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Teacher: Welcome class to the lesson on
Contemporary Folk Legends. This lesson features the style of Ani DiFranco, who
is a very skilled acoustic player. Ani's style is very rhythmic and uses some
very unusual chords while playing a bass pattern over the chords. Some of these
parts will be challenging for some of you. Check out the lesson sample of some
of the rhythm patterns you'll learn.
Lesson Sample - Lowband - 1.2 Meg
Lesson Sample - Highband - 3.3 Meg
Teacher: Let's jump
right into the first part. This first rhythm uses a melodic bass line and the
playing a rhythmic pattern on the higher strings.
This pattern starts off with bass notes that use the A Minor scale and then
plays a rhythmic pattern using a unison E. You play the unison E by holding your
4th finger on the 5th fret/2nd string and playing the open E (1st string) at the
same time. Notice you play related notes to the A Minor on the 6th string as
well. The A Minor scale has A, B, C, D, E, F & G. Here's a jam
Track 1 - Lowband
Playing both parts is tricky. Make sure the 4th finger is anchored on the 5th
fret/2nd string the whole time. The next part will change the rhythm pattern,
but will use the unison E as well. Here's the next part.
In this section you start with an ascending run on the 5th string using the A
Minor scale. Notice you play the unison E for the 1st 4 bars and then change
the intervals as you progress higher on the neck. The intervals are all relative
to the A Minor. Here's the jam track.
Looping Jam Track 2 - Lowband
Most of the higher intervals are polytonal, which mean they share relative
notes. This includes using open strings as well. Let's jump to more of a
This riff uses the E Minor scale. Notice the quarter-step bend on the 2nd
fret/6th string. Next you have a hammer-on on the 4th string 2nd to 4th fret,
and then playing the 2nd fret/3rd string. You end the phrase by playing a C add9
chord. The next part fits with the previous part. Here's the
This phrase uses the same ascending bass note and unison note theme you played
earlier. This time you use the unison B on the 4th fret/3 rd string and open
2nd string. Here's a jam track that has parts 3 and 4.
Track 3 & 4 - Lowband
Playing both parts has a very cool groove to it. You can also have bass lines
that play over a chord as well. In this example you play a bass line over a G
chord. Here's the next part.
This part can be a challenge! Notice you barre the 1st finger on the 3rd
fret/1st and 2nd string while you play the bass notes. In bar 3 you shift
your 3rd finger to barre the 3rd fret/1st and 2nd string to allow your other
fingers to play the bass notes in the lower position. This will take some time
to practice and you might notice that you need to stretch your hand as well for
the first few bars. Here's the jam track.
Track 5 - Lowband
Ani's style sound a lot like Dave Matthews at times if you haven't
noticed. But she is different in many ways as well. This next part uses the Am
again. This time you will hold the 3rd and 4th strings on the 5th fret.
The main interval is an A Min9 (b3, b7 and 9). This has a very dissonant sound.
Notice how the bass notes use the relative Am scale as well. Reaching the F
and holding the 5th fret will be quite a stretch. Here's the jam
Track 6 - Lowband
This next part will use the lower fret positions using a different interval in
This rhythm has a very dark sound. You still use the related bass notes to the
Am, but this time you use a different interval, in this case you a variation on
the Min9 which has a b3, 5 and 9 note. The last few bars add a b6 to the
interval. Here's the jam track.
Looping Jam Track 7 - Lowband
This last section uses the Gm with a bass line.
You play the bass note and then rake the Gm on the 3rd fret/1st-3rd strings and
then hammer-on to a 9 note. The other bass notes are all relative to the G
scale. Here's the jam track.
Looping Jam Track 8 - Lowband
Well this concludes the lesson. I hope your fingers aren't to sore. This lesson
has some interesting rhythms and chords.
James: Thanks teach and see you next
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