“Fight Song” Chorus Guitar Rhythm

I’ve been asked about the strumming pattern for Rachel Platten’s acoustic version of “Fight Song”.

“Live” Acoustic Version

I discovered this version and will go with her approach to the chorus section.

Strumming Pattern

Take your time if you haven’t played this pattern yet. It is a basic strumming pattern but of course that’s relative.

You can refer to my original tutorial to learn the whole song.

“Fight Song” Tutorial

 

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Ayala (Outro) XXXTENTATION Guitar Tutorial

The new album by controversial rapper XXXTENTATION 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

Justin Bieber’s “Fast Car”

“Fast Car” by Justin Bieber (Live Cover) Tutorial

I’ve put this post up in order to “house” the Guitar Pro score of “Fast Car” by Justin Bieber that I transcribed. Some have had a hard time getting the link to work on Dropbox. Sorry about that.

Here is the link:

Fast Car

In addition, since it’s a tutorial on the live version I’ve had questions about the basic, and alterations of, the guitar strumming pattern for the song. I’ve also had more than a couple questions about the the outro section. Justin seems to “improvise” his way out of the tune thereby creating some very interesting rhythmic devices. It is a little tricky as Justin has clearly learned a thing or three from Dan Kanter🙂

Here are the links to part 1 and 2 of my tutorial set for Justin’s unique and guitar-friendly cover.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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

 

 

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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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

“Brothers” Full Metal Achemist (Acoustic Guitar Cover)

“Bratja (Brother)” Full Metal Alchemist – Acoustic Guitar Cover from Mark Jeffery Campayno on Vimeo.

“Bratja (Brother)” Full Metal Alchemist – Acoustic Guitar Cover from Mark Jeffery Campayno on Vimeo.

Anime Guitar

This is a nylon-string cover of the beautiful ” Bratja (Brother)” written by Michiru Oshima.

Here is more information about the song that will put things in context:

Brothers (Russian: Братья, Bratja; Japanese: Buraacha) is a song composed by Michiru Oshima for the anime Fullmetal Alchemist. It can be found on the first Fullmetal Alchemist O.S.T.. Other orchestrated versions can be found on Fullmetal Alchemist O.S.T. 3 and the Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa soundtrack.

The song is about the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, and their feeling about the tragic incident that happened at the very beginning of the series. They attempted to resurrect their mother who had died of an illness. However, during the transmutation, Alphonse lost his body while Edward lost his left leg, and, consequently, his right arm.

In the first verse, Edward expresses his grief and regret for pushing his brother into doing the transmutation with him. He blames himself for what happened, admitting that “there is no cure for death”. Alphonse, in the second verse, attempts to console him. He urges Ed to forget whose fault it is, as they both chose the same path, so neither of them is more guilty than the other. In each of the choruses, they sing about how much their mother meant to them, but how their tries to bring her back were in vain. In the final stanza, both brothers question where they should go from where they are now after realizing that it is impossible to bring back that which has been lost.

Another version of the song was recorded in english by Vic Mignogna, the voice actor who played Edward Elric in the series.

Here are the lyrics translated into English:

Bratja (Brother)

Forgive me, younger brother
I am to be blamed
It is impossible to return
that, which has been taken by earth

One that knows the law
would help me find the answer.
I made a terrible mistake,
there is no cure for death.

Dear Mother! So Soft! (soft as in loving)
We loved you so much.
But all our powers
were spent in vain.

I intrigued you
With the perfect hope
To return our family
My brother, the blame is all mine.

Don’t cry, don’t despair, older brother
You are not the only one to blame
We both have one road
Lets bury the blame to the depth (meaning lets forget whos fault it was)

I can’t blame you for anything,
And I hold no hard feelings. (as in Im not mad at you)
Heavy is our cause
The desire to be stronger than all

Dear Mother! So Soft!
We loved you so much.
But all our powers
were spent in vain.

I was intrigued myself
with the wonderful hope
to return our family.
I am the one to blame.

So what do we do now?
How do we correct and forget?
When you can’t return
That, which was been taken by earth.

Here is my acoustic cover of the song: