bring life into this magnificent, minimalistic expression of darkness and pain.

PERFORMANCE NOTES: I’ve decided to use Drop-D tuning for this version. The reason is that I hear the lowered sixth string ringing out in two specific places. It makes the chords slightly more difficult to play but, I feel that to be authentic in replicating other’s songs, you should attempt to get as close as possible. The only chord that may take more work is the GMaj7. For that chord try to land your pinky first. It will take slow practice but, that chord shape comes up a lot in an Am/G context in many songs.

Here is the tutorial:

Depression & Obsession Tutorial

Here is the PDF of the tab:

Tab:

Guitar Pro Tab

 

“Youngblood” – 5SOS continue strong with their irresistible, slippery and quirky riffs and rhymes.

The new song, “Youngblood” by Five Seconds of Summer (5SOS) is one of their better offerings. The chorus riff alone is worth learning off of this one. I examine the guitars parts for you and put into perspective how effective layered guitar lines (even easy pop ones) can be.

The version I present to you here is perfect for a full-band rendering. This is not what I like to call a “strum and grin” cheese version. This is playin’ it real.

I have pulled out what I have interpreted after a once over with the song yesterday. I may tweak things a little more as I listen, especially in the bass during the chorus. When I do, I will re-send the tab and comment here on additions or changes.

Have fun!

Guitar Pro Tab

Youngblood Guitar Pro Tab

YouTube Tutorial

Youngblood Guitar Tutorial

“Love Lies” Khalid & Normani (Tutorial)

This is the electric guitar part for the song, “Love Lies” Original Video “Love Lies” written by Khalid Robinson, Normani Kordei Hamilton, Jamil Chammas, Ryan Vojtesak, and Tayla Parks.

This is a very clever and fun guitar part. If you want the guitar to pop out of a mix this is the textbook way to do it. Take three chords, and arpeggiate them using a Fender Stratocaster set for position 2. That gives the guitar a “mellow bite” that is perfect for parts you want the listener to focus on.

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Here is the guitar tab for the song. I’ve included the very brief legato run that occurs in measure 5 during the intro. Take your time with this as it may be a little tricky at first, especially the changes during the pre-chorus and chorus.

Here is the link for the guitar tab:

Love Lies Guitar Pro Tab

Here is the kink to the YouTube tutorial:

Love Lies Tutorial

 

“Find Me” – XXXTentacion’s Guitar Fronting Again

“Find Me” Guitar Tutorial

XXXTentacion has once again placed the guitar front and center in another of his mixes. The young man continues to use the instrument that was missing in the genre since the days of the famous collaboration with Run DMC “Walk This Way”.

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X’s guitar is very unlike Joe Perry’s as there are no wild guitar solos and few power chord excursions. What there is though is pure rhythmic and melodic contours that light up his music.

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For this song you will need a clean electric and delay. Check out the tutorial and I’ll have more to say here.

“Find Me” Tutorial

“Find Me” Guitar Pro Score/Tab

Sigur Rós – Góðan Daginn – The beauty of arpeggios.

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“Góðan Daginn” – Acoustic Guitar Tutorial (Part 1)

There is no way to do a thorough job on a song as long and dense as this one. Therefore, I will break it up into three videos. This first installment covers the Intro and Verse. Those sections alone take :45 seconds. Imagine that, a real introduction. Most pop songs are heading into the chorus by now.

The acoustic guitar score is brilliant in its non-stop arpeggiated beauty, It serves as a guide of sorts for the massive orchestration that eventually surrounds it. For those of you in the upper-intermediate playing range, this will further develop your playing in terms of what I like refer as “note streaming”. That being a constant flow of notes that are rarely interrupted (if at all) by stops or pauses. This is the perfect introduction concentrated guitar playing. Stay focused and keep your movements even and on the beat.

While not too difficult to play, you must take care to not become complacent and sloppy throughout. It’s very easy to create a lot of string chatter on this part. Make sure to lift your fingers and move quickly and accurately to the next chord. I also recommend using a pick on this but, you should do what comes natural to your playing style. Looking forward to completing this gem!

 

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Here are your links:

Sigur Rós – “Góðan Daginn” Youtube Tutorial

“Góðan Daginn” Guitar Pro Tab/Score

Sigur Rós Website

XXXTENTACION “Indecision” Guitar Tutorial and Guitar Pro Score.

“Indecision” by the 19 year old rapper XXXTENTACION is easily one of the most angry displays of angst and rage that’s come from an artist in years. This is “real feel”.

The reasons for such emotional displays are well-known by his fans. One thing is unmistakeable, this troubled, young man is one clever musician who knows how to creat a vibe that gets traction, and respect.

The music is dark and brooding, with a falling, chromatic bass line leading you astray. With this dark-minor dirge, XXXTENTACION drags you into a world of his own with the guitar becoming a willing ally in his misery and revenge-filled cries.

The guitar part is not difficult to perform technically, but the vibe is. It’s a one shot ode to life in the life of crime and swagger. Sounding “very” improvised this short but potent part is fun to play as one can feign anger and injustice from the perspective of, “Hey, glad it’s not my life, but I can pretend.”

To properly capture the emotion of this song use a messy-sounding overdrive setting on your amp and hit the strings like the hours are counting down and the bills are due. You can then unashamedly drench the guitar solos in reverb and play with the upmost feeling.

“Indecision” Electric Guitar Tutorial

“Indecision” Guitar Tab

A 1:01 “It’s Strange” cover takes off!

Acoustic Guitar Tutorial for  “It’s Strange” original by Louis the Child (Feat. K. Flay).

For this tutorial I think it’s fair to warn you that you’d better be  ready to work that right hand. Guitarist Ashley Juno is a firecracker of a player and is off the charts on this one minute barrage.

Handling both electric and acoustic guitars with ease this young lady is breathing fire into the word of pop and rock covers. She plays with an creative aggression not seen for a long time. Finally!!!!

I have provided the tab and tutorial for the first two measures! What? Why only two measures? Well, there is so much going on that I was not leaving any detail out of this wild acoustic guitar display. The into consists of only two chords, D Major 7 and an E minor 7. They are root 5 structures and will certainly get you up to speed on the shapes.

The challenge will be in the right hand. Well, I’ll have more to say about that soon!

“It’s Strange” Guitar Pro PDF

Youtube Video:

“It’s Strange” – Youtube Tutorial

Ed and Andrea Make a “Perfect” Match

“Perfect” Guitar Tutorial

This guitar tutorial  for the song “Perfect”, written by Ed Sheeran, should present few problems if you are an intermediate and aboveplayer. The song is exclusively played in the arpeggio style using the well-know I – vi – IV – V chord progression.

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This progression is still used today as almost a novelty (an insult if there ever was one) and has succumbed to the “extremely tired” I – V – vi – IV juggernaut that has produced so many lightweight pop offerings due to its ease of play and perfect fit for simple melodic doodling.

The song is in A Flat Major but of course, I’ve placed a capo on the first fret and played as in G. Hey, why struggle? I used a pick on this guitar part even though Ed favors a finger style approach on just about everything he plays. Additionally, I used my Taylor Koa instead of an electric.

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Keep your wits about you at the end of the chorus as the little interlude is the halfway point of the song. I’ve fingered that with all open strings after the root notes (although the D chord has the typical F# in the bass).

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“Perfect is a great song and an even greater collaboration with star-struck Ed Sheehan more than holding his own (relative to his genre) with the master vocalist Andrea Bocelli.

“Perfect” Guitar Pro PDF

“Perfect” Tutorial

Ayala (Outro) XXXTENTACION Guitar Tutorial

The new album by controversial rapper XXXTENTACION is full of surprises. You wouldn’t recognize him if you know anything about his past releases.

This song is both lyrical and downright gripping. Who else could mix acousitic guitar and piano with such minimalist skill than X.

Then there are the lyrics…

Ohh, ahh, ahh

She showed me the thing love can’t forget

How we fell in love, ohh

I made a list of my regrets

And you were first love, ohh

Oh it hurts, I can’t forget

How we fell in love

Made a list of my regrets …

It would be great if X keeps on this track.

Here is the guitar pro score and video for anyone wanting to play a duo or (if converted a bit) solo arrangement/accompaniment to Ayalya (Outro).

I may tweak the tab a bit more to finish up a couple loose ends.

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TUTORIAL

Alana (Outro) Tutorial

PDF

Ayala