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Some Folks Do
This arrangement of "Some Folks Do" is a complete lesson in finger style guitar
picking. I start with single melody notes. Then it's simple bass followed by
alternating bass. Finally I finish with an advanced syncopated style. Notice how in
the syncopated style, melody notes are shifted from down beats to up beats. I
show you how to play this arrangement in the finger picking lesson. As full as this
sounds especially in the syncopated style, it is played solo on a classical or
acoustic guitar. When you learn to play this on guitar, you will find that it has to be
played in the key of C, with open strings, in first position. But the key of G would
have a more comfortable singing range for most people. The accomplished
guitarist can play it for singing in G and switch to C for the solo. Earlier I asked,
why do we need to learn different keys if they all sound the same? One reason is
to match  our instruments or vocal range. The song will play once. Click on the
player below to activate it so you can use the controls to stop and start the music
at will.
A Message To Past Visitors
Some time ago I began organizing my music pages around a new concept with a free music
lesson series. But as many were coming to my site through this page, I left it in place.  I am
going to have it be the gateway page to the guitar lessons. I will be adding to this page but
will keep everything that is already here. All the new guitar pages can be accessed through
the links in the navigation bar on the right. They start with "Guitar Basics" and end with
"Classical Guitar Melody" for a total of eight more free guitar lessons. The navigation bars
on those pages will have a link labeled "The Guitar" to get you back here.
Guitar Playing Styles
When someone says they want to learn to play the guitar, what do they mean. What style of
guitar do they want to play. For many today they mean the style of guitar that they hear in a
rock band, a solid body guitar with lot's of amplification. But even with that, do they want to
play lead guitar or rhythm guitar. Or maybe they want to play the electric bass guitar. These
three instruments, with the drums make up the basic rock band lineup. But there are many
more types of guitars and many more guitar playing styles. Often the type of guitar that you
would use and the style of playing that you would use depends on the type of music that you
want to play. There's classical, folk, flamenco, country and blues to name a few. We will look
at some of these different types of music and see what type of guitar we would use and what
style we would use to play it.
The Classical Guitar
The type of guitar that reaches back to the beginning of guitar playing is today called a
classical guitar. This type of guitars is of course acoustic. The amplified electric guitar is a
fairly recent invention. The vibrating strings of an acoustic guitar impart vibration to the fine
wood of the thin braced top. This causes the air inside of the hollow body to vibrate
increasing the volume of the sound coming out of the sound hole. The strings on these
guitars were made of animal gut at one time but modern classical guitars use nylon strings.
A traditional classical guitar has a wide neck, twelve frets to the body and a total  of only 19
frets. On the picture of the traditional classical guitar pictured below, the main parts are
The Basic Classical Guitar
Amplifying Acoustic Guitars
Before amplification was invented, all performances were of course acoustic. One way to
amplify an acoustic guitar is to play into a microphone. A good microphone and sound
system can capture the true acoustic sound. There are even microphones available that can
be mounted in the sound hole of the guitar. For steel string guitars including acoustics,
magnetic pickups can translate the vibrations of the strings into a signal that can be
amplified. Nylon strings of course cannot influence a magnetic field, so magnetic pickups
won't work with a nylon string acoustic. For nylon string guitars there are a number of
contact microphones and transducers that attach to the top of the guitar, usually below the
bridge to amplify the natural vibrations of the guitars top. In addition to just picking up the
vibrations, there are other features built in like preamps, equalization and volume control.
We had contact microphones in the early days but modern electronics has lead to a vastly
superior result. These modern transducer systems are even preferred for steel string
acoustics because they give a more natural true acoustic sound. Some systems for steel
string guitars use both transducers and magnetic pickups to blend the two sounds.
Nylon String Acoustic Electric Guitars
The classical guitarist uses his
thumb and three fingers of his
right hand to pluck the strings of a
classical guitar. A folk or country
player might use just the thumb,
index and middle or even just the
thumb and index. Steel string
guitar players use thumb and
finger picks or a single pick or
plectrum held between the thumb
and index finger.
Steel String Acoustic Electric Guitars
The steel string acoustic guitar has been the mainstay of country and folk players for many
years. It can be played with finger picking but is mostly played with a pick. Steel strings are a
bit hard on the fingers although finger picks can be used. It can be used to play single note
lead and harmonized melody but it's main use is accompaniment or backing up the singer.
Many singers start out learning to strum a few basic chords using a pick. Some never
progress much beyond that leaving the more sophisticated guitar playing to other members
of the group. The acoustic steel guitar has a flat top with the round sound hole between the
finger board and the bridge. The bridge piece is glued onto the top just like on a classical
guitar. The bridge piece holds the actual bridge that the strings pass over and the holes for
fastening the strings at that end. Classical guitar strings are tied but steel strings have an  
piece called a ball on one end to keep them from pulling through the hole. Although the
steel strings could be amplified directly with a magnetic pickup just like an electric guitar, for
a true acoustic sound they usually use a transducer pickup just like the nylon string guitars.
Some of the old country players used to use a magnetic pickup mounted in the sound hole.
There are some systems that use a blend of both types of pickups for a unique sound. The
Takamine EG530SSC is a modestly priced, quality example of this type of guitar. The
ultimate in a guitar for accompanying the singer with a really big sound is the 12 string
guitar. The three lower bass strings are doubled up with a string one octave higher. The two
high strings are doubled up with a unison string. The third string is either doubled up with a
unison string or one an octave higher. In standard tuning an octave higher string would be
tuned to g, two notes higher than the open e first string. This leads to a lot of broken strings.
Often because of the extreme tension put on the guitar by 12 strings the guitar is tuned to a
lower pitch.
Hollow Body Electric Guitars
Solid Body Electric Guitars
When you think of rock and roll, you think solid body electric guitar and the guitars that you
think of are the Gibson Les Paul and  Fender Strat. There are many good solid body guitars
but to define the type I going to stick with two of the best. First a real Gibson Les Paul at a
price you can afford. Some folks like Fenders and some folks like the Les Paul. I have a
bigger hand and prefer the more substantial neck of the Les Paul. Other companies make a
Les Paul but why not buy a real Gibson. The Strat is exclusive to Fender but many
inexpensive models are made overseas. This is a real American made Strat.
The first guitar lessons pages are about playing classical guitar. The next type of guitar
playing that we will explore is folk guitar. Folk music can be played on a classical guitar. A
good example is the finger picking arrangement of Some Folks Do in the
Finger Picking
lesson. Any body who can play classical guitar can play this lesson easily on a classical
guitar. But as you will learn Folk playing involves many techniques and many types of
guitars, especially the steel string acoustic guitar. After that I will begin to teach the electric
guitar, for jazz, rock and the many other types of music it can play. When will I get to teach
you all this. There is only me, Tony, working on this site all by myself. Right now without
enough support from my visitors I have to work on other projects. I only get to spend a
couple of days a week here. Yes this site is free. When you buy from the affiliates I get a
small commission. The formula is more income from affilates, more free time to work here,
more free lessons.
©2006, 2009
The Guitar
Below is a picture of my nylon string acoustic guitar. This guitar has the standard wide flat
classical neck, with 12 frets to the body and only 19 frets total. As with most classical guitars
the 19th fret is only partial, as the sound hole cuts into it in the center. Non standard of
course is the cutaway that gives better access to some higher notes and the built in
electronics. The transducers are built in under the bridge. It didn't come out too clear in the
picture but on the side of the body there is a control block. It has presence and volume
control. It has bass, middle and treble equalizer controls. It also is where the 9 volt battery,
that the system requires is installed. On the other side of the guitar near then bottom are
two types of connections, with one being a standard guitar jack, for connection to an
amplifier. Nylon string acoustic guitars are available with narrower necks, fourteen frets to
the body and more frets over all. The typical electric guitar amplifier is not the best choice to
amplify this type of guitar. You need one that will keep the natural sound. There are
amplifiers that are made special for this type of guitar.
New Guitar Pages
After I had completed this series of new guitar pages, some new information led me to go
even further in reorganization. But as this group of guitar pages were getting quite a bit of
traffic, I decided to leave them as is for now. But for beginners I have some new guitar
pages. Go to
Guitar Basics to get to the new guitar lessons. This also puts you in the
revised part of the site. You can explore because clicking on the link "The Guitar" in any
navigation bar will get you back here.
Playing Some Folks Do Finger Picking
The three free folk guitar lessons teach you every aspect of playing "Some Folks Do" on the
guitar. They teach you the chords and the melody. They teach you to play it in different
keys. They teach you step by step to play each part of the finger picking arrangement
above.  Finally you get the music for the complete finger picking arrangement. You have the
music in both guitar music notation and tab. Use these links "
Playing Folk Guitar", "Finger
Picking Folk Guitar", "Finger Picking Guitar Study" or the links in the navigation bar on the
right. The navigation bars on those pages will have a link labeled "The Guitar" to get you
back here.
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The hollow body electric guitar is somewhat similar in purpose to the steel string acoustic
electric but of very different construction. It can fill that rhythm guitar roll but is also more
likely to be used as a lead instrument. The first thing that you notice is the arched top and
the f type sound holds similar to violins and cellos. Then you see that the strings are tied
into a tail piece. The bridge often floats and is held in place by the strings so you have to be
sure it is correctly positioned. Bridges a often very elaborate with individual adjustments for
each string. This type of guitar has at least two magnetic type pickups for playing both lead
and rhythm. This type of guitar and the acoustic electric are also available in a thin body
style. With bodies half as thick as a full bodied guitar, they don't have the same volume
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