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Michael Johnson >> Folk Guitar Legends >>
Lesson Subject: Folk Guitar Legends
What you learn: Jim Croce Style
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael: Hello class and welcome to our lesson on the style of Jim Croce. Jim Croce's style features some very cool fingerpicking and chord patterns, along with the acoustic solos of his sideman, Maury Muehleisen. In this lesson you will learn both picking, interval variations and acoustic lead parts. Check out the lesson sample of what you will learn.

Lesson Sample

Michael: Let's get started, for the first part you will learn how to play an ascending and descending pattern that is played over the D minor chord. Here's the first part:



Part 1

Part 1 - Picking

Teacher:
Notice how the progresion starts with the Dm with the Maj 6 on the 3rd string (G). This string is key to the ascending and descending melody line played throughout the finger picking pattern. The next segment uses the G as the tonal center while you play other notes on the 6th string that are related to the G chord. Then you play a series of intervals while you let the 5th string (A) ring through out this section.

Michael: Here's the jam track for this section:

Looping Jam Track 1

Michael: Now a key element of Jim Croce's sound was the use of interval lead solos played by Maury Muehleisen. Let's try a few variations. Here's our first interval option:



Part 1 - Harmony 1

Michael: I should point out that the intervals are played after the first chords are performed in the jam track. Here's the interval pattern this section.



Michael: The layering of these intervals sound very cool, try playing around with the other notes of the pattern I just gave you and see if you can come up with your own variations. OK, let's try another variation:



Part 1 - Harmony 2

Michael: Here's the pattern used for the intervals.



Michael: Notice how this pattern has a unique sound. The half step between the 9 and 10 frets sound almost flamenco. Let's move to the next part, in this section you fingerpick D, G, Em and A7:



Part 2

Part 2 - Picking

Michael: There are some nice picking patterns in this section. Notice the F# note played after the G to lead into the Em chord. Here's the looping jam track for this section.

Looping Jam Track 2

Michael: Now we are going to focus on the intervals in the last bar. In this section we'll add other intervals as well to play over the main chords. Try playing this variation over the last bar.



Michael: Here's another variation on the intervals you can try as well.



Michael: Here's the entire interval pattern starting with the A7 chord.



Michael: I prefer using the 1st & 2nd fingers when playing the split interval pattern that looks like the Am7 chord. In addition, I prefer using the 2nd & 3rd fingers for the stacked pattern that looks like the A7 chord. You can play around and see what works for you. Now let's jump to the next part. In this section you fingerpick G, C add9, A7 and then ascending intervals based in A.



Part 3

Part 3 - Picking

Michael: Notice how the intervals are split between the 2nd (B) and 5th (A) strings, it's a interesting variation and sounds more like classical to me. There is a nice hammer-on after the G that leads nicely to the Cadd9 chord. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 3

Michael: OK, let's jump into some acoustic solos.



Part 3 - Solo 1

Michael: This solo is based on the G Major Pentatonic pattern, here's the positions used:



Michael: Notice the hammer-on using this pattern, then as the chord shifts in the rhythm track you end up playing a D chord position.



Michael: Now let's try another let, this time using a slide into the interval pattern.



Part 3 - Solo 2

Michael: Now a lot of these intervals might remind you of the song Brown Eye Girl by Van Morrison as well. Here's the last chord progression.



Part 4

Michael: This rhythm is basically like the one I just gave you. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 4

Teacher1: Here's another lick using the techniques we used earlier as well.



Michael: Well thanks everybody and look forward to seeing you at the next lesson! Bye!

bart: bye

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