All Posts by Craig

Mountain Jam Guitar Lesson

Epic Jam

I'm always getting requests for The Allman Brother’s “Mountain Jam”, and this makes sense as there is no other one song that wholly represents the Allmans as much as this. Clocking in between 30-45 minutes, the song truly is a musical journey and gives everyone in the band a chance to really shine. The first recorded version of Mountain Jam dates back to May 4, 1969 and the was last played on the very last performance by the ABB on October 29th, 2014.

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Fretboard Fluency – Learning the Notes on the Fretboard

I'm not going to lie, I'm surprised at the number of guitarists that are quite good and have been playing for a considerable amount of time that don't know the names of all the notes on the fretboard fluently. Don't be tempted to skip past this post if you kind of know the notes and are able to figure them out if given enough time. The objective of this lesson is to know all the note names fluently. And by fluently, I mean able to play or name a note instantaneously, without thinking. If I told you to play every C on the guitar, you could play 12 of them, one after another, in less time than it takes you to read this sentence. Or, if someone points out the 15th fret of the second string you call out D without thinking twice.

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Allman Brothers Band – Blue Sky – Dickey Betts’ Solo

In the 3rd and final installment of my Allman Brothers Band "Blue Sky" lesson we take a look at the 2nd guitar solo (Dickey Betts' solo) from the "Eat A Peach" album.

Dickey Betts' solo is pretty much a masterclass in taking a handful of notes and weaving them into an endless number of beautiful melodies. This solo is based out of an E major pentatonic scale with the added 4th degree (also known as a hexatonic scale).

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Allman Brothers Band – Blue Sky – Duane Allman Solo

In this lesson, were taking a look at the first guitar solo (Duane Allman's solo) on "Blue Sky" from the Eat a Peach album.

Duane's solo (as well as Dickey's solo) are both great examples of using only a handful of notes to craft a very melodic and memorable solo. Unfortunately, this was one of the last songs Duane played on before his sudden and tragic death on October 29, 1971. His playing was spectacular on this recording, including effortlessly switching between whole step and step and a half bends with spot on accuracy.

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They Love Each Other – Jerry Garcia 5/8/77 Solo

In this lesson, I bring you Jerry Garcia’s solo on “They Love Each Other” from the legendary May 8, 1977 show at Barton Hall, on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca New York.

"They Love Each Other" is a Hunter/Garcia composition that appeared on Jerry Garcia's 1976 solo album "Reflections". It was debuted February 9th, 1973 at Roscoe Maples Pavilion at Stanford University alongside a number of other soon-to-be Grateful Dead staples. It was performed 226 times after the initial Stanford performance.

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Sugar Magnolia Guitar Solo (Video Lesson)

In this lesson we will be examining Jerry Garcia's 10 bar guitar solo from the 10/29/77 version of "Sugar Magnolia"

"Sugar Magnolia" was released on the Grateful Dead's 1970 album "American Beauty", and was co-written by Robert Hunter and Bob Weir. "Sugar Magnolia" went on to be the band's most played original, played nearly 600 times between its inception and the Dead's last show on 7/9/95.

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Tears In Heaven Guitar Lesson

"Tears In Heaven" first appeared in the 1991 film "Rush", and was later included in Eric Clapton's "Unplugged" collection.

Clapton has admitted that part of the inspiration for the song came from the death of his son, Conor. After Conor's death, Clapton rediscovered the acoustic guitar, and much of the writing he did in that period was for the acoustic guitar. This lesson breaks down my rendition of this lovely, but haunting piece.

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Dire Wolf Lesson – Jerry Garcia Acoustic Guitar Solo (Video Lesson)

In this lesson, we are looking at the Jerry Garcia guitar solo from the acoustic version of "Dire Wolf" that appears on the 1981 live album, "Reckoning". 

The 1981 live Grateful Dead album "Reckoning" features songs from the band's Warfield Theatre run in the fall of 1980, and the opening track "Dire Wolf" is the subject of this lesson. The version of "Dire Wolf" that appears on that album was taken from their October 11, 1980 show, and features an energetic solo from Jerry Garcia that beautifully mixes his bluegrass and jazz influences.

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