Guitar Crazy !

•August 31, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Here are a couple of good sites I found; GuitarGeek, which is a great site for guitar, amplifier and effects pedal gearheads and Guitarshredshow which is a site that kind of defies description really. Guitar geek is pretty straightforward, a site for everyone who thinks distortion pedals are a necessity of life, up there with guitars and an internet connection, and it has some great guitar rigs from all types of guitarists, not just the real well known ones.

Guitarshredshow is worth a couple of visits, it seems to have some real lessons there ( I wish you could slow them down and make it easier to try and learn them ) and if you get sick of trying to learn them make sure you head for the jam. You don’t have to play anything just hold down any key on your pc keyboard and jam like crazy – it sounds good !

We are halfway through term 3 already and it has turned into the girl song term. First it was Who Knew by Pink, then Other Side of the World by KT Tunstall and now High School Musical fever has struck. Breaking Free is the first track we have been playing. The easiest way to play it is to capo your guitar at the 3rd fret then the chords are Am, F, D, C, G. Towards the end there is a key change and it moves up a whole step but still not too difficult. Another girl song – Breathe by Anna Nalick. Seems easy until you try and strum it. 6/8 time or any kind of triple time is always going to be tricky to strum.

Dani California is still a song that a lot of guitarists are interested in and Tell Me Baby, the follow up to Dani California from the Chili’s has been a lot of fun to learn also. I can’t help feeling that Tell Me Baby is riding in on the coat tails of Dani a bit. The Chili’s have always had that funky side I guess it’s just not quite as much fun to play along to as their slower more melodic stuff. Nice intro but and that intro is a good little fingerstyle workout.

If you are struggling to get started with reading tab for guitar check out my How to Read Tab lesson and leave a message let me know what you think if it is helpful.(or not) 

Guitarists are great. I think I can pick a guitarist pretty quickly now although I have learned never to make a judgement about anyone’s guitar or musical ability.  I remember when I started out heaps of people including my family and other musicians told me I didn’t have ‘it’ whatever that was but did I let that put me off? no way man I was addicted, intrigued, hung up and there was nothing else for it, I just had to play. Guitarists are special people no doubt about it, we are fascinated by music but also by tight steel strings, closely grained wood, shiny chrome, guitar pickups (single coil and humbucker), whammy bars, amplifiers, speakers, effects pedals and most of all by other guitarists. We are a special lot never doubt it. Since the dawn of time (the 50’s) we have ruled the world of music and baby, there is no end in sight. They try and try but there ain’t no computer program that can play like we can play. They need us, and we are available (at the usual rate of course – no cheques please, cash only )


A guitar tuner, new songs and how to play ‘Happy Birthday’.

•August 7, 2006 • 3 Comments

Hey I got a real good tip about a guitar tuner which can be downloaded from the internet and installed on your computer. It is a guitar tuner which you can use to tune electric or acoustic guitars ( you just have to figure out how to get the sound from your guitar into your PC ) . It is called AP Tuner and you can get it from here.

It works pretty good, better than a lot of other guitar tuners which I have found on the internet and tried on my PC before.

It is what I think they call nagware which means its free but everytime you use it you will be nagged about buying it. Just click ‘evaluate’ if you want to try it before you decide to buy it.

 When it is installed you have to go into the screen ‘recording’ then ‘windows recording control’ and select how you are going to get your guitar sound into your computer. If you have a microphone (sometimes the mic is built into the monitor) select the mic as the input. I have got a mixer going into the ‘line in’ on our PC soundcard so I selected ‘line in’ and it worked easy. (Except for the obvious fact that anything to with a pc is never going to be that easy.) Another tip; go into the screen called ‘Note’ and then ‘Note Preset’and make sure that ‘Guitar – Standard E’ is checked.

It seems like I haven’t been doing a lot of posting on my guitar page lately but I am always editing and adding to the posts and songs that are already here. Plus I am reluctant to push ‘Dani California’ off the front page because it gets so much traffic.

I am working on 3 new songs for the studio this week. ‘Who Knew’ by Pink, ‘Your Song’ by Elton John and ‘Tell Me Baby’ by the Chilli’s. The Chilli Peppers are a teaching staple – hard enough to be challenging but not so hard as to be impossible – and it doesn’t hurt that their songs are really catchy and very cool. Green Day are another band that fits into that catagory (simple catchy and cool, if only it was that easy ! we could all be doing it ). Nirvana were the greatest power chord lesson band. Pink has a great song that only has one chord in it ! It is called “Get This Party Started’ and it’s  Bm all the way (“Iiiiiii’m comin up so you better get this party started” – Hey that’s my theme song when I’m clubbin’ it). I have been saying that this was the first Elton John song we had ever done but not so ! we did that ‘Candle In The Wind’ remake that he played for Princess Diana’s funeral.

I have been thinking that I will shift all of the songs off this site and on to another site so that they can all be reached by links from here kinda like what I have already done with ‘You’re Beautiful’ 

P.S. Check out the ‘Happy Birthday’ lesson – you know you will need it one day.

P.P.S. I have added a new page to my guitar site (what you are reading now is a post, the pages are listed down the side) the new page is called : All The Songs On This Site

Tears In Heaven

•July 26, 2006 • 44 Comments


This is a fingerstyle song. In other words you won’t be needing a pick. Most of the song is played on the 2nd and 3rd strings together with either the 5th or 6th. Your right hand is – thumb picking either the 5th or 6th strings, 1st finger picking the 3rd string and 2nd finger picking the 2nd string. Get this right from the start and it will be easier to play. If you can play the intro you should find the rest of the song easy – let me know when you want the rest. Remember you should strum from the elbow, pick from the wrist, but fingerstyle is all in the fingers. Watch your wrist – if it is moving up and down as you pluck you aint doin it right.

When I was learning classical guitar my teacher showed me to hold your forearm out straight ahead (horizontal) and let your wrist go limp so that your hand and fingers point down loosely. Now swing your forearm down without altering the angle of the wrist until your fingertips are touching the strings. This is the correct playing position. Point your thumb up towards the neck and your fingers back towards the bridge. I bet I have an illustration of that somewhere I’ll try and dig it out and post it. It is possible to play with your plucking wrist straight but it seems to force your fingers into more of a clawing action. I don’t play classical anymore you would have to be some kind of hermit monk to get any good at classical but the techniques transfer well into folky style picking.

Here is a step-by-step guide to the intro, the first 8 bars of the song as tabbed above.

Here is the verse and chorus

And here is the bridge (watch these in order)

If this gets too hard here are the chords


And here is the bridge – a bit rough I am afraid but I will try and get back and tidy this up later.


Behind Blue Eyes – words and chords

•July 23, 2006 • 5 Comments

A Studio standard. I have probably played this more often than Fred Durst (or Pete Townshend for that matter )

This is great practice for what we call our slow strum. The version below is played at 61 beats per minute which is about one beat per second so if you count ‘1,2,3,4’ at a rate of one number per second you are counting at 60bpm. This is too slow for our standard strum so count ‘1,2,3,4’ then,’1&2&3&4&’, now strum down on 1, down on 2 and down on the & after2 then down on 3, down on 4 and down on the & following 4. So strum-

 ‘down (rest)down down down(rest) down down’. or-


Check this out

In the following song sheet I have written it so that each chord written in a circle is 2 beats. That is each chord gets a  ‘down (rest)down down’ strum. I am not very consistent in this I know, sometimes it is 4 beats sometimes 2 (sometimes both in the same song) but this is 2 beats per chord


Bryan Adams – Summer of 69,words and chords

•July 14, 2006 • 14 Comments

Back to JD’s Guitar School Home Page 

What a classic song. Catchy and in an easy key, D,A,G,Bm, right up to the bridge where it gets a bit harder and along comes F and worst of all Bb – Bb (Bflat)  is otherwise known as a barchord at the first fret with your 2nd 3rd and 4th fingers holding down the ‘A’ shape and is one of the hardest barchords for beginners but hey! thats not us, right !! Check out my strumming page.

If we are learning this song on acoustic guitar, as opposed to a full on electric approach, then we would start the song on the D chord strumming down 8 downstrums to the bar similar to the way the electric gat kicks the song off. Sort of a powerchord feel. Keep that up through the D A D A (4 bars) until after “it was the summer of 69” then swap to a regular ‘down down up up down’ strum until you get to the first chord fill thingy, that great signature riff.OK I admit this is tricky. Lets do the D chord lick first. On the first string it goes   0 2 3 2 0 2 (fret numbers) This is Dsus2 D Dsus4 D Dsus2 D (Dsus2 is where you play D and then lift up your 2nd finger to let the open 1st string sound, Dsus4 is where you play D then add your little finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st string ) The timing is the thing.

It’s a 2 bar riff and very syncopated (offbeat) I have written the 2 bars here with the notes in bold.


If I was playing this by myself I would strum it so it would go –

down down up up down down down up up down down (I edited that strum pattern in a couple of days ago and looking at it tonight it doesn’t make sense!! – It should be


down down up up down down up up down down )

Dsus2 Dsus2 D D Dsus4 Dsus4 D D Dsus2 D


You should be able to print this if you click it once to open it on another page and then hover over and select the print icon. If you are out of paper save it to your desktop or other place.

Cool Bryan Adams Site

Venus – The Feelers

•July 9, 2006 • 4 Comments

A great song from a great kiwi band from Christchurch!! What a classic riff


Twinkle twinkle Little Star

•July 2, 2006 • 16 Comments

 Jump to Hush Little Baby

 Who knew! There are five verses for twinkle twinkle little star not just the one we all knew about. Play this on any string on your guitar like this-

0077997  5544220  7755442  7755442  0077997  5544220

(How to Read Tab)

This is a great song for two guitarists like if you have a beginner guitarist in the family.

Kids love to play this on the first string out of all of the strings on their guitar but it is a bit harder for whoever is playing the chords – E, A and B7 which trips a lot of people up.

If you pick it on the 1st string (the thinnest string) on your guitar the chords go like this.Strum downwards once on each note of the song.

E E E E A A E(stop)

A A E E B7 B7 E(stop)

E E A A E E B7(stop)

E E A A E E B7(stop)

E E E E A A E(stop)

A A E E B7 B7 E(stop)

Now go play it for your little sister.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

Here it is in a different key – G. Whoever is doing the picking should do all of the picking on the 3rd string and whoever is doing the stumming should strum down once on each of these chords








Hush Little Baby 

Another great song. I love this. To sing this song in this key puts you in a low singing register but that’s the point really. I recommend getting slower and quieter towards the finish. This is nice fingerpicked. mmm that must be around here somewhere…I have only got the words I remember which are these –

C              C      G               G
Hush Little Baby don’t say a word
G                    G             C          C
Daddy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird
     C        C         G             G
an’ if that mockingbird don’t sing
G                    G             C           C
Daddy’s gonna buy you a diamond ring
C              C          G         G
and if that diamond ring is brass
G                    G            C          C
Daddy’s gonna buy you a looking glass
      C         C        G          G
And if that looking glass is broke
G                    G             C      C
Daddy’s gonna buy you a billy goat
      C        C     G            G
and if that billy goat wont pull
G                   G             C           C
daddys gonna buy you a cart and bull
      C        C           G         G
And if that cart and bull fall over
G                   G             C               C
daddys gonna buy you a dog named rover
       C        C               G              G
and if that dog named rover wont bark
G                   G             C              C
daddys gonna buy you a horse and cart
       C       C             G          G
and if that horse and cart fall down
         G              G                  C         C
you’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town