Some of us attended a guitar workshop with Les More today.

We started the day with a discussion of why each of us was there and why we took up playing.  Many of the answers included the themes of stress relief, being sociable, and improving how we play.

The group had varied experiences but here is what I learned:

  • When you emphasise the first strum of a chord when you change to it is it called a flourish
  • Left hand dampening is the term given to relaxing the fingers on the fretboard e.g. for every 4th beat of a common time tune to vary the sound of the accompaniement
  • Easier ways to play an F which I WILL practice….sometime…probably when I find a tune I really like full of F’s.
  • F#m alternatives .  I need to ask more questions about these……hide if you see me. GOOD NEWS -Les believes  some poorer quality guitars can make these chords harder to play….so that is partly to blame in my case (noted not to buy new guitar just yet)
  • Legitmate use of CAPO is to change key when playing open strings to accompany a singer who needs a different key.  Folk use them for other stuff too but for standard chords us professionals don’t usually need them (that’s me by the way!)

Other things covered that I already knew (but don’t necessarily practice):

  • I liked the way Les described holding the plectrum like taking hold of a big mug of tea (I think he said gin or something else alchoholic)
  • To accompany a tune you don’t know identify the key, use three chord trick (aka 1,4,5) and relative minor (6th note in the scale) and this will probably work for 70% of the material

Also – reminded me much easier to make suitable noises on the guitar than the fiddle!

Should we invest in a Scratchy metronome/click trac/drum machine to help with timing?

Some of the folk were discussing having an accompaniement get together to decide on the official chords  for some of our versions of tunes.


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  1. stevie Says:

    Thanks for organising today’s event V, I’m sure we all took something different from it and I expect your feedback will be useful.

  2. Jimmy. Says:

    Oh! that is interesting, I had considered going along but as I am still struggling with the violin I chose not to.
    Sounds like I was wrong,
    Thanks for the feed back.

  3. paulso Says:

    If there is a wee group looking at chords and you would like someone to (try to) play melody, give me a shout. I’ll bring my mandolin as it is (a bit) less scratchy.

    I could probably throw in a few ideas also for chord progressions if it would help though it would need a list of tunes agreed in advance.

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