“I’ll Show You” – Dan Kanter’s methods.

There’s not a song that Dan Kanter can’t make a thousand times more interesting on the guitar. There’s not a hit he can’t decode and apply to the acoustic guitar in ways that make you shake your head. And finally, there’s not a synthesizer riff that he can’t manipulates into a smooth melodic stream of consciousness that doesn’t make you surrender and say, “Man, I wish I could come up with riffs like that!”

This is a long overdue tutorial on my part. Many have asked for it and finally, I’ve begun the process. I share with you here the introduction (a full 14 measures long) and the first verse (another 8) of Justin Bieber’s “I’ll Show You” Live in Toronto (2015).

I’ve worked on many of Dan’s arrangements of songs from not only Justin, but from the smoldering and talented, Julia Michaels.  So ya, I feel I have a grip (admittedly a loose one) on Kanter’s very intelligent and always surprising guitar style.

For the first 5 minutes, standard tuning was doable. But, the awkwardness of the fingerings and the string noise put and end to that experiment. Within minutes the “Dan is up to it again” light went on in my brain. It was then that the guitar sounded open and the fingerings were smooth, but regimented.

Finally, I figured out that the second string was also tuned up one-have step, to of course, C. It took another two minutes to see that something was up with string 4. Well, looking at Dan’s hand position wasn’t easy as the camera was not friendly to him in this video. I did catch a glimpse of his second finger on the 4th string’s 2nd fret. It was then that I discovered that Dan had tuned string 4 up one-half step to Eb(D#). What a solution he had come up with to totally make the part ring out!

You will only need your fourth, third, and second strings for this section. Use the thumb, index, middle “claw fingering” with your right hand.

Much more to come.

-Mark

Here is the Guitar Pro score so far:

“I’ll Show You” – Guitar Pro Tab Score

 

Tutorial (YouTube link)

“I’ll Show You” Tutorial

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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

The Weeknd: “Call Out My Name” Guitar Tutorial.

Original Audio Version

In order to play The Weeknd’s new song, “Call Out My Name” from his new release, My Dear,Melancholy, you will need to tune your guitar down one-half step to Eb tuning.

Once you are tuned and ready, go back and forth between A Minor and E Minor. Once secure, get familiar with the time signature 6/8.

Think, two sets of three beats each:

1-2-3 4-5-6

Now, count that out accenting beats one and four:

(1) 2 3 (4) 5 6

Cycle through the A minor chord two times:

Am (Am) Am (Am)

(1) 2 3 (4) 5 6 (1) 2 3 (4) 5 6

Next, cycle through the E Minor chord the same way:

Em (Em) Em (Em)

(1) 2 3 (4) 5 6 (1) 2 3 (4) 5 6

Notice that you are playing the chords on the strong beats only.

From here, add step two by strumming on each of the six beats making sure to accent one and four continuously. Check the tab!

Guitar Pro Tab

Youtube Tutorial

Lyrics “Call Out My Name” The Weeknd

We found each other

I helped you out of a broken place

You gave me comfort

But falling for you was my mistake

I put you on top, I put you on top

I claimed you so proud and openly

And when times were rough, when times were rough

I made sure I held you close to me

So call out my name (call out my name)

Call out my name when I kiss you so gently

I want you to stay (want you to stay)

I want you to stay, even though you don’t want me

Girl, why can’t you wait? (Why can’t you wait, baby?)

Girl, why can’t you wait ’til I fall out of love?

Won’t you call out my name? (Call out my name)

Girl, call out my name, and I’ll be on my way

I’ll be on my-

I said I didn’t feel nothing, baby, but I lied

I almost cut a piece of myself for your life

Guess I was just another pit stop

‘Til you made up your mind

You just wasted my time

You’re on top

I put you on top

I claimed you so proud and openly, babe

And when times were rough, when times were rough

I made sure I held you close to me

So call out my name (call out my name, baby)

So call out my name when I kiss you

So gently, I want you to stay (I want you to stay)

I want you to stay even though you don’t want me

Girl, why can’t you wait? (Girl, why can’t you wait ’til I?)

Girl, why can’t you wait ’til I fall out of love?

Won’t you call out my name? (Say call out my name, baby)

Girl, call out my name, and I’ll be on my way

Girl, I’ll be on my-

On my way

On my way

On my way

On my way

On my way

On my way

On my way

On my way

On my way

On my way

On my way

On, on

Lorde’s Three Shades of “Green Light”

Lorde’s new single Green Light is a study in contrasts for a guitar cover/tutorial/play-through. It’s the kind of song that grows on you after a couple listens. But, still you sit and ponder. It is worth it? But then you realize that this one has something to work with, it does have merit after all! After listening to what seems like a patchwork of disjointed ideas scattered about it soon becomes clear in the mind of the listener that Green Light does what all pop songs are programed to do.

66c454136a8b9858252bf1bc4124d64bThe content is not heavy. Basically, we have a 5 chord pop song like many others. Where as Green Light revs up slowly and patiently, most pop songs don’t have the patience for such maneuvering as their game is always centered on getting to the point early and often. It’s a mainstay of popular music. Lorde, is a “developer”. Her tendency is to take sparse material and dial things up as the minutes pass. Green Light is no exception,

The pre-chorus/chorus sections are a thing of lighthearted genius as a masterful but typical riff takes over that lights up the song with such energy that even Lorde can’t stay in control (check 3:03 of the video).

For your part, keeping the chorus riff even and controlled is no easy task on guitar, especially acoustic. Keep your right hand solid and bear down on the strumming pattern. That is, if you are covering it at it’s recorded tempo.

I can see this section played a little slower without damaging the intention of the writer. Experiment and see what you come up with.

-Mark

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Here is the guitar tutorial:

“Green Light” Acoustic Guitar Tutorial

Here is the chord chart for “Green Light”:

“Green Light” Chords PDF

 

 

“New Man” Ed Sheeran

A Barre Chord Feast!

Ed Sheeran’s new song “New Man” is just what the doctor ordered for those of you who need to get over your fear of barre chords. This phenomenon seems to be occurring more and more and the guitar Capo has pulled many away from the dreaded process of learning to get those fingers holding down multiple strings.

But as luck would have it, along comes Ed to help you deal with the inevitable. “New Man’ consists of five chords. G, E minor, D, C, and B minor. All chords are played with 5th string roots and nary a once do you touch the 6th or 1st string.

Here are your chord forms:

Song Form:

There are only two chord patterns used in the song:

Pattern 1 is as follows (mainly during the intro and verse):

E Minor-G Major-D Major-E minor-C Major-B minor-D Major-E minor

As you can see, E minor is the central focus of the progression giving us the expected minor tonality that matches the lyrical content of the verses.

Pattern 2 is played during the chorus and bridge sections, that progression is as follows:

G Major-D Major-E minor-C Major-B minor-D Major-E minor

The G Major lead in this section brings a nice contrast to the chords and gives the song the rhythmic lift it needs to launch us into the somewhat more hopeful chorus section.

As for how to deal with barre chords? I recommend starting them on electric guitar (if you have one) and once you produce a good clear sound, transfer over to acoustic. If you wish, stay on electric. Use a clean tone with light reverb or chorus.

As for playing the chords, do not use a pick but rather articulate each chord with your thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. You can add a tap after each chord however, know that Ed doesn’t over-emphasize that technique in this song. I do it just to mark the rhythm of the pattern.

Take your time with this one. Move back and forth through the chords making sure you are accurate with both right and left hands.

Here is my tutorial on “New Man”.

“New Man” Guitar Tutorial

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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