Arlo Guthrie - City Of New Orleans
Arlo Guthrie - Coming Into Los Angeles
Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine
Bill Withers - Grandma’s Hands
Brian Hyland - Gypsy Woman
Brian Hyland - Sealed With A Kiss
Christopher Cross - Sailing
Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is
Foreigner - Waiting For A Girl Like You
The Hollies - The Air That I Breathe
Lobo - Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend
Lobo - Me And You And A Dog Named Boo
Orleans - Dance With Me
Seals & Crofts - Summer Breeze
Van Morrison - Moondance
Lesson 1: I Want To Know What Love Is - Foreigner - Guitar Lesson
Foreigner is a British-American rock band, originally formed in 1976 by English musician Mick Jones, multi-instrumental musician Ian McDonald, along with American vocalist Lou Gramm.
This lesson covers the unplugged/acoustic version of their biggest hit and power ballad ‘I Want To Know What Love Is.' It’s taken from their 1984 album ‘Agent Provocateur’.
The song consists of five chords in the key of Em, with a few different chord shapes, and should be played with random strumming. We take a look at the progression, which has an occasional change in the time signature, and the little signature riff in the intro and interludes.
The lesson is presented, as the original recording as well as the acoustic version, with all the strings tuned down a half step.
Lesson 2: City Of New Orleans (Campfire Lesson)
A classic Campfire Song, City Of New Orleans was a big hit for Arlo Guthrie in 1972 when it was released on his album Hobo’s Lullaby. The song was written by Steve Goodman, who managed to get Arlo to listen to it in a bar in Chicago, and Arlo agreed to record it. It is a pretty standard chord progression that can be played in many keys. This lesson looks at it in the key of C, using a country strumming pattern.
Lesson 3: Ain't No Sunshine - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
This lesson on Ain't No Sunshine goes into the way Bill really played it, using simple, 3-string reductions of chords from our standard 'E' and 'A' barre families. These reductions mean no barre is necessary. The right hand picks out a simple pattern that alternates a bass note hit with the thumb and a pair of strings plucked with two fingers. There is also a brief look at a background lead part.
Lesson 4: Grandma’s Hands - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
I had a student ask about this cool Bill Withers’ piece recently and I thought it would make a good addition to the TG library, in spite of the fact that it is pretty basic and simple.
This very short lesson goes over the chords, which are really just 3-string reductions shapes from the ‘E’ family, as well as the fingerpicking, mostly just a plucking technique using the thumb and two fingers.
Lesson 5: Gypsy Woman
Brian Hyland is a singer and guitarist who found a bit of fame with Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and Sealed With A Kiss in the early 1960s. He hit gold gain in 1971 with Gypsy Woman, a song written by Curtis Mayfield for his group The Impressions, which did not make much of a splash at the time.
This lesson includes looks at the progression and addresses some strumming techniques that are really useful everywhere. We look at things like focusing on zones of strings, palm muting, varying patterns, and a pretty cool intro as well.
Lesson 6: Sealed With A Kiss
Sealed With A kiss, written by Gary Geld and Peter Udell, has been recorded by dozens of artists but it was Brian Hyland's 1962 version that hit the charts the biggest. The song has a sophisticated chord progression in the key of E Minor, which includes a few chords outside the key. It also includes a half-step modulation at the end, which is really optional if you are not comfortable with barre chords.
The lesson also includes a solo section, picking out the melody while keeping the strumming going.
Lesson 7: Sailing by Christopher Cross
In 1980 Christopher ruled the airwaves with his soft, smooth sound, with Sailing and Ride Like The Wind leading the charge. Sailing is played in Open D Tuning (D-A-D-F#-A-D), with an arpeggio accompaniment featuring a few hybrid chords, common chords with unusual bass notes as well as other colorful chords like add 9 or Major 7.
This lesson shows how to add the bass notes to the arpeggio, which makes it a bit more challenging than what Christopher plays as part of a big ensemble, but makes the accompaniment complete for a solo guitarist.
Lesson 8: Coming Into Los Angeles - Arlo Guthrie - Guitar Lesson
Coming Into Los Angeles was one of a handful of radio hits Arlo Guthrie had as his career was getting off the ground in the late 1960s. His performance at Woodstock showed his youthful exuberance, but probably not his best musicianship. This lesson is done as an ear training exercise, so don’t look at the chart until you watch the first couple segments. There is also a segment with thoughts about playing lead in a minor key.
Lesson 9: Waiting For A Girl Like You - Foreigner - Guitar Lesson
Waiting For A Girl Like You is a Platinum-certified 1981 power ballad by the British-American band Foreigner. It was the second single from their album ‘4’ and has become one of the band’s most famous songs worldwide.
This lesson takes a look at an acoustic version as occasionally performed by Foreigner in more recent years.
It covers the progression, the strumming and a possible way to copy the distinctive synthesizer theme as acoustically done on a mandolin by guitar player Bruce Watson.
A tab for how to play it as performed on the original recording by the then-little-known Thomas Dolby is included.
Lesson 10: The Air That I Breathe - Guitar Lesson
The Air That I Breathe is a ballad written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood. It was initially recorded by Hammond and appears on his 1972 album ‘It Never Rains In Southern California’.
It was a major hit for the Hollies, who recorded it two years later after hearing a beautiful cover version done by Phil Everly the year before.
This lesson is mostly based on the Hollies’ version, but shows some insight on how Hammond plays it in concerts as well.
We take a look at the chords in the key of C and A, the double time strumming and the progression. The latter is a little unusual with a few chords out of the key, by changing a few from major to minor or vice versa. It also features a couple of barre chords.
Lesson 11: Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend - Lobo - Guitar Lesson
This 1971 hit by Lobo is very similar to some of this others that we have recently looked at, and I am taking a similar, ear training approach.
Listen to the original and see if you can figure out the key and main chords.
This one is fingerpicking, with a slightly unusual twist, which we get to later in the lesson.
Lesson 12: Me And You And A Dog Named Boo - Lobo - Guitar Lesson
Kent Lavoie, known professionally as Lobo, had a handful of hits in the US in the early 1970s, although he continued with a successful career around the world for much longer.
His songs are reminiscent of David Gates, among others, featuring nice chord progressions and melodies that highlight his voice.
Like most of his songs, Me And You And A Dog Named Boo is played in a standard key but capoed up a bit.
This lesson is done as an ear-training exercise where the student should start by listening to and analyzing the original recording.
I also strum through it in a segment designed for listening and hope the student can figure out what is going on.
By the end, I give you the chords and talk a bit about the arrangement but hopefully you are able to get that far on your own.
Lesson 13: Dance With Me - Guitar Lesson
Dance With Me has one of the greatest accompanying guitar parts of all time, in my opinion. It was a hit for Orleans in 1975, written by guitarist John Hall and his wife Johanna. It features a melodic riff, harmonized using thirds, as the backing part to vocals done in three-part harmony. This lesson includes a basic chord version as well as the somewhat difficult guitar part exactly the way John played it. It also includes a great outro vamp and flashy ending.
Lesson 14: Summer Breeze - Seals & Crofts - Guitar Lesson
Jim Seals and Dash Crofts had a string of hits and great songs during the 70s. They had been together for quite a while when they hit it big with Summer Breeze, their fourth album, released in 1972. The song featured an unusual chord progression, a distinctive opening instrumental theme, and great harmonies with a little Texas twist. This lesson shows a couple of different ways of incorporating some of Dash’s mandolin parts into the guitar accompaniment.
Lesson 15: Moondance Guitar Lesson - Van Morrison
Moondance is a jazzy tune of Van Morrison's that was mostly piano, bass, and drums. This lesson captures the feel of that rhythm section all on one acoustic guitar. It starts using fingerpicking technique combining the piano comping with a steady bass pattern, continues with a strumming pattern when the progression moves to the iv chord, and finishes with the bass riff that wraps up the chorus.
Neil introduces the technique he calls the 'hidden pick trick', where the pick is held in the right hand while fingerpicking, making the transition from fingerstyle to strumming immediate and seamless.