** As featured in issue 9 **
An important step to mastering some of the progressive acoustic guitar techniques is to apply them in compositions and also learning pieces which incorporate them. I personally never learned any songs by other artists to apply these guitar techniques that way but in retrospect it would have made things easier.
It was always a fascination of mine to express myself in whatever way possible. This approach has helped me to reach new levels with the guitar and to always push myself into greater understanding of the instrument. It is essential to have a similar philosophy on creating to make the listener feel what the composer feels. The listener trusts the composer to take them on a musical journey and back. This example is the chorus of my song Cold Arrival, one of my first compositions that incorporated all these progressive acoustic guitar techniques. There are a lot of things going on with both hands, so it’s necessary to practice this bar by bar. Once you have one bar down it is pretty much the same rhythm moved down two frets.
The tricky part is doing hammer-ons / pull-offs with both hands which can get confusing but just remember to take it slow at first.
We also have a pretty simple progression that’s going on here. In example 2 we have a four bar chorus. More or less we have Em, D, C, D. So we can see how interesting it can sound in playing example 1 when we incorporate these techniques into it. With some conscious effort you’ll get this to sound good in no time. Make sure to use a metronome to keep your beat, I always tap my foot with it as well, since in a live setting I won’t be having a metronome to save me. Keep experimenting and find your voice!