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Michael Johnson >> Folk Guitar Legends >>
Lesson Subject: Folk Guitar Legends
What you learn: Gordon Lightfoot Style
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael: Great to see you all, this lesson covers more on our series of Acoustic Folk Guitar Legends! This interactive lesson is by special request featuring the guitar style of Gordon Lightfoot. Gordon Lightfoot was a folk legend out of the 60s and 70s. In this lesson you will learn how to apply chords, fingerpicking, and solos on the acoustic. Check out the lesson sample of what you will learn in this lesson:

Lesson Sample

Michael: Our first section will use a chord strumming pattern starting with Asus2:

Michael: The chords and strum pattern is pretty basic, you start with the Asus2, E, G and back to Asus2.

bart: What does sus2 mean?

Michael: Yes, "sus" means "suspended." Here's the jam track for the part:

Looping Jam Track 1

Michael: In the key of G you have: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#. The chords used will be the I, III & V, which are G, B D. This means you can use the B (open) or D (3rd fret) on the 2nd string. Let's jump to the solo you play over this rhythm track:

Part 1 - Solo

Michael: Notice you pick the 1st (E) and 2nd (B) strings at the same time, here's a video of the picking technique.

Part 1 - Solo - Picking

Michael: In this picking example I use my thumb and finger to pick. You can also use the pick as well. Here's the jam track for the part:

Looping Jam Track 1b

Michael: Now we are using the B Dorian for this solo, here's the scale pattern with the single notes on the B string and then the drone E string added:

Michael: Now you can also try a picking and bending exercise as well, to help develop your technique, try this example:

Part 1 - Bending Exercise

Michael: You vary between bending a whole or half-step depending on the position you play in the scale. OK, let's jump to the next part. In this section you will fingerpick the Asus2 and then add the G.

Part 2

Michael: Notice how you position your fingering for this chord. You use the 1st & 2nd fingers on the 2nd fret, and then you are able to use the 3rd finger on the 3rd fret/6th string. The picking video will give you a better idea on the picking technique.  Here's the jam track for this section, next we will play a solo over the rhythm:

Looping Jam Track 2

Michael: Now you can play a solo over this section as well:

Part 2 - Solo

Michael: The scale you use for this solo is the A Mixolydian. Here's what the scale pattern looks like:

Michael: Notice you have A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G in this pattern, also notice the mellow effect this scale has when played over this rhythm pattern. Let's jump to the next section. For this part you play a D chord and use a descending bass pattern over the chord.

Part 3

Michael: Your finger position is very important in playing a sequence of chords like this. You want to minimize your hand movement when playing the chords and focus on the picking technique. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 3

Michael: OK, let's try the solo over this section:

Part 3 - Solo

Michael: This solo is based on the D major scale pattern, it's very melodic and easy to play, here's the scale:

Michael: You can practice playing the scale over the jam track as well. Once you get the pattern down, try jamming on your own. Our next section will go back to using the Asus2 with a descending bass line, here's the next part.

Part 4 - Chords

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

Looping Jam Track 4

Michael: Now you might notice the chords with a melody played over the chords. The melody is a sequence of Maj and Min intervals, here's the first set of intervals.

Michael: Now you can add a counter melody using the same type of intervals.

parkerflyerguy: excellent, thanks very much

Michael: Thanks everybody, see you next lesson!

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