Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including air guitar, B.B. King’s guitar, and more…
Here we go…
#1 – Air guitar!
I went out to a rock club the other night with some of my oldest pals.
I think the last time I went to a club was before Archie was born.
It’s been that long!
It was a very old-school night with lots of beers and loud music.
We had a great time.
One thing hasn’t changed in all that time.
It’s the folk who really get into a song and start playing…
…Air guitar on the dancefloor!
Whether it’s Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” or Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”, you know there are guitar players out there who just can’t resist whipping out their air guitar.
Well, air guitar isn’t just for rock clubs in my experience.
I actually think playing a little air guitar at home can be really useful for real guitar playing too.
For example, if there’s something you’re struggling to play, and tension or pain is creeping in…
Put the real guitar down for a little while.
Instead, run through the movements with your fretting hand but do so in the air.
…And do so in a super relaxed manner.
…Then try your best to keep this relaxed feeling when you play that piece on the guitar once more.
It’s a little tip that I’ll go into more detail about soon, but for now, give it a try…
#2 – The story of B.B. King’s guitar, Lucille
I was reading about the great B.B. King the other day and the story of his famous guitar, Lucille.
If you don’t know it, this is a super interesting story.
In a cold winter of 1949, B.B. King was playing a dance hall in Arkansas.
Two men got into a fight and knocked over a barrel of kerosene that was in the middle of the dance floor.
(Apparently, using kerosene was common practice at the time to heat venues up).
Then the hall burst into flames, and everyone was evacuated.
…But, oh no.
Outside, B.B. realised he left his guitar in the building and dangerously ran back in to get it.
Later, B.B. learned that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille.
So, as a vivid reminder to himself to never do anything as stupid as run into a burning building ever again…
B.B. named his guitar Lucille.
It’s an interesting story, so I thought I would share it with you.
By the way, have you ever named one of your guitars?
#3 – There are a million ways to use the same old chords
One thing I love to do on the guitar is to play about with a handful of chords and do all sorts of things with them.
For instance, let’s take a typical I-IV-V chord progression.
There are so many things we can do with this.
Let’s choose the key of A.
In this key, the I-IV-V chords are A, D, E.
You could play these chords in a typical 50s pop way with some simple bouncy strumming.
…You could fingerpick the chords and add embellishments just like greats such as James Taylor, Paul Simon, and Tommy Emmanuel do…
Then you can add some overdrive and play some rock ‘n’ roll…
Or even jam some Clapton-esque blues with these three chords.
It’s so much fun playing about with different styles and sounds while sticking to the same chords.
Doing so really pushes you to be creative and try different techniques.
Three chords is all it takes.
Just remember, it’s what you do with them that counts.
I’m thinking of doing a fun lesson on this sort of thing soon (so let me know if this sounds interesting).
For now, if you want to master the I-IV-V in one of the most exciting guitar styles around, check this out.
Not only will you learn to jam the blues, but you’ll add loads of cool licks and riffs to it too, giving you endless amounts of fun.
Hope you have a great Monday!
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.