“Slap” Harmonics

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Tip From Mark – ‘Slap’ Harmonics I had a question from a client recently about making harmonics sound properly. In particular, he asked about picking-hand ‘slap’ harmonics in my arrangement of “Moonshadow” in Travis Pick the Hits! I will discuss technique using that example. If you need more information about playing harmonics successfully, I’ve written an extensive article that you can read here. At measure 60 in “Moonshadow” (shown below), I barre the four treble strings at the 2nd fret, an Amajor chord. This must happen quickly, as I have just fretted two individual strings with fingertips, and pulled off […]

Guitar Harmonics – How to Produce Them Successfully!

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Guitar Harmonics – Make Them Chime! I occasionally receive questions from clients about harmonics on the guitar: what they are and how to produce them. Guitar players love harmonics for their high-pitched ringing tone (Hawaiian slack key players call them “chimes”), and for the fact they allow a note (or more) to sustain as the fretting hand moves laterally on the guitar neck – not possible when you have to sustain a fretted a note. High-pitched guitar harmonics occur when a player creates a ‘nodal point’ (a non-vibrating ‘dead’ spot) on a vibrating string. Nodal points occur at the mathematical dividing points on […]

Free tab: “Parting Glass” – Traditional Irish

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  I arranged this beautiful, haunting melody a number of years ago after the tragic shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon – a place where I have concertized, not far from my home. My arrangement and recording of “Parting Glass” has been offered as a free bonus on our website. But after the most recent hate-crime murders on the light-rail MAX train in Portland, I wanted to make it available to everyone, whether you have ordered from Accent On Music on not. I arranged it in Drop-D tuning, although it is set in the key of A-minor. It […]

Free Tab: “Celtic” Scale Exercises in Drop-D

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Alternating-Bass Scale Exercise For a recent wedding I was asked to play an instrumental version of singer George Ezra’s uptempo tune “Budapest” as the recessional. This was a fun little project, and a tune that fit right into an alternating-bass Travis-Picking form. The range of the melody suggested the key of D in drop-D tuning. (He sings it in F.) I put the capo on the second fret to approximate the original key (capo III was too high). Due to copyright restrictions, I will not print the arrangement here, but next best: As I toyed with the melody I came […]