This set of songs represents a collection of early tunes by David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash, mostly from their albums released around 1970. A couple of alternate tunings are used in half the songs, which represent a wide range of difficulty levels.
Lesson 1: 4 + 20 - Guitar Lesson
Steve Stills’ basic fingerpicking song is done in a D Modal Tuning- every string is tuned to either D or A, the root and fifth notes of the D Chord. The tuning used for this lesson is DADDAD, slightly modified from Stills’ DDDDAD but since he never plays the 5th string it doesn’t matter and is easier on your guitar and strings.
Lesson 2: Deja Vu - Guitar Lesson
*Déjà Vu*is another David Crosby tune that uses the EBDGAD (Em11) Tuning, like the one used in Guinnevere. This one opens with a cross-picked intro before settling into a series of colorful chords that are mostly strummed, in an improvising manner. Translation: We don’t talk about strumming specifics, just a few thoughts about keeping a steady rhythm but creating a mysterious mood, as called for in the song.
Lesson 3: Guinnevere - Guitar Lesson
A feature of many David Crosby tunes is the use of altered tunings. *Guinnevere*is an great example of how he changes the pitch of a few strings, starts messing around with chord shapes and sounds, adds a somewhat abstract melody with complex harmonies, and creates beautiful music. The tuning is EBDGAD and uses an arpeggio-style picking pattern over some fairly simple, but unusual chord shapes. He also is never concerned with playing anything exactly the same way twice, and as such recreates each song every time he plays it. We take that approach in this lesson and start with some specific patterns but look at changing and varying them on the fly.
Lesson 4: Helplessly Hoping - Guitar Lesson
*Helplessly Hoping*is a classic fingerstyle tune by Stephen Stills that was released in 1969 on the first Crosby, Stills & Nash album. Stills’ playing is generally very free form and he never plays this song exactly the same way twice. The lesson covers the chord progression and presents a ‘Campfire Version’ that is easy to strum, as well as great detail on specific licks and additions that Stills uses and how to add your own variations to fingerpicking patterns, making the arrangement your own.
Lesson 5: Love The One You're With Guitar Lesson
*Love The One You’re With*is a Stephen Stills song that dates back to the early CSNY days and is frequently done with electric guitars or as a big production. Like many of Stills’ songs, it started out as an acoustic tune in the D Modal tuning. Stills used DDDDAD but DADDAD is a more efficient and harmonically rich version that is used in this lesson. We also introduce a new twist with this lesson- that we are calling a ‘Work It Out Lesson.’ In the first segment Neil plays through the song and gives you hints about figuring it out yourself. The next segments present the ‘Answers’, with Breakdowns of the chords, the strumming, and the vocals.
Lesson 6: Marrakesh Express - Guitar Lesson
*Marrakesh Express*was written by Graham Nash and appeared on the CSN album in 1969. It is a relatively simple strumming song, although it moves along. It uses a couple of unusual chord voicings in the beginning, derived from a ‘D’ shape moved up the neck, but other than that it is standard chords, mostly in the key of G and a lot of fun to play.
Lesson 7: Southern Cross - Guitar Lesson
In 1982 Crosby, Stills & Nash released their album Daylight Again, which included *Southern Cross*, which has now become a standard part of their concerts. The song only uses three chords with a bit of a syncopated strumming pattern making it a great guitar lesson for beginning to intermediate students. The lesson includes a chord and lyric chart and breaks the strumming down to concentrating on individual eighth notes.
Lesson 8: Suite: Judy Blue Eyes - Guitar Lesson
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes is probably Stills’ most recognized song and the one that really brought them into the spotlight, particularly after their appearance at Woodstock in 1969. It was written for contemporary songstress Judy Collins and consists of multiple sections (hence the ‘Suite” part of the name), all of which include complex guitar parts and lush vocal harmonies. The guitar is in the D Modal tuning (DADDAD) and uses a variety of strumming and picking techniques. Some of the lesson addresses improvising in Stills’ style in this open tuning.
Lesson 9: Triad Guitar Lesson
David Crosby wrote *Triad*while he was still a member of the Byrds but it was a bit risqué for them at the time. It was originally released by The Jefferson Airplane on Crown Of Creation but David continued to play it live at Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young concerts. His version first appeared on 4 Way Street, from their 1970 tour. This short lesson shows the chords and fills that accompany this haunting tune.
Lesson 10: Teach Your Children - Guitar Lesson
Graham Nash is a master songwriter of tunes that require only some basic guitar techniques but ones that are really fun to play and sing. Teach Your Children is a classic example of this. The song is a 3-chord progression in the key of D, with a step out into a 4th chord in the chorus. A simple country-style strumming pattern is all that is necessary to make this a great song for beginners to sit around the campfire and play with friends.