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learn guitar  | play guitar | Creedence Songs


Learn Guitar: Play Creedence Songs On Guitar

  Anyone who has bought an "easy-play" guitar book and tried to
  play a Creedence song on guitar will know the frustration and
  disappointment as the sound of the first wrong chord echoes
  across their practice room.

  The problem is Creedence songs seem easy to play (that's why they
  turn up in so many beginners guitar books), however like every
  thing, there is a trick to getting something so simple to sound
  like the recorded version.

  John Fogerty is the lead guitarist and songwriter behind the
  popular Creedence songs. John is a master of understatement on
  guitar who understands that true technique is the ability to be
  able to create a simple memorable musical phrase (guitarist's
  often call these phrases riffs) that people can immediately
  identify with a particular song. Guitarist's often call these
  phrases riffs.

  Within the first three seconds of any Creedence song you can tell
  which song you are listening to. These guitar riff's are like
  musical "number plates" that help the audience identify the song
  ... and they work!

  Listen to the first five notes of "Down On The Corner", the riff
  un mistakenly belongs to that song. Whereas a guitarist of lesser
  caliber than John Fogerty could waffle on with dozens of notes
  that would have little impact on the listener.

  John is also the master of the basic three minute radio song.
  Most Creedence songs range between three to four minutes in
  duration which is ideal for radio airplay. Three minute songs
  are the favorite length for radio stations as they allow for the
  maximum number of advertisement slots per hour that can be sold
  thereby creating the most revenue for the radio station and of
  course the more radio friendly the song is the more likelihood of
  the song getting played on air.

  The first issue when playing Creedence songs on guitar is how to
  get that Creedence sound. The chord progressions look simple, why
  don't they sound like the record?

  There's two main reasons why most guitarists don't get that
  Creedence sound on their guitar: (a) Most Creedence songs in the
  "easy play" style books are written in a different key than the
  recorded version. (b) for certain songs John Fogerty uses a
  guitar that is tuned differently than standard tuning.

  Standard guitar tuning is:

  6th string = E
  5th string = A
  4th string = D
  3rd string = G
  2nd string = B
  1st string = E

  John Fogerty's  guitar tuning  for songs such as "I Heard It
  Through The Grapevine", "Run Through The Jungle", "Midnight
  Special" etc., is:

  6th string = D
  5th string = G
  4th string = C
  3rd string = F
  2nd string = A
  1st string = D

  Basically it's your standard guitar tuning a whole step lower
  (two frets), this creates a big, rich, dark guitar sound and also
  makes the strings easier to bend because there is less tension on
  the strings.

  Another tip for playing Creedence songs on the guitar is to use
  an effect called "tremolo", you can hear great example of what
  the tremolo effect sounds like if you listen to the first chord
  of midnight special.

  Tremolo is an electronic effect that was standard on many
  amplifiers built in the 70's amps such as the Fender Twin reverb
  and Kustom amps had two controls in the tremolo section of the

  One control was "depth", which was the amount of the effect you
  could mix with your original sound. The other control was "rate"
  which was used to control the speed or rate of repeats of the
  effect per minute.

  When you play Creedence songs on the guitar keep this in mind
  some songs are standard tuning and other songs use the whole step
  down tuning.


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