With the great success of the new John Butler Trio Album (Review) , I thought it would be a good idea to poat about his old tune called Zebra, the tune that first put him on the musical map commercially. One thing about John Butler’s music that sets him apart from many other players his his ability to appeal to the alternative rock audiebces as well as the commercial market and the roots and blues audience. His concerts are currently selling out pretty fast in Europe.
Voodoo Chile on Acoustic Guitar by Jimi Hendrix, played by Tony Hogan.
For a couple of years I’ve promoted a few hundred other guitar players on my Acoustic Guitar blog sites of all different standards and styles, some famous and some unknown. So I thought it was time to show something of myself, as I am not an online music journalist or promoter, I am someone who loves the guitar and am also a musician who likes to share information about the acoustic guitar. I also added John Martyn’s “Don’t Want to Know About Evil” at the end of it.
This recording was done in a small hall with about 100 people in Northern NSW Australia, not far from Byron Bay. I had barely sung for ten years due to the death of my oldest son Joshua because I felt extremely vulnerable at the idea of performing and singing. So I thought it fitting to play this song Voodoo Chile for him and also the many other Australian teenagers who suicide each year. I hope that all the young people out there can have happy healthy lives and we can help create a safe environment for them to grow into beautiful adult human beings.
Peace and good wishes to all
Anyone who was alive, conscious and listening to music in the early seventies would have been aware of the British band called Yes with Steve Howe on guitar. Yes were very experimental in their style and were up there at the time with Pink Floyd, Wishbone Ash, Genisis, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake and Palmer, all pushing out the boundaries of rock music. Steve Howe was and still is a very popular guitar player. Although he wasn’t a classically trained guitar player, he managed to draw from that style. In Mood for a Day you’ll hear a few Bach quotes (woof woof, sorry but it’s Christmas and as a non drinker it’s my chance at carrying on stupid.) I was fortunate to see Yes live in about 73 or 74, very memorable concert.
Enjoy this youtbe video of Steve Howe guitar player from Yes.
Acoustic Guitar Player Tony Hogan
Here’s another great youtube by Canadian guitar player Antoine Dufour. He has one of the smoothest left hand fretting techniques I’ve seen in a long time. Great harmonics and artificial harmonics, as well as a sensible taping technique, he keeps it musical.
To hear another Antoine Dufour Youtube click here Antoine Dufour
Tony Hogan Acoustic Guitar Site
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.
Guitar warm up exercises can be extremely annoying if you approach them from the wrong angle, with the wrong attitude. And when it comes to wanting to achieve anything, attitude is everything.
I have uploaded a guitar scale / exercise that is very useful if you need to warm up quicklly before performing or if you are just starting out, it’s good for strengthening the fingers and getting comfortable with the fretboard.
Most players have a lot of trouble using their 3rd and fourth fingers (ring and pinky) when they start out. In fact, even some great players don’t or didn’t use their pinky. Leslie West, the truly brilliant sounding electric guitarist that played with Mountain in the seventies didn’t use his pinky, and I read in a guitar mag a few years back that he had regretted it. Regardless of his feelings, I and many others are quite satisied with his Nantucket Sleigh Ride. Also, I was shocked to see Santana in the seventies play and barely use his pinky.
But, using all the fingers available on the fretting hand is a good idea.
In the exercise: play the open string. then first fret, second fret, third fret, 4th fret and then move to the next string and repeat the sequence. You’ll notice that when you hit the 3rd string, you’ll only need to play open, one, two and three. And then return to the previous sequence for the final string.
The secret to playing this exercise PROPERLY, is by holding down the PREVIOUS finger as long as possible.
Once you go up the neck, then play it backwards, work back down. Where a lot of players go wrong is they try and play too fast too soon and don’t worry so much about clarity and timing
Most important RELAX your hand
To download the printable version How to practice guitar warm ups
for more exercises go the the-guitar.net
I find that different times of day are suited for playing certain things. Over the years I’ve noticed if I get up early and start playing, it’s a very good time to practice things like slow exercises, reading very simple fingerstyle/classical guitar pieces. By doing this it sets me up for the rest of the day to play other things musically. By playing simple material it enables me to play with greater feeling because I don’t have to think so much about technique aand if the material is good and musical sounding it puts me into a calm mood. When players are relaxed they play their best. If I start with complex material it can create a feeling of frustration, I consider very important to feel good about practicing and not feel like I’m a workhorse with a goal that I may never reach.
Once I’m comfortable I’ll eventually start working through more complex or new material. Because I have already got some satisfaction back from the music, I don’t feel so bad if the new material isn’t quite as good as I want it to be or if I’m not feeling as if I can’t play the more complex music to the standard I had hoped for.
As the sun goes down I like to sit outside on the balcony and play ten or so instrumentals and sing for a while, I’ll often do this til the mozzies get to the point where I notice them. I find it very important to play outside whee there’s trees, and from where I sit I can see hills and small mountains, usually a lot of birds singing.
My favourite time to play is about nine thirty at night, the world is starting to be quiter then , the air seems better acoustically and because my fingers have done some music throughout the day the music is very alive. I also find this time of day and later is the most suitable for recording, the world is much more sensitive at these hours and it’s easy to become lost in the music.
When I used to work more live, I found it difficult to get up early and play because the playing late leaves you in a very different emotional state.
To sum this up, it’s the ability to create the right mood to do music that is the most important thing. If we get it wrong and not happy and get frustrated, it’s easy to lose interest, this is a very important thing to consider. It’s not just about picking up an instrument and playing, it’s about creating the necessary environment to get something back for the time we are putting in.
I’m wondering what other players do. Why not leave a comment?