Kirk Lorange

Open Air

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The TAB, GuitarPro file, midi files and notation that come with this lesson are now only available as part of the "Fingerstyle Lesson Pack" Details here.
Here's an interesting piece I came up with recently while experimenting with using open strings intermingled with fretted notes. It's fun to play once you convince your fingers to do what they must as often you need to play a 'lower' string to hit a 'higher' note. You'll see what I mean once you start working it out.

It's in my favorite tuning, Dropped-D, so first lower that bass string down to D. Use a tuner if you have one ... you'll find the other 5 strings will need minor adjustments once you lower the bass string as the release of tension affects the whole neck.

The neat thing about this piece is that even though it seems to be played quite fast, your fretting fingers don't need to move quickly. The effect of speed comes from those open strings coming into play, and of course you don't need to move fingers around to fret them. You can see in the movie that my left hand isn't doing all that much work ... there are a couple of good stretches there and a couple of good leaps up the fretboard, but it's not flying around at lightning speed to play all those notes.

It's in the key of D, even though it starts out on the V chord, the A7. I've indicated the chords that underlie it all in the tab. A quick glance at the tab will show you all those open strings ... they are of course all those zeros in there. I think you'll find as I did that it takes a bit of concentration to force your picking fingers to sometimes move to a thicker string in order to play a higher note. It just doesn't feel right.

Have fun with this; once you get the fingers to obey and remember the moves, it's great to play. Those open strings can ring on while the fretted notes are changing and it creates a nice cascading effect. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll say it again: it's not the notes that make the music, it's the way they flow, so once you do get your fingers to comply, work on that aspect ... close your eyes and listen, be the audience as well as the player.

(The movie is not the usual format, that's because I didn't think this was going to be a lesson, but it's so nice to play I thought I'd share it with you.)


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