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Michael Johnson >> Folk Guitar Legends >>
Lesson Subject: Folk Guitar Legends
What you learn: Simon & Garfunkel Style
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael: Hello class, this interactive lesson features the guitar style of Simon & Garfunkel. These two composers have an incredible talent for layering acoustic picking patterns, chord inversions and using counter melodies. In this lesson we will cover some of their techniques. Check out the lesson sample of what you will learn:

Lesson Sample

Michael: Let's jump to out first picking pattern.

Part 1

Part 1 - Picking

Check out the finger picking pattern in the video. You might notice that we use all "sus2" chords, we're actually using the the higher 3 notes of the chord (1st - E, 2nd - B & 3rd - G strings) to play this pattern. Here's a jam track for the last section.

Looping Jam Track 1

Michael: Now you can add other chords to layer this rhythm and build intensity. Here's the next chords.

Part 2

Part 2 - Picking

Michael: We are using the same base chord structure, but alternating the voicing on each chord and the picking pattern.  Here's the jam track with both parts.

Looping Jam Track 2

Michael: Notice how the open strings create a dissonant sound when both parts are played simultaneously, especially when you go to the C. OK, let's try another section.

Part 3

Part 3 - Picking

Michael: Now this section has some very nice voicings, picking patterns and melodies to tie this section together. We basically start the E chord with open relative notes ringing and then move to the G, D and back to E. The G and D have a very nice sound, featuring the 1, 3, 5 notes, instead of most barre chords where 1, 5, 1 are at the top of the chord. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 3

Michael: Now you might have to practice the chord changes on the G and D because the 4th finger is on the root for each chord, this fingering is a little uncommon. Try fretting the chords without picking a few times and then add the picking. Let's jump to our next section.

Part 4

Part 4 - Picking

Michael: This section features a series of descending intervals and then resolving on the Gsus4 and G chords. The picking pattern 1st (E) & 4th ((D) strings and then playing the 2nd open string (B) sounds cool as you descend using the intervals. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 4

Michael: The picking pattern also gives the phrase more of a lively feel. Here's our next section. In this section we add a harmony on top of the last section.

Part 5

Michael: Both parts layer nicely, you're basically using the same type of intervals, only higher up. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 5

Michael: Our next section uses kind of a modified "cowboy" rhythm pattern. In a lot of country music the guitar will have a "bouncing" bass notes playing over the rhythm.

Part 6

Part 6 - Picking

Michael: Notice how you barre the chord while the 1st finger shifts to play two different bass notes. This bass & picking pattern is repeated throughout this section. Here's the jam track.

Looping Jam Track 6

Michael: You might also notice how the bass note patterns sometimes shift, depending on the chord played. Let's try the last part. In this section you play notes that create a melody over a D chord.

Part 7

Michael: This part sounds kind of like a Folk Irish jig. Very lively, notice how you hold the main D chord down with the 2nd and 3rd fingers while the 1st and 4th fingers adjust to play the melody on top of the chord.

Michael: Here's the jam track.

Looping Jam Track 7

Michael: The picking is interesting, you pick the melody notes and jump to strum the higher chord notes to fill up the sound. Well time to go, hope to see you at the next lesson!

bluesguitarmp3: good job teach, your the best

bart: great!

Michael: thanks! bye

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