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Beginning To Play Like Chet

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  1. Beginning To Play Like Chet

  2. Part One “The Right Hand” Beginning To Play Like Chet

  3. Purchase thumbpicks that are small enough to fit tightly and very close to the tip of your thumb, just covering the nail This enables speed and accuracy due to less motion of the thumb versus when it is shoved up close to the knuckle If you have problems maintaining your nails, seek out a nail tech at a salon that will put “Gel Nails” on the four fingers of your right hand Gel nails are feather-light, hard as a rock, and very durable I recommend the Golden Gate GP-12 style thumbpicks Get Picky!!!!.... Hints

  4. Gain as much chordal knowledge as you can! With chords solos and all finger-style style material, the more chordal knowledge you have, the better you can express yourself musically by coloring your arrangements and creating interesting movement A Melody Line is simply a “jumbled up” scale Chords are “specific notes” of the scale Thus, they co-exist on the fretboard and are found together right under your fingertips!! Check the website under “Student Information” / “Student Items” for many of the categories of chords you will need.These links are found at the bottom/right of the webpages The Big Thing!!!

  5. “Merle Travis can write you a song and sing it. He could draw you a cartoon, play you a great guitar solo, or fix your watch”.......... Chet Atkins Merle Travis

  6. Anchor the little finger on the pickguard or top Advance the thumb a knuckles-length ahead of the fingers placing it on the 6th, 5th, or 4th string This forces the fingers to pick from the mid-knuckles toward the palm Place the index finger on the 3rd string and the middle finger on the 2nd string Do not yank, pull, drag, or flick the strings “SCRATCH” the strings toward the palm keeping the right hand steady, using your nails or fingertips, in the direction that that your fingers naturally move in. Right Hand Positioning

  7. To get the muted bass note sound like Chet’s Rest your palm on the back of the bridge to where just a slight amount of the palm touches the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings Don’t move you palm up too much or it will cause those alternating bass notes to be out of tune and sound dead instead of slightly muted With fingerstyle acoustic guitar solos the bass notes are rarely muted Right Hand Positioning

  8. Your Ultimate Goal: Minimal Hand Movement & Clock Steady Timing Right Hand Positioning

  9. 4 Time Only 4 The thumb plays on the beat in an alternating bass note fashion starting with either the 6th, 5th, or 4th strings The starting string is determined by the chord being played. The thumb pattern begins with the root/bass note of that chord and then alternates to the string below. Basic Travis Picking Pattern

  10. The thumb plays - 5 4 6 4for the Basic Alphabet A, A7, Am, whose root is the 5th string Basic Alphabet B7, C, and C7 which requires you to rock the 5th string bass note finger to the 6th string above it to play the correct alternate bass note. Bb Chromatic System chords also use the 5 4 6 4 alternating bass thumb pattern. Some chord configurations require 5454 only Basic Travis Picking Pattern

  11. The thumb plays - 6 4 5 4 for the Basic Alphabet E, E7, Em, G, and G7 and F Chromatic System chord system Some chord configurations require 6464 only Basic Travis Picking Pattern

  12. The thumb plays - 4 3 5 3 And shifts the fingers down one string to the 3rd and 2nd Basic Alphabet D, D7, and Dm and Basic Alphabet F Which requires the 4thstring to rocks to the 5th string to play the correct alternate bass note Basic Travis Picking Pattern

  13. Adding In The Fingers To The Alternating Bass Example: Basic Alphabet A 5 4 6 4 Thumb 2 2 Fingers 3 T (m) (m) Fingers used (i) 1 2 3 4 Tempo count & Basic Travis Picking Pattern

  14. Example: Basic Alphabet E 6 4 5 4 Thumb 2 3 2 Fingers T (m) (i) (m) Fingers used 1 2 3 & 4 Tempo count Basic Travis Picking Pattern

  15. Example: Basic Alphabet D The pattern shifts down one string 4 3 5 3 Thumb 1 2 1 Fingers T (m) (i) (m) Fingers used 1 2 3 & 4 Tempo count Basic Travis Picking Pattern

  16. T 4 A* 4 Thumb 3 2 3 2 Fingers T (i) (m) (i) (m) Fingers Used 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & Count Drop down a string for chords with 4th string roots A* = Alternate bass note for the chord type Double Roll

  17. T 4 2-3 1 &-uh 2 T (m) (i) T Double this to alternate the bass The fingered strings can vary for variety Gallup

  18. T 3 2 T 3 1 (i) (m) (i) (m) This roll has a “triplet” feel to it Intro Roll

  19. 654-543-432-321 Tim-Tim-Tim-Tim Lightly accent the thumb notes No separation in the timing at all These are “triplets” 1&-uh2&-uh3&uh4&-uh (Tim = Thumb, Index, and Middle fingers on the right hand) Arpeggio

  20. Beginning To Play Like Chet

  21. Part Two “The Left Hand” Beginning To Play Like Chet

  22. Left Hand Tips Always wear a strap that totally supports the guitar and gives you “hands-free” playing ability Keep neck pointed upwards at about a 45° angle Keep your thumb on the middle to lower half of the neck Use you fingertips and don't “flat-finger” Keep your left arm totally free This is a general track to run on that provides power and ease of playing. There are variables. Beginning To Play Like Chet

  23. Chords are the basis of your musical speech Your level of musical expression is determined by your chordal knowledge Memorize these chord systems as quickly as you can It is best to learn chords by category rather than by use in songs Go to the website and click at the bottom/right on “Student Information” then “Student Items” Chordal Knowledge

  24. Basic Alphabet Of Chords or “Open Chords” Basic Chromatic Chord Systems (F, Bb, and C7)Chromatic Jazz Chords Compound Chords – 9ths, 11ths, & 13ths Diminished (°) and Augmented (+) Chords Embellished Chords – b9,#9,b5 Chordal theory knowledge also allows you to “invent” chords that you might need to enhance your personal arrangements Listen to and watch other guitarists for ideas Chordal Knowledge

  25. There are some common chord types used in Chet's arrangements Let's look at a couple of them and from where the are derived Chet's Frequently Used Chords

  26. Great For An Intro! Roll On!! Move this chord up 2 frets and it become a great E7 roll

  27. Versatile 7th Chord The E7 has a 6464 bass pattern The D7 has a 5454 bass pattern These are the first and third chords of“Cannonball Rag” Chet uses variations of the E7 extensively in many songs

  28. Chet used diminished chords ( dim or ○ ) to harmonize notes that were passing tones in a melody Diminished chords repeat themselves every three frets and are extremely useful to fill in between base chords of a song Check the website more infoClick on the lower right-hand corner on“Student Information” then “Student Items” Diminished Capacities

  29. ( aug or + ) Chet used these to end a phrase as it was moving to the next phrase such as from the Verse to the Chorus    G/G+ to C The augmented chord works well as a substitute for a 7th chord Check the website for more infoClick on the lower right-hand corner on“Student Information” then “Student Items” Augmented Chords

  30. I hope this material will help you to enter the world of finger-style guitar and the incredible music legacy that Chet Atkins and Merle Travis have left us. …. Dr. Pat Corn Good Luck!!!