Guitar: Jack Johnson – Upside Down

Sometimes I get bored just listening to myself play the guitar, so I decided to add some backing tracks on this one using GarageBand (which came with my MacBook Pro laptop). I added the drum kit and percussion tracks fairly quickly. It took me a while to figure out how to manually add the electric bass part. It took even longer to get good takes on the guitar parts. I don’t have any professional music recording equipment, so the guitars sound like I recorded them with an old boombox. Oh well… it’s just for fun anyway. It’s all about learning new things (guitar included).

Guitar: Allman Brothers – Melissa

I’ve known this song for many years, but only just recently learned how to play it on the guitar. It has a really good feel to it and I enjoy playing along to various covers on YouTube. The original recording is a bit faster, but I like playing it slower like some other folks do when they cover it. Maybe someday in the future I’ll learn how to sing along with it.

Guitar: Kings of Leon – Use Somebody

I’ve been playing “campfire chords” on an acoustic guitar since I was about 21 years old… but today I learned how to play power chords on my electric guitar. I feel like Neo from The Matrix when he tells Morpheus, “I know kung fu.” I have a lot of practicing ahead of me to smooth out the chord transitions, but it’s a start!

I guess I never got the concept that the index finger is always on the root note and you’re just sliding the same simple 1st/5th shape up and down the fretboard on the E and A strings. I feel like a whole new world of standard rock songs has opened up to me. So much fun! I added a drum backing track using an old iPad app called AmpliTube by IK Multimedia.

Guitar: Pink Floyd – Dogs (Intro)

While learning the song “Dogs” by Pink Floyd today, I broke one of my guitar strings (and yes, it was the G-string). I’m pretty sure I broke a string the last time I tried to learn this song. Maybe I need to work on faster—but much lighter—strumming techniques. Anyway, I can now roughly play the song, but there’s no guarantee on the integrity of my guitar. Again, I need more time with the metronome.

Guitar: David Bowie – Starman

I’ve been trying to learn this song for quite a while. This isn’t a great recording, but it’s a good demonstration of my progress so far. If you haven’t figured it out already, these are just impromptu recordings using the Voice Memos app on my iPhone. Like a lot of David Bowie songs, this one is a lot of fun to play because it has a lot of fast-changing chord shapes. I definitely need to practice with a metronome more in order to smooth out the pacing.

Guitar: Fun with DADGAD Tuning

This is another alternate guitar tuning. As opposed to Double Drop D tuning, this one tunes both E strings down to D and the G string down to A. You can pretty much strum all of the open strings and it sounds really good. Then you can learn a few simple chord shapes and move them up and down the fretboard for fun. It’s not exactly a song, but it’s really enjoyable to play.