Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
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Well hello folks! It’s Mike Herberts. And the holy grail of guitar, which is in my opinion, “Classical Gas” of Mason Williams. It’s not overtly that difficult really, it’s tricky piece, but it’s not the most difficult piece of guitar that I know. But it does take a long time to learn. I think that’s the thing, it takes a long time to learn. And it’s a whole lot easier doing it this way with someone showing you. If you can bind this with the files I send you, and slow them down, play the thing slowly, you will crack it. But it will take quite awhile. But believe me it’s really worth it, because there are so few people who can play this well, that it’s really worth the effort.
All I’m going to cover in this section, in this particular video, is the first little section, a very small section, in fact, just the introduction. I’ll play the introduction, this is what we’re going to cover. 1, 2, 3, 4… That’s it, that’s all we’re going to do in this video. So let me show you exactly what’s going on is worth learning, every little section of this, and perfecting it, because there are moves in there that we use later on in the piece. So it’s worth learning. So we hold on A minor chord, if you really don’t know what an A minor chord is, then well, I don’t know if this is the right piece for you, I have to say. But it’s an E shape, move down on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings. And that’s an A minor chord.
So the first section is very simple actually. We’re using the 2nd, and 5th string and we do this… That’s it. And then we play, what is a G chord? But we’re holding down the 6th string on the 3rd fret and we play an open chord arpeggio. So we hit the 6th, 3rd and 2nd, in quick sequence like this… So, it’ll sound like this. 1, 2, 3, 4… The next now we play is the 6th string, again but it’s the 2nd fret, and we’re going to use the thumb. And then we play, exactly the same arpeggio with the right hand here, but on all open strings… So, that would go like this. 1, 2, 3, 4… We then have to play… Which is on the 3rd string, and it’s the 2nd fret. Now what you’ll notice is I’m holding down on the chord, or portion of the A minor chord there. The reason for that is because later on when it gets quicker, it’s much handier to be holding down the chord ready, rather than just using the one finger there. So, get used to using the chord. But the introductions are great thing to learn actually because it’s standing for good stat for later on. So from the top, 1, 2, 3, 4…
Then we play another of this arpeggio’s, hold the chord down, we’re using the 5th, 4th, and 3rd strings. From the top, 1, 2, 3, 4… Okay, straight forward enough up to now. We then carry on with our A minor chord, but we do this… We’ll do that again. It’s just an arpeggio and a little hammer on. Again, 5th string, 3rd string, 2nd string open and then hammered on the first… We’ll do it twice… From the top… Same arpeggio. 2nd fret, and then open arpeggio. Now we’re nearly there, we just have the final section of this first bit. We just did the trickiest section, but it’s the one where you really need to focus on because we’ll use it a lot later on in the piece. I’ll play it and then I’ll explain what I’ve done… We play that one more time, to give you something to look at… Now let me show you exactly what I did… And then we immediately, we have to play the last note, which is the 2nd string 1st fret, so we do need this shape. So we hold the shape… So we’re playing the same arpeggio with the different base string, the 5th string, so it starts on the 6th string… Then we move immediately to this shape, get used to it. Middle finger,5th string 2nd fret, pinky 2nd string 3rd fret… Get used to that because we use it a lot okay. So from the top…
This is where the timing goes wrong for people, because that note is immediately followed, This last note of our second arpeggio… The last note there. So from the top of that section… Then we hold the C shape… We don’t really need all of that but it just makes sense to hold the C shape because the C shape is the natural thing to hold down to it… Okay, pinky 2nd string 3rd fret, and then we play the 2nd string 1st fret with the open 5th string. Okay don’t panic, I’m going to show you that again. 1, 2, 3, 4… So we played the 5th open, and then back to here, and then it finishes with… just a 5th string 2nd fret, 2nd string 1st fret… and then open. Shall we do that section again for you? Okay don’t worry. 1, 2, 3, 4…I’ll do it again, nice and slowly, I’ll do it very slowly this time okay. In fact, let’s go right from the top, shall we? And I’ll do it as slowly as I possible can. 1, 2, 3, 4…
And then, of course in the next lesson, we’ll do this… Okay so a lot is going on there, isn’t it? It’s a great piece, you’re going to really enjoy learning it. Well, that’s the end of the first lesson.