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Play Acoustic Guitar 7: Style Variations

Diversity your acoustic guitar chops with this Acoustic Learning Path core course.
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Overview

Welcome to Play Acoustic Guitar 7: Style Variations for intermediate to late intermediate students of acoustic guitar. This Acoustic Learning Path core course is presented by 4 top TrueFire educators: David Hamburger, Marcy Marxer, Cathy Fink, and Vicki Genfan. The Style Variations curriculum is comprised of select acoustic guitar lessons from the educators' existing TrueFire course libraries.

One of the qualities that attracts all of us to the guitar is the virtually infinite range of styles and techniques that are possible on the instrument. Having a grasp on a wide variety of styles and techniques not only broadens your musicality, it opens the door to many more playing opportunities with other musicians. You'll gain more clarity on the instrument overall and expressing yourself on it will become a richer experience. The video guitar lessons in this core course will diversify your skill set and help take your playing to the next level.

Play Acoustic Guitar 7: Style Variations is organized into 4 sections. In the first section, you'll work on developing swing rhythm guitar chops with Marcy Marxer. Bluegrass rhythm guitar is focused on in the second section presented by Cathy Fink. Three more fingerstyle blues performance studies from David Hamburger await you in Section 3. Vicki wraps up your style adventures in the fourth and final section with 3 open tuning performance studies.

When you ve completed the lessons here in Style Variations, you'll find lessons focused on variations in Grooves & Études, also a Play Acoustic Guitar 7 core course.

The educators demonstrate all of the key examples over jam tracks (where and when applicable) to simulate a real-world application, in a musical context. Key examples are also tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes. Take as much time as you need to work through each video guitar lesson before moving on to the next lesson. If you want to dig deeper or wider into any of the topics covered in this core course, check out the rest of the courses in the Acoustic Learning Path where you'll find more examples, techniques and insight from top TrueFire educators. Grab your guitar and let's get started!

About

Learn how to play guitar with free online guitar lessons and interactive video guitar courses at TrueFire, the world's most comprehensive library of guitar video lessons.
Play Acoustic Guitar 7: Style Variations - Introduction

01: Play Acoustic Guitar 7: Style Variations - Introduction

Welcome to Play Acoustic Guitar 7: Style Variations for intermediate to late Intermediate students of Acoustic guitar. This Acoustic Learning Path core course is presented by 4 top TrueFire educators: David Hamburger, Marcy Marxer, Cathy Fink, and Vicki Genfan.

2 min
Swing Rhythms - SECTION 1: Overview

02: Swing Rhythms - SECTION 1: Overview

As you work through the 4 swing guitar performance studies from Marcy Marxer in this first section, you'll learn the moveable chord voicings, inversions, chord progressions, optimal right and left-hand positions, and variety of requisite techniques you'll need command of to play swing rhythm guitar.

1 min
G Blues Performance - Section 6

03: G Blues Performance - Section 6

G Blues Performance - Section 6 is a video guitar lesson presented by Marcy Marxer and is sourced from Swingin' Rhythm Handbook. Here's a version of the blues progression that is a mix of the chords we've played. Use the chords you like best and make your own version.

2 min
G Blues Breakdown - Section 6

04: G Blues Breakdown - Section 6

G Blues Breakdown - Section 6 is a video guitar lesson presented by Marcy Marxer and is sourced from Swingin' Rhythm Handbook. Practice slowly with me, then slide the positions back one fret or up one fret and see what happens.

2 min
C Blues Performance - Section 6

05: C Blues Performance - Section 6

C Blues Performance - Section 6 is a video guitar lesson presented by Marcy Marxer and is sourced from Swingin' Rhythm Handbook. This is the key of C version of the 12 bar blues using the chord positions we've learned so far.

2 min
C Blues Breakdown - Section 6

06: C Blues Breakdown - Section 6

C Blues Breakdown - Section 6 is a video guitar lesson presented by Marcy Marxer and is sourced from Swingin' Rhythm Handbook. Remember that it's fine to play a barre chord for the F.

2 min
Rhythm in G Performance - Section 6

07: Rhythm in G Performance - Section 6

Rhythm in G Performance - Section 6 is a video guitar lesson presented by Marcy Marxer and is sourced from Swingin' Rhythm Handbook. Rhythm changes are a blast to play. Name the chords as I play them, go to the next lesson and play through it with me.

2 min
Rhythm in G Breakdown - Section 6

08: Rhythm in G Breakdown - Section 6

Rhythm in G Breakdown - Section 6 is a video guitar lesson presented by Marcy Marxer and is sourced from Swingin' Rhythm Handbook. Here's a breakdown of rhythm changes. See the PDF that has a huge number of songs you can play with this classic progression.

1 min
Honeysuckle Rose Performance - Section 6

09: Honeysuckle Rose Performance - Section 6

Honeysuckle Rose Performance - Section 6 is a video guitar lesson presented by Marcy Marxer and is sourced from Swingin' Rhythm Handbook. Scrapple From The Apple uses these exact same chords, too. You'll find elements of Honeysuckle Changes in thousands of songs and tunes.

4 min
Honeysuckle Rose Breakdown - Section 6

10: Honeysuckle Rose Breakdown - Section 6

Honeysuckle Rose Breakdown - Section 6 is a video guitar lesson presented by Marcy Marxer and is sourced from Swingin' Rhythm Handbook. Play through this lesson, then go back to the performance lesson and play along with me.

2 min
Bluegrass Rhythms - SECTION 2: Overview

11: Bluegrass Rhythms - SECTION 2: Overview

Everybody in a bluegrass band has to have great timing, but the rhythm guitar player is the glue that holds it all together. Cathy Fink refines your bluegrass rhythm skills in Section 2 with 6 performance studies and breakdowns.

1 min
Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow - Performance

12: Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow - Performance

Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. "Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow" is usually a speedy song and is found in both bluegrass and old-time music.

2 min
Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow - Breakdown

13: Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow - Breakdown

Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. You can see and hear so many combinations and variations of the basic bass runs here, and you'll probably start creating some of your own.

6 min
Don't Let Your Deal Go Down - Performance

14: Don't Let Your Deal Go Down - Performance

Don't Let Your Deal Go Down - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. This song is an old-time and bluegrass classic, recorded and performed by Sam & Kirk McGee, Doc Watson, Flatt & Scruggs and even the Grateful Dead.

2 min
Don't Let Your Deal Go Down - Breakdown

15: Don't Let Your Deal Go Down - Breakdown

Don't Let Your Deal Go Down - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. I play a very straightforward rhythm on this song, keeping the beat and adding a few slides here and there to spiff it up.

5 min
Rabbit In The Log - Performance

16: Rabbit In The Log - Performance

Rabbit In The Log - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. Also known as "Feast Here Tonight," this song is one of the classic pre-bluegrass duets. I first heard it sung by Bill Monroe and his brother Charlie.

2 min
Rabbit In The Log - Breakdown

17: Rabbit In The Log - Breakdown

Rabbit In The Log - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. My demo here is a very busy rhythm guitar part. Feel free to tone it down, but it's also a fun opportunity to try everything.

9 min
Old Joe Clark - Performance

18: Old Joe Clark - Performance

Old Joe Clark - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. "Old Joe Clark" is another classic fiddle tune that can also be played on other lead instruments. It's a jam session favorite.

2 min
Old Joe Clark - Breakdown

19: Old Joe Clark - Breakdown

Old Joe Clark - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. Bluegrass musicians play "Old Joe Clark" in the key of A and use a G chord in the B part.

3 min
Orange Blossom Special - Performance

20: Orange Blossom Special - Performance

Orange Blossom Special - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. "Orange Blossom Special" is the piece de resistance of the bluegrass fiddler.

2 min
Orange Blossom Special - Breakdown

21: Orange Blossom Special - Breakdown

Orange Blossom Special - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. Though you can add lots of bass runs, the fiddle is so busy that staying simple might be a stronger approach.

6 min
Arkansas Traveler - Performance

22: Arkansas Traveler - Performance

Arkansas Traveler - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. "The Arkansas Traveler" is another classic fiddle tune played in both bluegrass and old-time jam sessions, concerts, and square dances.

2 min
Arkansas Traveler - Breakdown

23: Arkansas Traveler - Breakdown

Arkansas Traveler - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Cathy Fink and is sourced from Bluegrass Rhythm Handbook. The challenge to playing this tune at tempo is the quick chord changes.

4 min
Fingerstyle Blues - SECTION 3: Overview

24: Fingerstyle Blues - SECTION 3: Overview

In this section, David Hamburger is back with even more fingerstyle blues études to flex your fingerstyle skills and stoke up your repertoire with. David performs the études and then breaks them down note-by-note, technique-by-technique.

1 min
Marco Cohen Rides Again - Overview

25: Marco Cohen Rides Again - Overview

Marco Cohen Rides Again - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from Essentials: Fingerstyle Blues. I was first exposed to dropped-D tuning while learning arrangements from Stefan Grossman's Guitar Player column in the late 1970s.

1 min
Marco Cohen Rides Again - Performance

26: Marco Cohen Rides Again - Performance

Marco Cohen Rides Again - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from Essentials: Fingerstyle Blues. One notion that I picked up over time is that you don't always have to finger and play all the notes of a chord, particularly when you're playing fingerstyle.

1 min
Marco Cohen Rides Again - Breakdown

27: Marco Cohen Rides Again - Breakdown

Marco Cohen Rides Again - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from Essentials: Fingerstyle Blues. If you're looking at the notation/tab, it may look like your thumb is being asked to do a lot.

8 min
Jumping To Conclusions - Overview

28: Jumping To Conclusions - Overview

Jumping To Conclusions - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from Essentials: Fingerstyle Blues. Like "Slow Fuse," this tune is a twelve bar blues in the call-and-response vein. This time though, instead of a slow blues, we've got a more uptempo groove.

1 min
Jumping To Conclusions - Performance

29: Jumping To Conclusions - Performance

Jumping To Conclusions - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from Essentials: Fingerstyle Blues. This kind of half-stepping into the chords happens all over the blues, at various tempos.

1 min
Jumping To Conclusions - Breakdown

30: Jumping To Conclusions - Breakdown

Jumping To Conclusions - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from Essentials: Fingerstyle Blues. To help strengthen your feel for both the melody and the groove, try playing through the tune a couple of different ways.

10 min
Kerosene - Lesson

31: Kerosene - Lesson

Kerosene - Lesson is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from New School Fingerstyle. The absolute epitome of the relaxed, late-night groove remains "After Hours," pianist Avery Parrish's hit feature with the Erskine Hawkins big band.

4 min
Kerosene - Breakdown

32: Kerosene - Breakdown

Kerosene - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Hamburger and is sourced from New School Fingerstyle. The absolute epitome of the relaxed, late-night groove remains "After Hours," pianist Avery Parrish's hit feature with the Erskine Hawkins big band.

6 min
Open Tunings - SECTION 4: Overview

33: Open Tunings - SECTION 4: Overview

One of the most harmonically exciting and singular qualities of the guitar is the player's ability to easily tune their instrument to a virtually countless variety of open tunings. In this section, Vicki Genfan shows you how to craft compelling compositions with D sus4, D min7, and open D tunings.

1 min
D sus 4 Tuning - Overview

34: D sus 4 Tuning - Overview

D sus 4 Tuning - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Vicki Genfan and is sourced from Essentials: Open Tunings. Probably the most well recognized and used of all the open tunings, DADGAD seems to have permeated Celtic, American roots, blues, and fingerstyle genres, just to name a few.

3 min
D sus 4 Tuning - Performance

35: D sus 4 Tuning - Performance

D sus 4 Tuning - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Vicki Genfan and is sourced from Essentials: Open Tunings. Take note of the basso ostinato in the first section where we allow the low 6th string (E) to ring throughout the first three chord changes.

1 min
D sus 4 Tuning - Breakdown

36: D sus 4 Tuning - Breakdown

D sus 4 Tuning - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Vicki Genfan and is sourced from Essentials: Open Tunings. In the first section, when playing the single note descending scale phrase, see what works for you - you can pick each note or you may want to do some pull-offs.

9 min
D min 7 Tuning - Performance

37: D min 7 Tuning - Performance

D min 7 Tuning - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Vicki Genfan and is sourced from Essentials: Open Tunings. Can you tell whether I'm muting with my right or left hand? Watch carefully! Listen to how long the harmonics ring on the Am7 chord.

1 min
D min 7 Tuning - Breakdown

38: D min 7 Tuning - Breakdown

D min 7 Tuning - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Vicki Genfan and is sourced from Essentials: Open Tunings. If you play only the 4 highest strings on the very first chord (D7) you'll have a moveable chord which means you can move this around anywhere on the neck!

9 min
D min 7 Tuning - Overview

39: D min 7 Tuning - Overview

D min 7 Tuning - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Vicki Genfan and is sourced from Essentials: Open Tunings. I originally came up with this tuning while searching for something to harmonically complement the electric guitar riff (in standard tuning) in the Doobie Brother's song, 'Long Train Running'.

5 min
Open D Tuning - Overview

40: Open D Tuning - Overview

Open D Tuning - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Vicki Genfan and is sourced from Essentials: Open Tunings. This tuning was one of my earliest. I think I might have heard it in Joni Mitchell's 'Big Yellow Taxi' as a teenager.

3 min
Open D Tuning - Performance

41: Open D Tuning - Performance

Open D Tuning - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Vicki Genfan and is sourced from Essentials: Open Tunings. The intro and outro in this étude use a very common I - IV/I chord progression (D - G/D) which you might also use in a blues piece.

2 min
Open D Tuning - Breakdown

42: Open D Tuning - Breakdown

Open D Tuning - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Vicki Genfan and is sourced from Essentials: Open Tunings. I have incorrectly called the 2nd chord in the intro an A chord over D, it is actually a G chord over D.

8 min
Play Acoustic Guitar 7: Style Variations - Conclusion

43: Play Acoustic Guitar 7: Style Variations - Conclusion

Congratulations on completing this core course in your learning path! If you want to dig deeper or wider into the topics covered in this course, check out the recommended supplementary courses where you'll find more examples, techniques and insight from top TrueFire educators.

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