Summers End - A Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson in D.
Summers End - The Lesson explained
This is one of my compositions from many many moons ago. A Sydney ad agency commissioned me to come up with an 'anthem' for one of their big clients. This is what I came up with. Of course, the arrangement I submitted was orchestral, with strings and french horns and a big sound, but I always did like the bare, unadorned acoustic guitar version. I also did another YouTube version of it here with a slide guitar overdub.
It's in D and it's in Dropped D tuning, so don't forget to lower that bass string down from E to D.
It's pretty straight forward, really. The slow tempo makes it quite easy to move around the fretboard.
Musically, it's pure diatonic. No outside chords, they're all from the D family of chords, in fact they're all there except for the vi chord (which would be C#mb5). You might notice that recurring part where a A/G is followed by a G/A.
So that's an A7 chord first, with the 7 as bass note. It's a 'third inversion' of A7. (More on inversions here.)
The next chord, the G/A (pronounced "G over A") can also be called A11.
The middle eight, for lack of a better term, starts at bar 17. I've called that first grip 'Bm'. Technically, those notes spell out a Gmaj7, but I want it to function as a Bm, a vi chord, so that's what I named it. That open G string is a #5 of B, but you can't really call it a Bm augmented. It is what it is!
The Em, to be strictly correct, should be named Em9, it's got that F# note on the 4th string. It's really more of a melody line over an Em chord.
There are a few sections where the open strings come into play, watch out for them. I do like inserting those open strings into arpeggios, I love the way they ring on over the fretted notes.
This one should be fairly easy to get down. I hope you enjoy it, it's fun to play, especially that little section where bar 17 meets bar 18 (happens again at 21 - 22). You'll know it when you get there.
Remember too that all the positions I use in all the lessons I post make perfect logical sense if you know the lesson my PlaneTalk Package teaches. It's OK to simply copy what I'm doing by counting the number of frets up from the nut, or keeping track using the fretboard dots, there's nothing wrong with doing that. But knowing the fretboard utterly and completely, literally seeing the logic of it all down there, makes it so much better. It's not difficult ... once you know how! The basic landmark I'm 'seeing' down there is as simple as it gets, in fact you already know it, but it truly is all-powerful and can become your best friend for ever more, no matter what aspect of playing the guitar you're wondering about. Check it out here.
As well as putting together these free 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.