Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, MUSIC, youtube

Eric Bibb – Blues Guitar – youTube

Eric Bibb plays a mix of Blues Folk gospel acoustic guitar.  If you haven’t heard him play I highly recommend you have a listen.  His guitar playing is very smooth, in fact he’s one of those players who plays just what’s needed, he doesn’t over play.  Eric has a  very good voice that  works beautifully with his guitar playing.  This song ‘In my Fathers House’ has a very strong rhythmical fingerstyle picking part. 

A few months back I woke up one Sunday morning and had a techie problem witha web site, I spent a few hours trying to sort it.  After this period of time I decided to call it quits for the day, by this time I was very frustrated.  I wandered downtstairs, put on Eric Bibbs Diamond Days album.  Within a few minutes of listening, I found myself in great spirits.

Eric Bibb - Diamond Days

Here is the link to his website. ERIC BIBB OFFICIAL SITE

Have a listen to the Eric Bibb – In my Fathers House youTube Video


Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, Busking, MUSIC, Performance Tips

Diversity in Your Set List = a Good Gig

Have you ever been to see someone play music and it seemed like they’ve played what sounded like almost the  same song all night?  Sound familiar?

So how to get around this? If you are new to performing you may not even realize that you are doing something a bit like that.  As many players want to get out of the practice room and into the public arena, it’s worthwhile thinking about the songs that you play, not just whether you like them but whether there;’s a good balance in what you do. 

Now ladies and gentleman, here’s blues ballad number  Seventy Three for the evening. 

No matter how good you are, or think you are, boring is boring.  So here’s a few ideas to get you thinking clearly.

  • Look at what Keys your songs are. Are most of them in the same key?
  • Do you play too many ballads?  I love ballads but too many kills the energy of what you are doing, they need to be played at the right time, they have more impact if you place them correctly in the set list
  • Are all your songs 4/4 time?  Break them up with a few 3/4 ‘s and 6/8’s
  • Do all your songs have the same type of chords, mainly majors, or mainly 7th’s if you are doing blues?
  • Have you fashioned yourself on another band or player and do too much of their material?
  • Do you only do originals?  I love original music but if you add the odd familiar song it can add a little familiarity for new listeners to you gig.
  • Do you do straight covers?  I think it’s good to turn a tune inside out and make it your own
  • Is your song list predictable?  Why not throw an odd song in here and there?
  • Are all your songs the same mood?  People like top go through different emotions.  Make the audience laugh and cry?
  • Do you communicate with the audience? You could always play the whole gig with them shut.
  • Do you try and show off in every song just how brilliant you are? Don’t play everything you know in one song. Space it out a bit and add the element of surprise.
  • Do you play with the same instrument all night? Swap instruments, maybe some nylon string, 12 string etc, Even mandolin is nice.  I play a Balalaika ever now and then, people call it falafel music and the girls start bellydancing… this IS cool
  • Do you only play fingerstyle picking?  Play some rhythmic stuff and some plectrum guitar if possible.

If you have given it your best shot, tried your best and followed the above, if people aren’t happy at the end of this…they may never be happy and this is not your problem.

OK, when I sat down at my computer I had planned to post about something else but we ended up with this and it’s vvery useful…you don’t necessarily have to follow the above but at least it will get you thinking.

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An interesting thing I’ve found out is very few players that have responded to my survey subscribe to guitar magazines.  Maybe it’s the thrill of finding it in the news stand

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Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

Scott Nygaard – A Great Player

I first became aware of the Scott Nygaard on a Tim O’brien album and then gradually started to see his name appear in acoustic Guitar magazine, a magazine that I consider to be essential reading for acoustic guitar players.

This is a good tutorial.  Scott is a very good player, if you want to hear him in full flight, check out the song Senor on the Tim O’brien album. In full flight he’s as good as anybody and has a very clear tone. In this tute he’s using a small bodied guitar. What I highly recommend is that you learn the fretboard properly, this is a prerequisite for learning and playing properly.


Alternating picking = down up down up picking
Circle of 5ths = E to A to d to D to G to C etc
Arpeggio = a chord broken up and each note played individually,
Pentatonic = 5 note scale,
Chromatic = one step (note) up or down
3rds = the 3rd note of a scale C D E F G A B C, in this case E

I originally was looking for a Scott Nygaard youtube to write about because I like his playing and felt that it would be to guitar players benefit to hear him and I found this tutorial. For more information about Scott Nygaard go to Scott Nygaard you will find information about his projects and albums there.

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, MUSIC, open tuning, World Music

Harry Manx Blues and Indian guitar

For years now I’ve been a lover of both Indian music and the blues.  Due to my studies with the Sarod player Ashok Roy I have played quite a few instrumentals in open tuning, I used to use the tuning B, F# , B , F#, B and E  working from the Bass up, the bottom end of the guitar was tuned quite low.  I found it very interesting playing in this tuning.  My teacher used to sing the parts to me, I’d sing them back, then I’d transcribe it in the Indian notation and then play it back. 

I first heard of Harry Manx a few years ago when he toured my local area.  What I like about he is he has bridged the gap between Western and Indian music quite well.  he plays the Mohan Vina, an instrument played by the musician Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.  The vina is a traditional Indian instrument in a similar vain to the sitar.  I feel it is important to see what some of the musicians are doing that are playing a little outside the norm because when we hear new things they can create new possiblilities for other players.  I’ve linked to two youtube videos of Harry Manx the Canadian player, one is blues slide and the other a mix of Indian and blues.

Can’t be Satisfied

How comfortable does he look playing?

The aim of this blog site is to inspire guitar players.


Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, blues, learning guitar

Simple Blues in G for Guitar

Early today I was writing a Blues Variation Scale for my other guitar blog and I thought it would be a good idea to write a very simple Blues In G for Acoustic Guitar because the other blues I wrote was more of a scale variation than a song.  My humour got the better of me when I went to name it and I could help calling it ‘G String Blues’ .  This blues doesn’t use any full chords but uses parts of chords.  I find this way of playing chords can open up a guitarists playing.  It’s built around a standard Minir Blues scale that consists of the notes G, B flat, C , D flat, D, F, G, it deviates out of that on a couple of occassions over the C7 chord and also over the D7 chord. This way the chords are ‘IMPLIED’ , not actually played but hinted at, this helps create a little tension and release.

For those that aren’t readers of music dots, don’t be too concerned, just note that the first chord of the G7 bar is held for one whole beat and from then they are half beats.  e.g. count 1    2 and 3 and 4 and.

As I have stated, this is a simple blues but it can be built upon and would make a very nice jazz blues, try to vary the melody a little once you get it in time. 

Simple G Blues
To download a printable version, click on the link g_string_blues3

Posted in acoustic, MUSIC

Sixties Songs Small Faces Itchycoo Park

The Small Faces sang Itchycoo Park is a classic sixties song. I’ve included in my acoustic guitar blog because I feel it is relevant, ok I’m cheating, I can hear an acoustic guitar in the intro. And really it’s too important to leave out. I just love the chorus and the phasey sound at about 60 seconds and also the call and response both in the verse and chorus.  Enjoy the youtUbe of Itchycoo Park

The band included the very almost famous Steve Marriot, he went on to form Humble Pie the great rock band.


If you find where I can get one of those outfits please let me know.

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, MUSIC, youtube

Yesterday Beatles Paul McCartney

The song yesterday by Paul McCartney is an all time acoustic classic.  It is very melancholy and is one of those songs that if you were around at the time when it was popular would somehow stop you in your tracks and make you think a little seriously.  The youTube video of Yesterday starts of mainly showing Paul mcCartney singer but as the song goes on, the guitar part is shown.  It is a classic song that millions of guitar players have played over the last 40 years.

Enjoy the youTube video of Yesterday


Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, MUSIC, open tuning, youtube

Led Zeppelin Acoustic Guitar

So many of the rock groups of the sixties and seventies are known for their electric music.  At the time and even still I liked the Led Zeppelin 3 album, complete with cover that rotated.  I’ve decided to post their recording of ‘Bron-Yr-Aur-Stomp’.  The acoustic guitar playing of Jimmy Page was definitely influenced by the music of Davy Graham.  There are parts of the song where I’m thinking Bluegrass, in fact I think that one of the music quotes is from Turkey in the Straw. This recording /youTube is from 1975.  Back then it was much harder to use acoustic guitars in a live situation. i love the reintroduction of the rhythm part at about 4.40

Led Zeppelin 3 Cover

The cover of Led Zeppelin 111 album

Enjoy the youTube video of the acoustic guitar song “Bron-Yr-Aur-Stomp’

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, MUSIC, open tuning, youtube

John Martyn – May You Never

One of the great guitar players to come of Scotland is John Martyn, he influenced many acoustic guitar players.  The band America recorded one of his songs ‘Head and Heart’ on their second album.  Also Eric Clapton recorded his tune “May You Never’. 

John Martyn was very influenced by Davy Graham and the late Nick Drake.  Both of these players were his contemporaries and he wrote Solid Air about Nick Drake. 

John Martyn uses a very unusual right hand technique, it is extremely percussive. He uses a number of different open tunings and manages to produce a very BIG sound for a soloist. Note how he uses left hand hammer-ons and pull offs

Enjoy the youtUbe video of John Martyn playing May You Never

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Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, MUSIC, youtube

Jimi Hendrix Acoustic Blues

Jimi Hendrix is primarily known as an Electric Guitar Player, and a brilliant one of that.

I think it’s important to hear guitar players without the electronics, unplugged before being unplugged was fashionable. So here’s a youTube of Jimi Hendrix playing his acoustic blues on 12 string guitar. I’ve loved it since I first heard it in the early seventies and it dfinitely stands the test of time.

Enjoy the Jimi Hendrix acoustic guitar video on youTube

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, MUSIC, youtube

Sixties Hippy Guitar Inspiration – San Francisco

Anyone that was alive in the sixties, and in a conscious (or semi conscious) state would be aware of the impact that the song San Francisco had globally.  Overnight, from one side of the world to the other there were people abandoning shoes, growing hair, mismatching colors, doing peace signs and saying rather peculiar things to each other. 

The song “If you’re going to San Francisco” was one song that influenced numerous people to start playing acoustic guitar, wear sunglasses, look seedy and hang out with other people that had also invested in guitars, bongos and a few books like Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and the Dharma Bums.

Many younger guitarists may never have seen this youTube clip.  If you haven’t, I recommend you make yourself a buckwheat tofu sandwich with sprouts, get a few oatmeal cookies, a peppermint tea, light up the incense and sit back and enjoy this song sung by Scott Mackenzie and written by John Phillips.

Enjoy the Scott MacKenzie youTube video of san Francisco

The Youtube has been disbled but is worth seeing, go to San Francisco

For more interesting videos and very intelligent information that will help you be a better, happier and more brilliant guitarist, drop back here on a regular basis. 

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC

Eleven Basic Tips on Playing Guitar

Most electric guitarists that have grown up playing rock guitar want the volume control to go up to eleven, not ten.

So in keeping with that philosophy I thought I’d write eleven useful tips to help beginners that are learning guitar.

1.  Always make sure your guitar is in tune. An in tune instrument will help you develop a good ear.  Being in tune is easy these days because guitar tunes are cheap and they take the pain out of tuning.

2.  Always relax when you play.  Relax your hands but sit in a position with your spine reasonably straight.

3. Practice somewhere where your mistakes and repetition will not annoy others.

4.  Don’t take criticism to heart.  When you are starting out, people can be a little careless with their comments.

5.  Practice something new each day, whether it be a new chord, a new melody.

6. When you start practicing, start slowly and begin with the easiest things first.

7.  If you start to get frustrated. Take a bit of time out and maybe practice something else.

8. Gradually train your ear to recognise different chord types.  Start with the basic Majors, Minors and Sevenths.

9. Playing in time is better than playing fast.  Eventually you will be able to play very fast.

10. Learn to play different styles. There’s joy to be found in all music genres and you’ll end up a far better musician/guitarist. 

11.  Always finish your practice by playing something that you know reasonably well. It’s important to close your music session and walk away from it in a good state of mind.  If you finish on a half played piece, you may feel a bit uninspired.

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, MUSIC, open tuning, youtube

Michael Hedges – The Great Acoustic Innovator

Many people are not aware of the great guitar player that influenced so many guitar players, Michael Hedges died in a car accident in 1993, he was 43 years old. He played open tuning guitar, what this means to the uninitiate is that the guitar was tuned differently. This guy is unbelievable. Be patient with this, he does his intro tune up and then. Personall I think he reinvented the acoustic guitar. He’s quite young in this video.

Enjoy the Michael Hedges youtube video

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, bluegrass guitar, learning guitar, MUSIC, youtube

Doc Watson – Black Mountain Rag

Doc Watson the blind acoustic bluegrass guitar player is by far one of the greatest players in his style.  What has surprised me a lot over the years, is that many people I have encountered thought he was a black blues player.  I have added this youtube video of Doc Watson because many people haven’t heard him play.  The song Black Mountain Rag is a classic.  For those that are interested in harmony and counterpoint, have alisten to the way the guitars start working together at about 2.27 and also the upping the tempo at about 3.04. 

Brilliant. Doc’s contribution to the development of the acoustic guitar playing has been great, he has influenced many players. I think what has surprised me also is the stiffness of his right arm, slightly unusual

Enjoy the Doc Watson youtube video of Black Mountain Rag

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC, youtube

Russ Barenberg and Jerry Douglas

Russ Barenberg is definetly one of the cleanest sounding acoustic guitar players around.  If you want to help mke your playing smoother, one of the best things to use for developing fluency is to learn a number of old bluegrass tunes.  Although playing scales is useful, learning to play some of the old Irish and Bluegrass tunes is definitely a way to practice, up your technique a little and at the same time it will help you develop an ear for melody as well. Jerry Douglas is by far my most favourite Dobro player.

I will continue to post youtube videos of great acoustic guitar players. I also have some tremendous ones at

Enjoy the Russbarenburg and Jerry Douglas youTube video

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC, youtube

Dan Crary – Flatpicking

Here’s a video of the very brilliant Dan Crary flapicking a medley of songs. I first became aware of Dan Crary about 30 years ago when he used to write for Guitar Player magazine. I have worked in bands where I’ve had to play that second tune of the medley. I never thought of playing it at that speed though.

Awesome technique

Enjoy the Dan Crary youtube video

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC, youtube

Tony Rice – Brilliant Acoustic Guitar Technique

Flawless guitar techniques are things that I have always appreciated. Regardless of style, credit always needs to be given where it’s due. I’ve been listening to Tony Rice the Bluegrass player for almost 30 years now. He’s one of the players that have taken bluegrass into new areas.

It also includes a tutorial where the song is analysed by his brother Wyatt. This is really worth watching. Although the structure is simple there’s plenty in there.

Enjoy the Tony Rice youTube video

Plectrum guitar at its best.