This is an intermediate lesson. It's a collaboration between Allthumbs and carol m. I wrote it, and Carol recorded the music in various tempos, both with and without beat tracks. The recordings with added beat tracks might make it easier and more interesting to learn and play to, rather than using a boring old metronome. You can play GuitarPro files using the free Tux Guitar download software if you don't have the GuitarPro application.
(Note from Carol: You are using a metronome or the gp5 midi file while you're learning, aren't you!).
It's a study in D, and it begins and ends with a pedal point run (i.e. using a single repeated base note under changing notes above it). The opening bars run through variations of the D chord while maintaining the drone of the open D string in the bass.
The tricky bits are the 3 jumps up the fretboard in the 7th and 8th and 9th bars. I kept the right hand picking simple so your focus can be on moving smoothly and cleanly up the fretboard with your fretting hand.
At the beginning of bar 7 you need to move smoothly down from the G chord in a series of 3 descending double stops on the 2nd and 3rd strings, followed by a D chord played up at the 7th and 5th frets. The 2 open strings played at the end of that descending run give you time to move your fretting hand up to the 7th and 5th frets for the last beat of that bar which is that D chord at the 7th fret. Once you are at the 7th fret, you need to immediately be thinking ahead to where your fingers will need to go for the second jump - to the 10th and 11th fret at the end of bar 8. Those last 2 notes in bar 8 are the same notes as the first 2 notes in bar 8, but played an octave higher.
Again, you should already be thinking ahead again for your last move up the fretboard to the A chord double-stop at the 14th fret at the start of bar 9. From there you just play a series of descending double stops down the fretboard to the 5th fret in bar 10. From there you are almost home, back down to frets 1, 2 and 3 in bars 12 and 13, with the harmonic D chord at the 7th fret to finish off.
Personally, I found at bar 7 and 8 that instead of playing the D chord double stops from a full barre chord at the 5th fret, if I used my index and third finger to only fret the required notes on the required strings, I was better able to make a smooth transition to the double stop at the 10th fret in bar 8. My muscle training seems to find it less cluttered and easier to move than holding the full barre D chord and jumping form there. Explore and find out for yourself which fingers to use to make that transition easier for you.
I also found that in the 9th bar, by using my index finger to hold down both notes of the A double stop at the 14th fret made it easier to go down to the 12th fret double stop. Again, this gives you time to think ahead to prepare for the other two double stops in this bar where two fretting fingers are used.
Since you are only using the 2,3,4 strings in the barre D and A chords in the 10th bar, it should not be too much of a struggle since there is no concern over the un-played strings. Just make sure to hold your index finger down while switching from D to A and back to the D chord in the 11th bar. A simple pull off from 7 to 5, then two more notes to take you down to the last 4 bars, which is the second pedal point run on the open D string, though you temporarily play a 3rd on that 4th string in the 13th bar.
Keep in mind that in bar 12 you are not playing the full standard D chord but, an inversion with the 3rd in the bass – you don't play the F# on the first string-second fret. This makes it easier for you to reach that F# on the 4th string-4th fret. You can use your third finger (or pinky) to reach for the fourth string. If you find you're having trouble making that reach without muffling other strings with your fingers, take off the index holding down the D (3rd fret-second string). There is no reason to lock your hand in that position since you will not be playing that string again. You may find that this allows you to straighten up your remaining fingers to achieve cleanly picked notes in the last bit of that bar. A harmonic D at the 7th fret and you are done. Hope you found this useful and fun to play. Please feel free to play it any way you like. Modify it and make it your own.
I like to play it at 100 BPM just to keep that jump in the middle challenging. Try speeding your playing up once you have the tune down at the bpm below.
Note from carol – I personally did use a small bar at frets 14 and 12 like Marty suggests, actually using my ring finger for the barre not my index, but I fretted individual notes with separate fingers for everything else, except the final harmonic at the 7th fret. That's because, unfortunately, I'm not as good as Marty at barre chords. But however you play it, it doesn't matter. Just find the way that suits you best and have fun while you do it.
Also, I couldn't possibly play this at 100bpm like Marty does - it's more than enough of a challenge for me to play it at 70bpm.
If you have any questions or comments about this lesson you can post them here: D's and Doh's Lesson Discussion