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Play Acoustic Guitar 9: Advanced Style Variations

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

Welcome to Play Acoustic Guitar 9: Advanced Style Variations for late intermediate to advanced students of acoustic guitar. This Acoustic Learning Path core course is presented by 4 top TrueFire educators: Tony McManus, Fareed Haque, Alonzo Pennington, and Renier Voet. The Advanced 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 9: Advanced Style Variations is organized into 4 sections. In the first section, Fareed Haque presents bossa nova rhythm patterns and études. In the second section, Tony McManus presents key techniques and harmonic considerations for performing Celtic music on guitar. Renier Voet passes on essential gypsy jazz techniques and vocabulary in Section 3, and Alonzo Pennington wraps things up in the fourth and final section with some good ole Kentucky thumbpicking.

When you've completed the lessons here in Advanced Style Variations, you'll find more lessons focused on variations in Advanced Style Diversity, also a Play Acoustic Guitar 9 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 9: Advanced Style Variations - Introduction

01: Play Acoustic Guitar 9: Advanced Style Variations - Introduction

Welcome to Play Acoustic Guitar 9: Advanced Style Variations for late intermediate to advanced students of Acoustic guitar. This Acoustic Learning Path core course is presented by 4 top TrueFire educators: Tony McManus, Fareed Haque, Alonzo Pennington, and Renier Voet.

2 min
Bossa Nova - SECTION 1: Overview

02: Bossa Nova - SECTION 1: Overview

In this first section, you'll learn 3 bossa nova rhythm patterns from Fareed Haque. Fareed will first demonstrate the pattern and then guide you through playalongs to help you work the patterns up to tempo. Nail these 3 patterns and you'll be able to take on the entire bossa nova songbook.

1 min
Bossa Rhythm Patterns - Overview

03: Bossa Rhythm Patterns - Overview

Bossa Rhythm Patterns - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. In this section we will take the basic bossa right hand pattern and break it down into 3 simple parts.

3 min
Rhythm Pattern #1 - Demonstration

04: Rhythm Pattern #1 - Demonstration

Rhythm Pattern #1 - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. This rhythm is used commonly in slow, mellow bossa novas. Just keep the bass notes coming straight on the beat. Keep da beat!

3 min
Rhythm Pattern #1 - Slow Playalong

05: Rhythm Pattern #1 - Slow Playalong

Rhythm Pattern #1 - Slow Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. A slow play-along over G 6/9. Keep the bass note steady. Keep all notes sustaining and clear. Don't stop or cut bass notes short - let them ring!

2 min
Rhythm Pattern #1 - Fast Playalong

06: Rhythm Pattern #1 - Fast Playalong

Rhythm Pattern #1 - Fast Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. Fast play-along. Don't tense up, keep the fingers moving to the palm, and the thumb moving away from the guitar. Bring the thumb up, around and back in a small circle.

2 min
Rhythm Pattern #2 - Demonstration

07: Rhythm Pattern #2 - Demonstration

Rhythm Pattern #2 - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. This is the most typical basic bossa pattern. Note that pattern #1 is the first 1/2 of pattern #2 so all you have to do is add the second 1/2.

3 min
Rhythm Pattern #2 - Slow Playalong

08: Rhythm Pattern #2 - Slow Playalong

Rhythm Pattern #2 - Slow Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. Slow play-along Rhythm #2: Make sure to keep the bass notes even. Don't push the third bass note. It comes after the fingers not with 'em!

2 min
Rhythm Pattern #2 - Fast Playalong

09: Rhythm Pattern #2 - Fast Playalong

Rhythm Pattern #2 - Fast Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. Fast play-along Rhythm #2: To help you get a handle on this try tapping the 2-3, 2-2-3, 2-2 out on a table, your lap. Grab a pandero or tambourine and tap it out on that.

2 min
Rhythm Pattern #3 - Demonstration

10: Rhythm Pattern #3 - Demonstration

Rhythm Pattern #3 - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. This is just rhythm pattern #2 turned around. 2-3, 2-2, 2-3-2. The toughest part is starting your fingers ahead of beat 1.

2 min
Rhythm Pattern #3 - Slow Playalong

11: Rhythm Pattern #3 - Slow Playalong

Rhythm Pattern #3 - Slow Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. Slow play-along Rhythm #3: To start before the beat always count yourself in 1, &, 2, &, 3, &, 4, &!

3 min
Rhythm Pattern #3 - Fast Playalong

12: Rhythm Pattern #3 - Fast Playalong

Rhythm Pattern #3 - Fast Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. Fast play-along Rhythm #3: Make sure to keep the pattern legato - long and ringing - don't clip or mute any of the notes, especially the first few notes.

3 min
Bossa Rhythm Patterns - Summary

13: Bossa Rhythm Patterns - Summary

Bossa Rhythm Patterns - Summary is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. Okay! We got it. Now go listen!

1 min
No Note Samba - Performance

14: No Note Samba - Performance

No Note Samba - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. This is taken from the chords to, well, take a wild guess! "One Note Samba".

3 min
No Note Samba - Playalong

15: No Note Samba - Playalong

No Note Samba - Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. Okay, I know this is a samba not a bossa, right? Right. We tricked you. So what's the difference? It's simple, and complicated at the same time, as are all good things.

7 min
No Note Samba - Breakdown

16: No Note Samba - Breakdown

No Note Samba - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. Try playing the first 2 chords with just 3 notes low E, E and G strings. This keeps the D note on the G string in the melody.

4 min
Gilberto's Jam - Performance

17: Gilberto's Jam - Performance

Gilberto's Jam - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. This is taken from the chords to Joao Gilberto's tune "E Presiso Perdoar".

2 min
Gilberto's Jam - Breakdown

18: Gilberto's Jam - Breakdown

Gilberto's Jam - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. This is just the main chord progression, without the bridge. Note the F minor triad in first inversion is also a 1/2 diminished with no root or an Ab6.

3 min
Gilberto's Jam - Playalong

19: Gilberto's Jam - Playalong

Gilberto's Jam - Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. As you get more and more comfortable with the right hand patterns they will start to become more automatic. Make sure to always double check that the bass is steady and straight not pushed or syncopated or jumpy.

8 min
Orphiana - Performance

20: Orphiana - Performance

Orphiana - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. This is taken from the chords to Luis Bonfa's tune "Theme from Black Orpheus".

3 min
Orphiana - Breakdown

21: Orphiana - Breakdown

Orphiana - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. Again this is mostly the chords from the first 1/2 of the song.

3 min
Orphiana - Playalong

22: Orphiana - Playalong

Orphiana - Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Fareed Haque. On these play-alongs you don't need to copy what I'm playing. Copy what I'm playing in the practice room. When we start playing just go with the flow - just try to grab the feel.

5 min
Celtic Guitar - SECTION 2: Overview

23: Celtic Guitar - SECTION 2: Overview

Celtic music may very well be one of the purest and richest forms of folk music across the entire history of music. In this section, Tony McManus presents key techniques and harmonic considerations for performing Celtic music on guitar.

1 min
Intro to Dropped D Tuning - Concept 1

24: Intro to Dropped D Tuning - Concept 1

Intro to Dropped D Tuning - Concept 1 is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. Let's talk about dropped D tuning. We begin in Standard- the tuning everyone knows, the tuning I, like everyone else, started in: first position "cowboy" chords.

3 min
Drop D In Ballad Arrangements - Concept 2

25: Drop D In Ballad Arrangements - Concept 2

Drop D In Ballad Arrangements - Concept 2 is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. Let's look at how we use this tuning in arrangements.

3 min
Arpeggiating Chords - Concept 3

26: Arpeggiating Chords - Concept 3

Arpeggiating Chords - Concept 3 is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. When I invented that mundane little arrangement a few minutes ago what I was illustrating is the idea of carrying a melody on the top two strings maybe.

2 min
Jig Time - Concept 4

27: Jig Time - Concept 4

Jig Time - Concept 4 is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. I want to introduce you to a concept that is fundamental to Scottish music, Irish music, to celtic music in general and that is: The Jig. The defining property is the time signature 6/8.

3 min
Scale Harmonizing Exercises - Concept 5

28: Scale Harmonizing Exercises - Concept 5

Scale Harmonizing Exercises - Concept 5 is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. An important aspect of learning any music is playing scales and it can be as tedious as it is fundamental but it's part of the process.

9 min
Arranging Melodies - Concept 6

29: Arranging Melodies - Concept 6

Arranging Melodies - Concept 6 is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. I want to illustrate some of these ideas in context. I want to arrange a melody that's so familiar and so mundane that you're not going to think about the melody but about the ideas the chords and the concepts the go into it.

4 min
The

30: The "Celtic" Mode - Concept 10

The "Celtic" Mode - Concept 10 is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. I've talked about major scales and minor keys. There's one other very important mode in Celtic music that we need to be aware of. I'm going to illustrate this with a well-known tune - it's neither major nor minor.

5 min
Common Celtic Rhythms - Concept 16

31: Common Celtic Rhythms - Concept 16

Common Celtic Rhythms - Concept 16 is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. It's about time we discussed the various tune types that occur in this music. This is often dance music so we are into rhythms in a big way. The basic in Irish and Scottish music is 4/4 and the tunes in that rhythm are "reels". So you count 4 in a bar.

12 min
An Ciarraioch Mallaithe - Overview

32: An Ciarraioch Mallaithe - Overview

An Ciarraioch Mallaithe - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. Our first study is a song from Ireland called An Ciarraioch Mallaithe- in the Irish language which I don't speak though I love listening to it.

2 min
An Ciarraioch Mallaithe - Performance

33: An Ciarraioch Mallaithe - Performance

An Ciarraioch Mallaithe - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. Our first study is a song from Ireland called An Ciarraioch Mallaithe- in the Irish language which I don't speak though I love listening to it.

1 min
An Ciarraioch Mallaithe - Breakdown

34: An Ciarraioch Mallaithe - Breakdown

An Ciarraioch Mallaithe - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Tony McManus. This is a song in the "Sean Nos" genre, which just means old style. In musical term it means there is no rhythm for you to get hold of.

15 min
Gypsy Jazz - SECTION 3: Overview

35: Gypsy Jazz - SECTION 3: Overview

You simply can't listen, study or play Gypsy Jazz guitar without thinking or musically referencing Django Reinhardt. In this section, Renier Voet presents 10 essential gypsy jazz licks inspired from the fretboard of Django to add a gypsy dimension to your vocabulary.

1 min
Henri Crolla & Matelot Ferret - Lick 27

36: Henri Crolla & Matelot Ferret - Lick 27

Henri Crolla & Matelot Ferret - Lick 27 is a video guitar lesson presented by Reinier Voet. In this lick I would like to show you a nice ending with an E minor chord. Let's be honest, E minor is one of the most beautiful guitar chords.

5 min
Let The Strings Sound Out - Lick 28

37: Let The Strings Sound Out - Lick 28

Let The Strings Sound Out - Lick 28 is a video guitar lesson presented by Reinier Voet. This lick illustrates very clearly which chord is being played in the backing. It sounds very guitaristic and accentuates that you are playing a string instrument.

3 min
Rhythmical Octaves - Lick 30

38: Rhythmical Octaves - Lick 30

Rhythmical Octaves - Lick 30 is a video guitar lesson presented by Reinier Voet. In this lick I'll show you a very typical Gypsy jazz way of using octaves.

3 min
Jumping Whole Tones - Lick 32

39: Jumping Whole Tones - Lick 32

Jumping Whole Tones - Lick 32 is a video guitar lesson presented by Reinier Voet. In this section I will show you how to use an augmented 5th in a prefab lick. It is a way to let the dominant 7th chord sound more exciting, a bit strange, maybe more jazzy.

4 min
Dim Chord Sweep - Lick 36

40: Dim Chord Sweep - Lick 36

Dim Chord Sweep - Lick 36 is a video guitar lesson presented by Reinier Voet. This sweep and slide lick is often used by Gypsy jazz guitar players. So it's very useful to add to your bag of tricks when you want to accentuate the Gypsy jazz guitar sound in your playing.

4 min
Post War Django - Lick 42

41: Post War Django - Lick 42

Post War Django - Lick 42 is a video guitar lesson presented by Reinier Voet. This beautiful lick belongs to the family of tritone substitutes, another example of Django's contemporary playing. I found this lick in 'Porto Cabello', a piece Django recorded in 1947.

5 min
1953-Modern Django - Lick 43

42: 1953-Modern Django - Lick 43

1953-Modern Django - Lick 43 is a video guitar lesson presented by Reinier Voet. With this lick I would like to explain how the alteration of a dominant7 chord works.

4 min
Cymbalum Sound: 2 - Lick 47

43: Cymbalum Sound: 2 - Lick 47

Cymbalum Sound: 2 - Lick 47 is a video guitar lesson presented by Reinier Voet. This cymbalum trick is an extension of the first one.

4 min
East European Gypsy - Lick 48

44: East European Gypsy - Lick 48

East European Gypsy - Lick 48 is a video guitar lesson presented by Reinier Voet. This is a nice and simple lick. I like this lick because it has kind of an East European character.

4 min
Django's Ending - Lick 49

45: Django's Ending - Lick 49

Django's Ending - Lick 49 is a video guitar lesson presented by Reinier Voet. I got this lick from the tune Brick Top from a recording session by Django and violinist Stéphane Grappelli in 1949 in Rome.

4 min
Kentucky Thumbpicking - SECTION 4: Overview

46: Kentucky Thumbpicking - SECTION 4: Overview

Merle Travis was instrumental in sparking wide interest in the guitar picking style known as Kentucky Thumbpicking but there were many others back in the day, as there are today, who helped give the style worldwide recognition.

1 min
Travis Pattern A  - Demonstration

47: Travis Pattern A - Demonstration

Travis Pattern A - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Alonzo Pennington. This is the basic picking pattern in such Travis tunes as "9 Pound Hammer" and "I am a Pilgrim."

3 min
Travis Pattern B  - Demonstration

48: Travis Pattern B - Demonstration

Travis Pattern B - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Alonzo Pennington. This is the basic picking pattern for tunes like the "Cannonball Rag."

3 min
The 3 Finger Roll - Demonstration

49: The 3 Finger Roll - Demonstration

The 3 Finger Roll - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Alonzo Pennington. This exercise is made to get the next two fingers on your right hand moving, using a banjo type roll used in the "Cannonball Rag" and other Travis and Chet Atkins style tunes.

6 min
The Mose Rager Roll - Demonstration

50: The Mose Rager Roll - Demonstration

The Mose Rager Roll - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Alonzo Pennington. This essential roll sounds the same as the three finger roll, but uses the thumb and first finger. Mose Rager taught this technique to Merle Travis hence the name "Mose Rager Roll".

4 min
9 Pound Hammer - Performance

51: 9 Pound Hammer - Performance

9 Pound Hammer - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Alonzo Pennington. "9 Pound Hammer" is one of the most popular thumbpicking and bluegrass songs of all time.

1 min
9 Pound Hammer - Overview

52: 9 Pound Hammer - Overview

9 Pound Hammer - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Alonzo Pennington. "9 Pound Hammer" is one of the most popular thumbpicking and bluegrass songs of all time.

2 min
9 Pound Hammer - Breakdown

53: 9 Pound Hammer - Breakdown

9 Pound Hammer - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Alonzo Pennington. In "9 Pound Hammer," we use the walkdowns and endings we learned in Section 1 as well as the Travis Pattern A, focusing on putting the melody in with it.

9 min
Play Acoustic Guitar 9: Advanced Style Variations - Conclusion

54: Play Acoustic Guitar 9: Advanced Style Variations - Conclusion

Congratulations on completing this core course in your learning path! When you're ready to advance your skills further, dive into the next core course in your TrueFire learning path. Practice smart. Play hard!

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