This set of guitar pieces brings together some of our most challenging lessons to date. There are classics from many genres and masters including, Mason Williams, Steve Howe, Jorma Kaukonen, Leo Kottke, Steve Hackett, John Renbourn, Doc Watson, Duane Allman, jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, and a fingerpicker's favorite from Chet Atkins. These songs could easily be considered the pinnacle of the style and most advanced players would be happy mastering even one. Get ready to set some lifetime goals with this set of masterpieces.
Lesson 1: Little Martha
This instrumental was written by Duane Allman and originally played as a duet with fellow Allman Brother Dickie Betts. This arrangement in Open D Tuning combines the two parts with a steady bass line into a solo piece.
Lesson 2: Horizons - Genesis - Guitar Lesson
This short, solo acoustic piece was featured on Genesis’ 1972 album Foxtrot. It opens with some harmonics before weaving into a semi-classical sound, borrowing a bit from Bach and a bit from Fernando Sor. Steve Hackett uses a few unusual techniques with his right hand, which are covered in the lesson along with our typical, highly detailed descriptions and explanations.
Lesson 3: Judy- Fingerpicking by John Renbourn
Judy is a classic guitar instrumental from John Renbourn's debut album, released in 1965. It is 3 short sections that cover a range of techniques and textures. It was modeled after some of the ideas in Davey Graham's Anji and is representative of what many English guitarists were doing in the mid 1960s.
Lesson 4: Embryonic Journey Fingerpicking Solo
Shortly after the Jefferson Airplane took off, they released Surrealistic Pillow, in 1967. Their virtuoso guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen, played this solo guitar masterpiece and it was included. Iy is done in Dropped D Tuning using mostly a standard alternating bass technique (Travis Picking).
Lesson 5: The Fisherman Guitar Lesson - Leo Kottke
The Fisherman is a piece that was dropped onto the world of solo guitar by Leo Kottke as part of his landmark album 6 & 12 String Guitar, which was also famous for the armadillo on the cover. This changed the landscape of the solo guitar world and this lesson breaks down all of Leo’s twists and turns, and presents manageable chunks that can elevate the level of every guitarist’s playing.
Lesson 6: Classical Gas Guitar Lesson - Guitar Instrumentals
Classical Gas has been one of the most popular guitar instrumentals since it burst on the scene in the late 1960s. Written and performed by Mason Williams, head writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, it has baffled guitar students for just as long. This lesson breaks down every nuance and presents the most comprehensive version available anywhere.
Lesson 7: Mood For A Day - Guitar Lesson
Mood For A Day is a retro/neo/quasi-classical piece by Steve Howe which first appeared on Yes's landmark album Fragile. It includes many techniques that are very challenging- flamenco strumming, rapid scales and variations, trill-like hammer-ons and pull-offs, and even a trace of romantic expression from the late nineteenth century. It is a veritable smorgasbord of guitar delights, all of which make it a virtuosic endeavor for any guitar player. This lesson is presented in our old drip-feed manner to help simplify and isolate parts, many of which require pyrotechnic chops to be effective.
Lesson 8: Doc’s Guitar - Guitar Lesson
*Doc’s Guitar*is a classic fingerpicking piece by Doc Watson. Typical of Doc’s style, the song is basic on one level but the challenge is to get it up to speed, blazing fast that is. The tune falls into the Travis style, using an alternating bass pattern over easy chords in the key of C, although it also uses the left thumb wrap to fret notes on the sixth string and a few hammer-ons and pull-offs.
Lesson 9: Windy and Warm Fingerpicking Solo
John D. Loudermilk wrote this classic, with a bit of help from Chet Atkins who really popularized the tune. It has four sections with steady bass notes and very catchy melodies.
Lesson 10: Linus And Lucy Guitar Instrumental
This arrangement of the piano piece used as the main theme for the Peanuts cartoons accurately transcribes the bass line and the melody lines, played in harmony, and is quite challenging to play. The tuning is DADF#BD, (a D6 chord).