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learn guitar  | play guitar | Cat Stevens 


Learn Guitar: Cat Stevens, 3 tips To Play Acoustic Guitar

  Cat Stevens songs are a favorite among guitar players of all
  ages. It's hard to imagine a party or campfire sing along without
  a couple of Cat Steven's song being played on acoustic guitar.

  With songs like Father and Son, Moonshadow, Morning Has Broken,
  Peace Train ... in your repertoire you simply cannot go wrong.

  Cat Stevens are popular for  number of very important reasons: 1.
  the melodies are easy for the public to remember / 2. the guitar
  chords are not very has to play and most importantly. / 3. Cat
  Stevens songs sound good with a solo acoustic guitar.

  In recent times, studio effects have become a part of the overall
  finished product. The end result is that while a particular music
  production may sound interesting and be visually stimulating
  while watching the video clip it is extremely difficult to re-
  create that piece of music without and enormous amount of
  lighting, amplification, audio effects etc.

  The original role of the recording studio was to capture the
  event, since 1957 however in many cases the studio has tried to
  "create the event", by adding studio effect such as reverb, echo,
  distortion in an effort to make the piece of music more

  The problem with this approach of trying to "create the musical
  audio event" is similar to watching a movie that has been created
  primarily to "showcase" or "showoff" the latest visual effect
  ... the problem is often a weak story line.

  Cat Stevens songs do not require anything more that an acoustic
  guitar, that is because Cat's songs are structurally strong and
  stand up without any electronic props or tricks. That's the acid
  test of a good song ... does it stand up on it's own merits?

  Only a small number of artists like, The Eagles, Creedence, Cat
  Stevens etc, have the craftsmanship to write sound material that
  sounds great with one guitar.

  Here's three tips to help you play Cat Stevens songs:

  Tip 1. Learn to recognize musical intervals

  Musical intervals measure the distance from on note to the next,
  just as a builder must have a system of measurement to measure
  the length, width and height of their building materials a
  musician must be able to recognize the "sound" of an interval.

  Listen to the introduction of "Peace Train" for a good example of
  the interval of a sixth. On the first hearing it may appear that
  only one single note is being played, subsequent listening
  sessions will reveal that a harmony note is being played also.

  When you listen to "Peace Train" the first notes you will hear
  are: C - D - E - E - D - C , these notes are played on the second
  string of the guitar, a second note is played beneath each of
  these melody notes.

  The harmony notes; E - F - G - G - F - E are played on the forth
  string. It's a good idea to play the introduction with you right
  hand fingers (for right handed players).

  If we measure the distance from the low harmony note (E) played
  on the fourth string to the melody note (C) played on the second
  string we will discover the distance is six E=1,F=2,G=3,A=4,B=5,
  C=6,  hence the naming of the musical interval.

  Tip 2. Understand how relative minor chords function

  Each major chord has an related minor chord that represents the
  opposite musical effect, for example if we say that the major
  chord represents = bright then it's relative minor chord would
  represent= dark.

  Further examples:

  major chord = happy / minor chord = sad // major chord = male /
  minor chord = female.

  Musical examples: C major = A minor / G major = E minor / D major
  = B minor / A major = F# minor / E major = C# minor etc

  Cat Stevens often substitutes the relative minor chord in place
  of the major to develop his musical story. Listen to "Father and
  Son" notice how he changes the second chord in each verse.

  Verse 1: G to D/F# verse 2: G to Bm (relative minor to D major)
  verse 3: G to D major.

  Tip 3. Learn to read music standard music notation

  Although many artists do not read music if you wish to play a
  variety of music being able to read standard music will help to
  research and understand where many of the popular artists get
  some of the material from.

  For example, Cat Stevens popular hit "Morning Has Broken" was
  originally a traditional Gaelic melody by Mary MacDonald written
  in 1880.When it was translated into English by Lachlan Macbean
  in the 1888 book "Songs and Hymns of the Gael", the translator
  gave the melody the name "Bunessan".

  Cat Stevens understands that a song is a 3 minute story and Cat
  knows how to tell that story.

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