For the past year I’ve been working on a piece of music… a piece of music that’s purpose is to bring people together. It’s made up of four parts: some so simplistic an absolute beginner could learn them and other parts that are perfect for a virtuoso. There is literally a part for everyone to play.
The piece is called ‘Guitar Revolution’ and it’s a piece of music for an infinite number of guitars: it could be played by a handful of mates in a pub or be performed by the population of a large town.
DOWNLOAD THE TABS HERE:
We are launching it at The London Acoustic Show on the 10 September and you are invited to learn it and join The Chris Woods Groove Orchestra on stage at Olympia London, so get involved and don’t forget your guitar!
There are four parts in this piece:
The Riff, which is a simplistic, repeated pattern. It’s ideal for less confident players or someone who has never touched a guitar. This is tinted red in the official video.
The Arpeggio part, which contains just four chords. It’s tinted green in the vid.
The Melody – simplistic and catchy. Tinted blue in the video.
And finally the Advanced part, which is a real pleasure to wrap your fingers around. This is tinted yellow in the official video.
Now it’s up to you to decided which part you want to learn. The tabs for all four parts are included on the next two spreads of this mag. While the tab and in-depth tuition videos are also available to download and view for you from chriswoodsgroove.co.uk and www.acousticmagazine.com – all for free.
On the day there will be a run through before we perform, so don’t panic. Be sure to head to chriswoodsgroove.co.uk/guitarrevolution and sign up to the Guitar Revolution mailing list, so we can let you know any important info.
So that’s it, its your chance to learn something new, and be part of creating a truly revolutionary guitar orchestra. Of course, it wouldn’t be a revolution without spreading the word, so why not get Jim next door to dust off his guitar and let Sandra at work know? Everyone is welcome.
In this article I’m going to get stuck into helping you with each part, with some notes to make things easier. Whatever part you choose to play on the day I would recommend starting by learning the Riff to give you an overview of the piece. Let’s get stuck in!
As already mentioned there are four parts to this piece, all with varying difficulties. The structure is equally as simplistic with just three sections, we have a main theme, followed by a middle section and finally we have a variation on that main theme.
In section one (main theme) we are not quite using chords just one finger and an open note. There are three shapes to learn and a short motif. The first shape is simply your first finger on the second fret on the A string and the open D string. We alternate between the A string and the open D in a ‘1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and’ rhythm and we play this twice.
The second shape uses an open A string and your third finger fretting the fourth fret on the D string. We play the same pattern as before, striking the A then D string in a ‘1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and’ rhythm, and again we play this twice.
We then come across a short motif playing the open G, then fourth fret on the D string (notice you’ve just come from there!), followed by an open D, and finally fretting the second fret on the D string.
The final part of the riff has your second finger fretting the note of G on the third fret of the E string and the open D. we alternate between these two notes in the same way as before, except we now do this for three bars.
Loop this whole section around six times, and then stop for one whole bar, counting ‘1 2 3 4’, this takes us to the middle section.
The middle section is your first full chord, consisting of: fourth fret, D string; open G; and third fret, B string. What’s crucial here is the rhythm: we play strings DGB DGB DG. It’s helpful to count: ‘123, 123, 12’. We play this a lot of times, 16 times to be exact. Your best bet is to ‘feel’ when the change is and/or look at me during the performance, since counting to sixteen when under pressure is surprisingly tricky.
The third section ‘variation on main theme’ if you’re playing the riff, is exactly the same as the main theme, so relax and just loop it around five times and finish with the first note of main theme, letting it ring out.
During ‘The Main Theme’ section we use three chords. Picking through the chord in a descending order, with a subtle variation of that chord. But before you start playing notice there is one full cycle without you, eight bars in total. The first chord shape is a B minor barre chord, simply lift off your barre
to reveal the open E. The second chord is a B minor chord but with an open A in the bass, so no need to hold that barre down. For the variation simply take away your second finger on the B string (second fret) and add your first finger to the second fret to reveal that C#.
One tricky thing here is that we change half way through the bar to our G shape, so watch out! To make the G shape simple, fret with your second finger on the third fret, E string and your first finger on the D string, second fret. Once you have played through the cycle three times, finish with the note of G, count to the end of the bar and then it’s patience time.
We are now in the middle section. Your chord shape, although simple, only comes in after the ‘riff players’ have played there chord for four bars, so be sure to have your counting hat on.
Once we land in the ‘Variation on Main Theme’ section, it’s all plain sailing. Just repeat the main theme but alternate between those chord variations, for example with the Bmin, release the open E every two beats. Look at the tab for further clarity.
There’s not too much to say about the melody part, presuming you can use pull-offs the actual melody itself will be easy. The tricky bit is the spaces in between! This is one of the biggest challenges of playing in an orchestral setting… staying quiet, but staying focused. As you can see from the tab, your part is littered with silences, and those silences are hugely important.
To help you get a feeling for whats going on be sure to master the Riff first. Then learn the melody and see if you can play along to the video by simply ‘feeling it’, counting this one will be tricky.
The advanced part brings together all the above parts, so its worth visiting them all before you attempt this. I have tabbed it out in a very simplistic way, but you will notice I tend to play the first note of the bar with a ‘rake’ or ‘slur’. I create this effect by locking my fingers on my picking hand in place and ‘rolling’ up to the melody note. This really isn’t essential, playing in a more simplistic way is equally as great, the subtle differences between how we all play it will add to the sound. Enjoy it and take your time.