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Michael Johnson >> Folk Guitar Legends >>
Lesson Subject: Folk Guitar Legends
What you learn: Cat Stevens Style
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael: Hello class! This lesson will cover the 2nd installment in our series on Acoustic Folk Guitar Legends. This lesson will feature the style of Cat Stevens! Cat Stevens made a big impact on the folk guitar scene during the '60s & '70s, with his distinctive fingerpicking and beautiful chord work. In this lesson we will cover more chords, intervals and fingerpicking patterns. Check out the lesson sample on what you will learn:

Lesson Sample

Michael: The intro of the lesson sample starts with playing various chord intervals, let's get started!

Part 1

Michael: This section starts with a C major chord and then climbs the neck using Maj. 3rd and Min 3rd intervals that are related to C Major. There is an actual pattern you can practice to get use to this riff. Here's the pattern:

Michael: Here's the jam track for part 1:

Looping Jam Track 1

Michael: Intervals like this are used often in classical. Notice how that the 3rd string (G) drones throughout the various chords. The thumb is used on the 5th string (A), while you use the 1st & 2nd fingers to play the higher notes. Let's jump to part 2. This section uses a fingerpicking pattern on the D, Asus4, & A chords:

Part 2

Michael: You basically start by holding down a D chord and reach with your little finger to play the higher notes and then jump to the Asus4 and A. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 2

Michael: Reaching for the 5th fret (1st string) with your 4th finger while holding down the D chord can be a challenge. There is a second guitar track playing a chord riff on the 10th fret. Here's the notation for this track:

Part 2b

Michael: Now you can change the chords to play along with the first part. Here's the new part:

Part 3

Michael: Notice the chord changes verses the last section, you start with the same chords, but switch to G. Notice how the bass notes and picking change as well. Here's the jam track for this section:

Looping Jam Track 3

Michael: OK, let's try another section. This next part has a different groove. You basically are playing chords and jumping to a 4th interval chord. Here's the next part:

Part 4

Michael: Now if you were to play the root notes only of these chords you would get a pattern like this:

Michael: Of course I used the A and D notes for the root notes on the open strings A (5th) and D (4th) in the chords I sent you earlier. Remember there are redundant notes (unison) all over the neck. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 4

Michael: OK, let's jump to the next part. This section fingerpicks chords like C, Dm, G and then plays a scale run in between the chords:

Part 5

Michael: The first scale is in G Mixolydian, then jumping to the F, G, C. Then you ascend the G Mixolydian towards the end. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 5

Michael: Now you might notice the guitar track that plays a harmony to the main track. Here's the notation:

Part 5 - Harmony

Michael: See you next lesson everybody!

msg: thanks much fun!

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