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|Michael Johnson >> Folk Guitar Legends >>
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|Lesson Subject: Folk Guitar Legends
|What you learn:
Joni Mitchell Style|
|Michael: Michael Johnson|
Michael: Hello class, our interactive lesson is
on the style of Joni Mitchell. Joni has to be one of the most respected women
musicians in popular music, she has literally played with most of the top
musicians in the industry. Joni uses some very interesting fingerpicking
patterns, chord combinations and even open tunings, however we will use standard
tuning for the lesson. Check out the
lesson sample of what you learn in this lesson:
start with the intro lick:
Part 1 -
Michael: Our first
lick starts with a descending arpeggio run using E Maj. Notice how you pick the
2nd string (B) hammering from 4th to 5th fret, and using the thumb to play the
open 5th string (A) at the same time. The 5th string rings while you play the
descending and then ascending arpeggio.
dave: Is the second 4th
Michael: Good question Dave, I am
actually using my fingers and thumb to play each chord, I'm kind of clawing the
strings, but you can pick the strings as well.
Let's jump to the chord section
Michael: Notice the
"Min7" chords towards the end of the phrase, it's better to fingerpick the notes
so you can avoid playing the 5th string (A), you can mute the string with the
thumb as well. Notice how you barre the 4th, 3rd, 2nd strings with the 1st
finger and the thumb wraps around the neck to play the note on the 6th
string. Here's the jam track:
Looping Jam track 1
Michael: You might
notice the Minor 7th chords have kind of a jazzy feel. One note I would like to make about Joni Mitchell's style is she uses a lot of
open tunings, many of them are not regular open tunings as well. Joni uses a
Roland VG-8 guitar system live, you can preset as many custom tunings you like
and play standard chord fingerings and the guitar will be transposed to the
desired open tuning. Let's continue to the next section:
I really like the E chord and how it moves to the E with a 6 & 9 in the
chord. You might notice we're playing the Minor 7th chords again, but this time
you have a different fingering due to allowing the 1st (E) & 2nd (B) strings
to ring open after playing each of the Minor 7th chords. Also notice how
you play the C# and B chord with the 2nd string (B) droning open. Here's the jam
Joni would often utilize using open drone notes whenever possible, the open
strings ring out much nicer than fretted notes. In our next section we will
get into more open strings that drone, here's the next
You are actually using the A Dorian pattern on the 3rd string (G) while playing
a drone 4th string (D) over each note until you get towards the end of the
phrase and pick the D chord. Here's the jam track:
Looping Jam Track 3
Here's the correct jam track. This brings us to the next section where you play
standard D chord fingerings higher in the upper fret
Michael: In this
segment you might notice the D chord fingering shapes I mentioned earlier. You
simply start with D, move the fingering to the 7th fret position and then the Dm
fingering on the 10th fret. Then you play the D fingering on the 9th
fret. You then play the D sus4 fingering and then slide the D fingering to
the 7th fret again. Here's the jam
In our next section we will use more sus4 chords.
You might notice how you use the "sus" chord fingering on the 5th fret and then
lifting the 4th finger to play the F chord fingering at the same position. This
is basically an A chord and various related voicings. You shift the hand to the
3rd fret position and repeat the fingering pattern. After that you play the D
chord with the F#, and A bass notes. Here's the jam
In our next section we will use more chords, but this time with the drone notes
on the 4th string D.
You use the perfect 4th to Maj 3rd intervals along with the open 4th string (D)
for the beginning 3 bars.
troy: The perfect 4th to Maj 3rd intervals are what's
happening on the 2nd string?
Troy, yes, that is correct. The picking thumb with play the open 4th
string (D). you then play the 5th, to b5, Maj 3rd intervals in the 4th bar and
resolve with the D chord. Here's the jam track.
Well that's it for our lesson. I'll see you next lesson!
Thank you that was great
Michael: Thanks, bye!
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