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more... IntermediateLessonsAcousticSound SamplesRhythmJanuary 2010

Piedmont Blues: Capture a Ragtime Sound With This Fingerstyle Piece in Drop D Tuning

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Piedmont Blues: Capture a Ragtime Sound With This Fingerstyle Piece in Drop D Tuning
When playing fingerstyle in the key of D, the music is made richer by dropping the pitch of the sixth string from E to D. In this tuning, you have both the sixth and fourth strings tuned to D, allowing your thumb to alternate as before on the tonic (D) chord.

Here, you pull melody from other forms of the chords, starting with the “A form” for D at the seventh fret. Start by playing the alternating bass a few times to get into the rhythm. Slide into the F# with your ring finger and fret the A with your index. For the rhythm of the first two measures, count 1-& 2-e-&-a, 1-& 2-&.

By measure 5, your fretting hand is changing back to first position. Fret the B with your ring finger, A with your index, and drop down to fret the F# with your index and D with your middle. Do the same in measure 6, but as you drop down, play the F# with your middle finger and C with your index.

For the G chord, your hand shifts to third position, with your ring finger on the bass (G) and your index finger fretting the melody. The progression returns to D in the first position. The measure in A is played with the traditional, nonbarred A chord. The final phrase rolls off your index finger with the pull-off.

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This lesson comes from:

Blues Guitar Lesson Anthology
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