The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75650   Message #1333538
Posted By: Dave4Guild
20-Nov-04 - 10:26 AM
Thread Name: Guitar as accompaniment
Subject: RE: Guitar as accompaniment
I thought that I would leave this thread for a while to see how the discussion developed, and was surprised to find that I agree with most of the contributors.

Many years ago, perhaps '72/73, I saw my first guitar workshop at Cambridge run by John James and he had some guest guitarists with him including (I think - memories fade!!)Isaac Guillorie, & Whizz Jones which was brilliant - BUT a Showcase not a workshop.

Since then I have appeared as a performer at festivals but only in the last few years have I been asked to do Workshops. I decided then to emphasise that the content of the workshop was as 'Guitar as Folk-Song Accompaniment'.

I have never regretted it!

I usually produce a single sheet handout with:-
Some TAB for a few pattern picks

(a) TITM for G (Thumb - index - thumb - Middle ; on strings 6/3/4/2)
They remember that!

(b) A clawhammer roll in C for those with more experience'

Some chord diagrams for the basic chords
Some modified chord shapes suitable for fingerstyle
Some suggestions for songs

And then work through it slowly.

With only an hour to cover it it is a bit rushed, but with the handout to act as a memory aid, it's like a mini guitar tutor, that they can get back to later and it triggers memories to recreate the sounds they heard.

Don't forget that with a group like this they are the ultimate in "mixed ability Groups" but they are so keen, it is an absolute delight to see them develop so quickly. Sometimes from not even having much of an idea of where to start, to being able to play at least something musical, before leaving.

I've never had so much positive feedback as I have had after some of these sessions, with friends coming to me later in the festival to say how much it has helped them.

Here's a suggestion from one of my work sheets this year(not for complete beginners)as an example, although I can't put in a suitable tab and I'm simply expressing the chords as fret positions fingered rather than the chord shapes.

This is a 5 chord sequence ending on GM7

7x7750 (Bm), 6x6750(?1), 5x5530(Am), 4x4530(?2), 320002(GM7).

I got this from Kevin Dempsey years ago and it is a great ending for a slow song in G - but he used it in Brigg Fair '.....(Bm)Aug ......(?1)ust, The (Am)Wea(?2)ther.... 'to Dm7
From the first verse, here in the key of C, hence moving to Dm7.

(3/4 time - some fingerstyle arpeggio pattern as you wish)

This load of garbled gobbledygook just shows how how difficult it is to express guitar playing in words!!
But with the facility of being able to SHOW someone how it is done, and what it SOUNDS like, the whole thing becomes clear!
Anyway I've written enough to annoy most people, but I am looking forward to the workshop at Bedworth that I'm doing with Chris (duelling bazoukis)which is actually called "Guitar Playing for Song Accompaniment"
The idea is to promote accomplished guitar playing and musically sensitive arrangements for folk songs bearing in mind that if you are going to accompany a song it should be with due regard for the song and its meaning.
It is an area where we can be artistically creative despite the fact that we didn't write the song, but most songs are not to show off your guitar playing ability! There are instrumental tunes for that!

The song comes first.

Dave Bennett