Beginner Guitar Course Week 4

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Redemption Song Intro + Muting when strumming!

Today we are going to take a close look at how to play the Intro for ‘Redemption Song’.

This will be an exercise in closely imitating what you hear and see in the video.

I like to call this parrot guitar, you imitate what you see in its greatest detail. This is the opposite to improvising. A great guitar player can do both.

As well as this we are going to learn some more basic strumming patterns, this time they contain muting. Let’s get on with it!

Week 4 – Step 1 – 10-20 min

In the first few weeks you learned some strumming patterns, today we are gonna learn how to play patterns that contain rests. In order to play a rest you need to mute the strings.

There are a few different ways to mute. For a beginner it often seems logical that if you strum the guitar with your right hand it makes sense to mute with the right hand as well.

This is a very common misunderstanding, just like it stops the pendulum movement of the right hand, it stops aspiring guitar payers in their development. All of a sudden it doesn’t sound good anymore. The student doesn’t understand why, confidence goes and if the teacher is not careful, the student might give up.

I’m gonna make this really clear: when you mute the strings on a guitar, you need to do it with your fretting hand. That’s it. That’s all you need to remember.

There are a few different ways you can mute with your left hand, in ‘Redemption Song’, over the guitar break, the mute is during an Em chord. In the video you see me muting with my little finger.

This works because it’s an Em chord, it wouldn’t work over an open position G chord. Here’s what you would do over a G chord:

Should the chord be a barred chord things get a lot simpler. When playing a barred chord you simply release the pressure, still touching the strings.

By doing this your right hand can still carry on going up and down like a pendulum and you won’t loose the groove.

Here’s today’s strumming exercises. Use a G chord and mute as the video above describes.

Listen to the example, look at the notation and pause the video. When you think you got it, play the video again. It’s very important that you do this on your own, not just along with the video.

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Week 4 – Step 2 – 10-20 min

It’s time to get into parrot mode and copy exactly what I play for the Intro of Redemption Song.

Look to identify each little hammer on, every little rest and nuance until you play this exactly as I do.

Now, Bob Marley doesn’t play it like I do… but he didn’t make a close up video for you!

The exercise here is to do something exactly like someone else, when you get good at this you could do it by ear and copy whichever guitarist you choose.

Here’s the TAB for the Intro, followed by the video.

Redemtion Song Intro

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This week you’ve learned the Intro to ‘Redemption Song’, you were encouraged to look at every detail in the video and imitate what I do, that included hammer on’s, rests and every little nuance.

However, the greatest part of today’s lesson was spent on muting with the fretting hand.

This is something you will need to practice more than just 20 minutes today as muting will be different depending on what chord you play.

The good news is that the more complicated the chords become (barred chords) the easier this will get.

What’s important to remember is that you should always mute chords with your left hand (the fretting hand) so the right hand can carry on its pendulum movement.

In three days time you will get a follow up lesson that will look at playing the entire ‘Redemption Song’. See you then!

Dan (your guitar guru)