Chord Confidence Part 1 - Beginner Guitar is tailored for the new student, the not so new student (knows a few chords), or "stalled musician" (a person whose playing levels off because they don't know what to do next). What has taken me more than 3 decades to learn, I have distilled into easy to digest lessons (Chord Confidence also has Parts 2 and 3).
Beginning with the very simplest building block - the single note - I teach chords in a very practical way. In the course, you will learn 12 in all - major and minor chords. By the use of my unique teaching style and GIANT GUITAR, I teach you how to avoid the pitfall of playing almost entirely by memory - the result of this for the new guitarist is confusion and complexity - which can lead someone to become a stalled musician. I show you how to avoid excessive "memory" playing by teaching you patterns, connections, and associations - one of the secrets of "effortless" guitar playing.
Also included is tuning, strumming patterns, and ways to appropriately engage your memory - incorporating my motto: MAKE MEMORY A TOOL , NOT THE RULE. If you believe your MUSIC FOUNDATION should be solid, strong, with a wide base, and your goal is to one day be a guitar player that can play "effortlessly", then Chord Confidence is for you!
How does someone become an "effortless" guitar player? Is that your goal as a guitarist? This is the highest performance level that someone can reach musically. The one sure way to NOT BE EFFORTLESS is to play everything you know by memory (did you ever use a computer whose memory was full?)! Let me teach you how to - think right - to play right. I will teach you patterns, associations and connections - so that your thoughts are organized, allowing you to become an "effortless" player!
What are the main parts of the guitar? I briefly go through the parts; I then give framework for the course to "get us on the same page" - names of strings, how to hold the pick, types of picks, very basic strumming, very basic music terms, some exercises that the student can expect, and a brief description of the 3 chord progression.
The G Chord is one of the most widely used chords; in this lesson, I begin with the most basic - the note - the building block of music. I teach you how to make the G chord and give you instruction for finger placement and how to make the chord sound clear.
Tuning is your first opportunity to give your audience SOLID SOUND QUALITY! In this instruction, I summarize the introduction of the technology of the electronic tuner. I also illustrate how though they come in different shapes and sizes, but fundamentally operate the same way. I teach you the difference between a guitar that needs only minimal tuning, and then show you ways to tune a guitar that's badly out of tune.
I start with a review of the last lesson. On the GIANT GUITAR, I teach finger placement for the C and D chords. I then have the students to add the G chord for the first 3 chord progression that I teach (one of five). I give memory tips and visual strategies to remember all 3 chords. I also show teach switching from one to the other.
I chose Amazing Grace as a first song because of the chord simplicity and organization - perfect for the beginner guitarist learning to switch chords. I also include a "surprise chord" in the song - a chord that's very easy to incorporate at this level, and is also a teaching tool. The key of G is suited more for a higher singing voice. When we learn several 3 chord progressions, we have a choice of different keys to sing in - one comfortable for us!
After a review of the previous lesson, I teach the A chord - A is for apple; the A chord is very crowded, kind of like the "Big Apple" - New York City. I am able to teach the second 3 chord progression, because the students have already learned the other 2 chords in this 3 chord progression.
I lead you through Amazing Grace in the key of D. This key is suited more for a lower voice, more than the key of G that we played earlier. Playing more than one 3 chord progression gives us options of ranges to sing in!
After a review of the previous lesson, I teach the E chord, and then the A-D-E 3 chord progression. The students are taught to do exercises: play single notes for 'pick practice', to play and switch chords in the 3 chord progressions that they've learned.
I teach that strumming has two components: 1) it provides vibration to make notes (made by the left hand) audible, and 2) incorporates rhythm in the playing of the guitar. The student learns 3 different strumming patterns in this lesson. The first two share the same tempo (straight time and double time), but vary in activity, so the guitar learner has the opportunity to develop timing - an important element of a healthy musician.
I review the previous lesson, and teach the B7 chord; this chord is taught because the B chord is a barre chord - not suitable to teach a beginner because of the amount of finger strength required to play it. The B7 chord sounds a little different than a regular major chord, and you have to use your pinky to play it - our first chord that uses four fingers to play it! I also prepare the student to begin preparing for the F chord, as it requires that the guitar player press two strings down with one finger!
After a review of the previous lesson, on the GIANT GUITAR, I teach a modified F chord, leading into our final 3 chord progression. I give two versions of the F chord, the first which has a 'less difficulty' factor. This takes into consideration the beginner that requires more time to play the more difficult chord.
Did you know that each major chord has a minor chord that "shadows" it? In this lesson, I teach the relationship between the major chords and the minor chords. Move a finger or two (in a major chord), and create a minor chord!
After a review of the previous lesson, I teach the minor chords for the chords of G, C, and F on the GIANT GUITAR. I also show observable patterns and connections on the fretboard to reduce our memory work - the killer of the "effortless" player.
After a review of the last lesson, I complete minor chords by teaching the student the minor chords of D and A. On the GIANT GUITAR, I show the pattern to creating a minor chord from the major chord that it's associated with. When a student learns this, he or she can easily grasp which minor is related to what major chord.
I use the wrap up to encourage the student to follow through with what they have learned in Chord Confidence Part 1 - to complete a solid foundation for their playing career. I speak of Chord Confidence Part 2, which continues a guitar player's learning. In it, I teach harmony - the building block of music. If a musician can understand harmony, he or she can understand music, and their instrument!
I began playing drums when I was 8 years old, following in the footsteps of my older brother. At age 15, I concluded that I would like to be able to move around when playing music – (rather than being behind drums), so I began to play acoustic guitar. During this time, I developed a classical guitar style method (along with reading music), and worked heavily on picking patterns. When I was 18 years old, some friends and I formed a band - we had 3 guitar players (and no bass player, or anyone who would move to bass), so I decided to ‘take one for the band’, and move to bass guitar.
At 21, I had an opportunity to go on the road (as the band's bass player). We were signed with a label from Orange County, California, and traveled to many states in this great nation. During our 3 years of touring – we played on the same stage as Dove award winners, grammy award nominees, and a grammy award winner.
Later, I also learned to play keyboard. I have done studio work on multiple occasions and recorded two solo projects; (on YouTube videos, I will sometimes play a small part of my original acoustic pieces. I also incorporate my music in my Chord Confidence Series).
I live in Cajun Country Louisiana with my precious and beautiful wife, Maria, and our two dogs.