Learning guitar is all about being influenced and inspired by other guitar players, both past and present. This fuels your desire to play, and finding someone new to listen to and study is a great way to get yourself out of a period of little to no progress, reigniting your inspiration, motivation, and creativity with your own guitar playing.
A guitarist worth studying for these very reasons is Chet Atkins. We are going to take a close look at some of the key parts to his guitar playing style and in the process you will expand upon and improve improve your own playing.
At the core of Chet Atkins' style was country, however he could play most other things including jazz, flamenco, and classical, giving him the nickname of "Mister Guitar". Trying to cover everything that made up Chet Atkins' style of guitar playing is just not realistic to even try to do in a single article. It will be much better if we narrow our focus to a few key aspects and see how we can apply them to our own guitar playing and become better players in the process.
Before we do however, why is it that we should study the styles and techniques of other guitar players? Well, as already mentioned, it will improve your own guitar playing and fuel your desire to play the thing, right?
This is all true, however in addition to this, studying the styles and techniques of other guitar players will also have a big influence on your attitude towards your playing.
How is this?
When you really get into a particular player you want to know everything about them and go beyond simply copying some of their trademark riffs and licks. You want to know what makes them tick and what has gotten them to the level that they are at. It goes beyond the physical aspects of playing a guitar, and this is a massive benefit to studying other players.
Today, however, we will focus more on the physical aspects of Chet's playing, but the point above should never be underestimated.
Double Stops: Harmonising With 3rd's And 6th's
A double stop is when you play two notes together at the same time on the guitar. These notes can be on adjacent and non adjacent strings. Chet used double stops extensively throughout his playing. Most times the two notes he played created either a 3rd or 6th harmony.
Chet would often use these double stops to harmonise the melodies of the tunes he played as well as filling the pockets between a vocal line if he was playing with a singer. The result would be beautiful and rich sounding melodic lines that would feature heavily throughout Chet's playing.
To easily use the harmonies of 3rd's and 6th's in your own guitar playing, you need to be able to visualize them on the fretboard.
Once you have done this, the next step is to get these harmonies into your own playing. Studying …Read more