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Secret Love - A fingerstyle guitar lesson

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

Secret Love - The Lesson explained

This beautiful tune was written back in 1953. It was first performed by Doris Day in the film Calamity Jane and recieved an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It's since been covered by countless artists including a great instumental version by Ry Cooder and Manuel Galban. I'd class this lesson as intermediate but if you really want to learn it, then there's no reason why you won't be able to. As I've said before, the only ingredient missing is the time you will need to put into practicing. Remember that you are the boss of those fingers and that you have the ability to make them submit to your commands.

I've done this in Dropped D tuning, in the key of D, so lower that bass string down to D before you do anything.

I wrote a little intro to prime the ears for what follows, using that diminished chord that keeps recurring in the tune itself. You can leave it in or jump straight to the tune at bar 13.

There's a fair bit of travelling up and down the fretboard in this arrangement. That's a good thing. I know that some players believe in looking for the most compact positions when arranging tunes. I don't worry too much about that, I'm more concerned with ease of playing and picking strings and string sets that sound good. For example, that D triad I play at bar 13 could have been played at he fifth fret on the 1-2-3 string set. I did start out playing it there, but played up the neck on the 2-3-4 string set just sounds better to me. The strings are thicker, therefore louder. They're better to add a bit of vibrato to because they're away from the edge of the fretboard. There's nothing worse than applying vibrato to a note on the E string and have the string slip over the edge. I don't want to worry about that. Also, the bits that follow that opening chord work well on that string set too and it's easier to move smoothly to them rather than have to switch back and forth between string sets.

There's a little figure -- a sort of filler -- over the C#dim that incorporates an open string note. Watch out for it. It occurs again a bit later on. There are a couple of other fleeting C#dims in there that may seem a bit tricky at first. They only last for one pluck.

The trickiest bit for me is that passage at bar 48 over the A7. It wasn't easy coming up with a way to incorporate the melody, bass and chord notes there. You might come with your own -- better -- way.

Other than those points, it's all fairly straight forward ... with a lot of practice, of course. You always need to put in enough time so the hands and fingers are prepared for whatever follows, and the only way to do that is to know the moves so well that the one you're on is taking care of itself. Looking ahead is paramount.

Enjoy this one, it is a pleasure to play and listen to when you get it down.

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange

Kirk LorangeAs well as putting together these fingerstyle guitar lessons, I am also the author of PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Package, which teaches a mindset, a way of thinking about music and a way of tracking it all on the guitar fretboard. Yes, there IS a constant down there in the maze of strings and fret wire, a landmark that points to everything at all times. I call it The Easiest Yet Most Powerful Guitar Lesson You Will Ever Learn and many testimonials at my site will back up that rather superlative description. If your goal as a guitar player is to be able to truly PLAY the guitar, not just learn by rote; to be able to invent on the fly, not memorize every note; to be able to see the WHOLE fretboard as friendly, familiar territory, not just the first 5 frets and to do it all without thinking about all those scales and modes, then you should read more here.