#1
I feel like there is a very big gap between okay and great acoustic guitar players.
I'm having trouble getting better at acoustic guitar. I can play some more challenging songs like Behind the screams by CKY and Falling in love at a coffee shop by landon pigg with the bass included.

I don't play with a pick and I was wondering how to write more beautiful sounding stuff like this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJhWnn92cWk&feature=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WklByAaqmVQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gm6zNrTt-U&feature=feedu

I find strumming and switching chords easy enough with practice but I guess I don't have all the acoustic techniques down. I've had my acoustic for about 4 months now but have been playing electric for about 4 years. Also I don't know a ton of chords :/ I got the basics down and some barre chords. I'm sure I can play tons of them but I just don't know the shapes

So I guess I'm asking how can I write more complex acoustic music strongly relying on using the basic chords (F,G,D,Em,Am)
Last edited by demonsage at Aug 6, 2011,
#2
Just keep practising and figuring out more chords - after playing for 4 years you should know enough theory to be able to figure out all the more complex chords.

I always think it's easier to learn on an acoustic and switch to electric than it is to do it the other way round like you're doing, so it will take time. Be patient and it will happen.
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#3
Thanks for the tips and as for finger picking on a steel string guitar is that a no no? :P
#5
Quote by HaistaPaska92
Ummm....... no. You can even finger pick on a steel string electric

This.

Why would you think you couldn't do fingerpicking on a steel strung guitar?
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#6
Hi demonsage,

I have found that while adding new and interesting chords broadens your tonal palette is great and necessary to keep adavancing, you don't always have to go off in search of the illusive chord. You can get a lot of mileage by applying the variation on a theme idea.

I would like to share something with you that can help with your acoustic/electric fingerstyle adventures.

Try playing those basic chords with different voicings and inversions. For example play the F chord with and A or C bass note. But space is the key. The more open the voicings, the more complex and different these basic chords will sound. A wider aural spectrum will make it more interesting for you and on your listener’s ears. Plus it will still sound full. Try the below examples to hear the difference. Play these against the ones you already know.


Example 1:
F maj

----x-----
----1-----
----2-----
----x-----
----x-----
----1-----

Ex 2:
F/A

----x------
----6-----
----5-----
----x-----
----x-----
----5-----

Ex 3:
F/C

----x-----
----10----
----10----
----x----
----x----
----8----

Now you can either pick these strings together or arpeggiate these voicings and inversions with as simple or as complex finger picking patterns as you want. Can you hear that they are still full sounding because you are still playing the 1, 3, 5 of the chord but just wider apart?
But let me share a great tip with you that I learnt from UK jazz fingerstyle guitar/chord melody master Martin Taylor that has made a MASSIVE difference in my playing. This is really cool!

Martin uses first finger barre work in a LOT of his songs for added speed changes and greater efficiency. And you can too!

Let me explain. First go and grab your guitar again if you don’t still have it in your hands. This more a physical exercise than a visual one.

In the 1st example above, barre your first finger across all the six strings as you would normally do for a Fmaj barre chord. Now since your finger has the F note(6th string) and the C note(2nd string) covered just add your 2nd finger onto the A note(3rd string 2nd fret) and you have a whole chord sounding while only using 2 fingers. Now, I know this doesn’t sound as full as the typical Fmaj barre chord, but this is fingerstyle you are playing. You are not strumming it. Remember it’s the space between the notes of the chord you are going for here.

Now keep your 1st finger barre across all six stings and take it up to the 5th fret. So with your 1st finger in place just add your 2nd finger on the 6th fret second string, play only those three notes and there you have the F/A chord with only two fingers. Cool huh?

So don’t stop now. Slide that first finger barre up to the 8th fret, add your 3rd finger to the 10th fret on the second string and your pinky on the 10th fret second string add you have a easy to play F/C chord. Now practice moving between the 3 examples and see how easy it is to shift between chords with very minimal finger movement.

Okay, this gets better still…

Let’s use the above second example this time. By fingering it with your first finger barre approach, if you lifted off your second finger (the F note) and since your first finger is already barring the E note on the 5 fret you have yourself a very neat, quick and handy Am chord change. All with just by lifting one finger!

And it continues to get even more exciting. By still playing that F/A chord example, if you were to play the 5 fret of the 5th string (a D note), instead of the A on the 6th string, and by not moving your first finger barre at all, you will have a Dm7 chord. (okay we have added the 7th instead of the 3rd this time. But I’m sure you get the picture. It’s still a full sounding chord voicing and a nice wide aural spectrum which excites and pleases the ear). Dah dah! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat Rocky. Three cool sounding chords all in the one position and just by lifting a finger or changing a bass note. That’s great value for money!

So go ahead and apply this concept to other basic chords, both major and minor and 7ths yourself. I know you will be soon you will be stepping up in the acoustic world.

Have fun!
Commit to Mastery!


Allen Hopgood
Last edited by Allen Hopgood at Aug 6, 2011,
#7
Wow allen that was a great post so much there x]

Well I was just wondering if finger picking was more geared towards classical guitars. Guess I wasn't clear enough.

But I've just been hammering scales so maybe that will help me. I'm really digging the latin sounding scales.
#8
That's a nice post Allen, well done.
Me personally doesn't get impressed with all that precussive or tapping fancy stuff.
try to play tommy emmanuel songs, that'll get you better.
#9
Quote by ofirariel
That's a nice post Allen, well done.
Me personally doesn't get impressed with all that precussive or tapping fancy stuff.
try to play tommy emmanuel songs, that'll get you better.


I don't play with a pick so learning his songs would be a bit difficult.

I know these guys are using picks but I was wondering on how to write stuff like this I still feel like I don't enough barre chord variations to play all over. If someone could just post some basic shapes it would be greatly appreciated
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gm6zNrTt-U&feature=feedlik

barre chords I know

3
4
5
5
3
3

3
3
4
5
5
3

4
6
5
3
3
3
#10
You get better with more practice and playing different songs with different techniques. And you'll learn new techniques soon enough. Its only been four months so good luck to you!!
IM GONNA ***CHANGE*** THE WORLD