Right Hand Exercises for the first Year Guitarist: Marching towards Mastery

This is a right hand exercise using only the right hand thumb and index finger.

It is a little tricky at first as the movement collapses from the top to the bottom (lower) 6th string. In order to keep the exercise within the first year limitation, the thumb plays on the 6th string only.

*Keep in mind that we are working towards the Travis Style of picking and in that vein, you will use both the index and middle fingers on the upper three strings. 

Please take your time with this going slowly and carefully. This will develop your ability to play more complex patterns with independence between the thumb and the index, middle, and ring fingers.

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“COLD WATER”: JUSTIN BIEBER ON GUITAR

Here is the chord chart with lyrics for Justin Bieber’s Ellen Show Performance:

The guitar part is in the upper-intermediate range. If you plan on playing it as I demonstrated it will take your typical folk strumming playing to new heights.

“Cold Water” – Acoustic Guitar Tutorial

Containing tap rhythms, a barre chords, and some very good pop rhythm sequences, “Cold Water” is well worth learning.

Here is your document!

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Let me know if you have questions on the playing of this part.

-Mark

Acoustic Final Fantasy

An Acoustic Duo Cover

“Town Theme” written by the prodigious Anime composer Nobuo  Uematsu, is a short but alluring piece of music. Consisting of a light texture with a hypnotic rhythmic movement, the melodicism embedded in the sections gives it the staying power it needs for its role in the game, Final Fantasy.


I chose to cover “Town Theme”theme using a acoustic guitar duo format. My obsession with random improvised harmonies was perfectly suited to the music’s construction. Not that the work needed my help mind you, it was just my way of interpreting the “hidden harmonies” one hears when the obsession with music runs deep in your brain.

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Like all great composers Uematsu gets to the techniques that color otherwise plain tonal music. This is where the theme becomes legend. An ordinary composer would struggle to rise to such heights with such a project. Writing of this type can be an exercise in frustration as the limitless creative powers one has are kept at bay due to the reality of keeping the music close to home in terms of listenability and ultimately, commercialism.

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The first few seconds of “Town Theme” are telling. A very clever two-measure introduction opens with an artful C major arpeggio. In the following measure the composer wastes no time and goes for the gold medal with a beautiful second-inversion iv6 chord. The Fm/C substitutes for the dominant (as it’s prone to do)  giving measure 3 the push it needs to move forward like a bright, sunny, and brisk Sunday afternoon drive.

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In measures 9-10, an absolutely perfect cadence is set up to put and end to the first melodic statement. The progression, V I vi V2 bVI I5 V I is nothing short of mesmerizing.

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Is it genius writing? Maybe not being that the role o the theme is to bring one back to the center. But, I would challenge you who are composers to attempt such writing using the obvious restrictions during your process.

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You will come out a better writer as you reach deeper into multi-part writing. Keeping track of all voices and rhythms at your disposal your creative power will grow.

Mark Jeffery Campayno

A Music Nerd Who Is In Search Of The Beat

 

Yesterday, beginning at 1:00 pm I set out on a mission of sorts. I left early to assist a current student on her first day at Jiffy Lube Live (Live Nation). I won’t go into the details of the early part of the day but let’s just say the she saw the “other side” of the music industry up close and personal.

After our three or so hours in purgatory we took 5 minutes to recover and then moved into the house area. She and the majority of the 16,000 (more or less) fans understand well what was to come. But I remain perplexed. As I got closer the music got louder…much louder. As I descended the steps into the pit area the energy was as high as I can ever remember in my two plus years working on the floor.

I can still feel those first few moments. But alas, I am left this morning with a puzzling problem that won’t go away. Why do I remain in a state of confusion over an element of music that I was sure I had mastered. An element that is present even when it’s not obvious, that is, the beat.


The show, G-Easy and Logic was basically, and for lack of a better term
, was (mostly) White Rap. The crowd was energized and looking at the faces of the mostly 17-24 year old audience I realize once again just how powerful this music is.


There’s no use, nor is it my intention, in analyzing or getting into the lyrical content, the delivery, or the sometimes conflicting messages and  meanings behind this musical phenomenon. I have a bigger issue with the music, and if you are honest with yourself, you can find socio-lyrical dilemmas in all styles and genres of popular music.

 

It’s been bugging me for a while that I cannot get what makes a good hip hop/ rap beat. I know, and can construct, rock beats, Latin beats, jazz beats, funk beats, metal beats, and electronic beats. But when it comes to rap I don’t have it “locked in” yet. I just want to understand it in theoretical terms


I’ll say one thing for rap, they have the bass sound locked and loaded. There was a point last night where I thought my body was going to split in two. I was positioned directly in front of and slightly below the wall of bass cabinets that were stacked on top of the stage. The bass was not just loud but was vibrating every cell in my being.Wait, I think I’ve hit on something here! Is it possible that the bass supersedes the beat and is subservient to it? If this is so then hell, I’m letting it go. I mean, I’m not going to become a rap dj or a producer of rap beats for that matter. But wait, I’m a nerd. I have to know. I can’t drop it.


Someone help! I need the beat! Just tell me what is different a
bout the role of the beat? What should it have? What shouldn’t it have? Do I need a cowbell?

 

 

-Mark Jeffery Campayno

 

“Nylon Fantasy #2”

A Nylon String Guitar Original Work

Prelude

This “classical guitar” work in the new acoustic style is by far my favorite of the ones I’ve written 'Air Guitar' byso far. Both its sound and construction are exactly what I look for in instrumental guitar works. Like anything else that comes as a pleasant surprise, this was one of those sessions where everything came together. I must say however, that I never go into a session with a preconceived idea, well at least not one that is carved in stone. My brain doesn’t work that way even though I can be very conservative and by the book in other areas of performance and study.

 

Methodology

I go in to such sessions randomly trying not to get caught up in the guitarists mindset that can plague your endlessly. The thoughts and schemes such as what key? What scales or chords? Should I go intblockdiagramo an altered tuning or not? Should I play fast or slow? That does nothing more than push your spirit into a one-dimensional force bent on being traditional. Traditional for the sake of tradition. Not to pay homage to it, but to be bound by it.

The Work

I don’t remember consciously doing this but it has a logical rhythmic flow to it. The piece starts out by stating the melody in between a very dense foundation harnomics.gif
of dark arpeggiated chords. I overdubbed some, but not all of the harmonics onto the work as a decorative effect. I, like many non-guitarists, tend to find them aurally attractive and very desirable especially on acoustic guitar.

 

Technique

slurs

The slurred sections were not easy but flowed surprisingly well considering that I had no plan for incorporating them. I’m very happy with how they turned out. It’s my climbing Mount Everest moment as that are fairly athletic. It will take quite a few minutes to pull them back under my fingers in that exact configuration. However, I must take the time to score out the work so as to codify it. In that way, it becomes “official”, solid, unbending. Unless, of course, I go back and change the score.

Angular Thinking

As musicians, we all have areas that are endemic to our playing. I love the angular in music, but to produce it well is not easy. This was one time that it happened without the usual struggle and gnashing of teeth. The fleeting moments of non-compliance with the voices in our heads that would doubt us.The total control one has sought from the beginning of the Screen+Shot+2013-03-07+at+10.01.40+PMjourney. However, I’m sure I’ll go back to the struggle until I can take control of angular and the unexpected in my playing.

 

Thank God for the guitar.

 

-Mark Jeffery Campayno

“Tears from Above” Ambient Guitar Instrumental.

The state of the world and the creator looking down on it.

  • Photo credits

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Photo by wang binghua on Unsplash

Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash

Photo by Jamieson Gordon on Unsplash

Photo by Joe Beda on Unsplash

Photo by Wim van ‘t Einde on Unsplash

Photo by Ivan Jevtic on Unsplash

Photo by Zach Guinta on Unsplash

Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash