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Theme from M*A*S*H - Fingerstyle Lesson (version 2)

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

Theme from M*A*S*H (version 2) - The Lesson explained


I hope you enjoyed getting version 1 down ... it wasn't that hard, was it?

Here is version 2. It's almost identical except that here I insert some chord tones and add a few embellishments.

The intro: the same apart from a little decoration on the bass strings in bar 4 leading to bar 5. I found my fingers doing this on their own so I figured it must belong there. Use it or ditch it, it's just detail.

You'll see that wherever it makes sense, both musically and physically, I have fleshed out the bass and melody lines with some extra tones. Which do I use? Chord tones, of course. If the chord is Am, I use whatever I can grab from the nearest Am shape, if it's G, I do the same. There's nothing too mysterious about the process. The only chord that doesn't lend itself to this process is the D. That's because the bass line and melody line are close together leaving no room to sandwich any other tones. You can really add any above the melody because we tend to hear the highest line (the soprano line, as it's called) as the melody. We don't want to do that. You'll notice that I do add a bass note to the D chord in bar 10. I curl my thumb around to grab that F# note which turns the D chord into a 'first inversion' D chord, with the 3 on the bottom. It works well there because the next chord is the G and that F# is a nice way of approaching that G bass note. It's called a 'leading-note' or 'leading-tone', and it's a semitone below the note we're heading for. Our human ears like that.

There seems to be lot going on at bars 15 - 16 - 17. If you follow the chord names you'll see that I'm just switching between D and G a couple of times and I'm using that F# in the bass to enhance the bass line.

The rest is more of the same: adding chord tones where practical. The ending at bars 23 - 24 might need some attention, there's a bit of moving around going on there, but all in all it's pretty straight forward finger styling.

Next version, the last one, is more of a worked out arrangement. In these first two I'm playing basic chord shapes as needed to flesh out the top and bottom lines and I'm keeping it very ... standard, for lack of a better word. You'll find that most tunes can be worked out like this because melody and bass lines are always part of the underlying 'chord-of-the-moment'. That's what music is: a woven fabric of moving chord tones. On a guitar we can find multiple positions to find the same thing and the most basic is what I've done in this version of MASH, namely using familiar open chord shapes as the scaffolding. In the last version (Lesson 3), I went looking for something a little more interesting and unique.Have fun with this in the meantime.

For this 3 part lesson, I will be charging a small fee of US $4.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation (all 3 lessons included). Click here to order it.


For this 3 part lesson, I will be charging a small fee of US $4.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation (all 3 lessons included). Click here to order it.

>> Lesson 3 / The next version gets more interesting and unique.




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.