Modern Fingerstyle Guitar & Singing - An Introduction | Jon Hart | Skillshare

Modern Fingerstyle Guitar & Singing - An Introduction

Jon Hart, Fingerstyle Singer-songwriter

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11 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Welcome

    • 3. Hammered Chords - Part 1

    • 4. Hammered Chords - Part 2

    • 5. Percussive Guitar Anatomy

    • 6. Basic Percussive Guitar Beat

    • 7. Combining Chords and Beat

    • 8. Overdubbing a simple vocal

    • 9. Combine into a simple song - Part 1

    • 10. Combine into a simple song - Part 2

    • 11. Grab the course companion book (with lots more info) at


About This Class


Grab the course companion book with tons more info at

This class is an introduction to Modern Fingerstyle Guitar and Singing, presented by critically acclaimed fingerstyle singer-songwriter Jon Hart.

In just 9 short lessons, you'll learn how to play hammered open chords (with your left hand), a simple guitar body percussion beat (with your right hand) and then combine these with a simple vocal line (humming etc). You'll then combine all these techniques into a short song, which you'll be able to keep or adapt.

....a basic knowledge of open chords, hammer-ons and a confident singing voice (to be able to sing freely over the technical guitar) is required to get the best out of this course. But do feel free to watch if you are looking for a brief education on this style of music. This is Jon's first online course so please leave constructive feedback to make it the best it can be!

Course breakdown

Introduction - a brief slide video of what's involved in this course

  1. Welcome - a snippet of the song you'll learn and the a list of requirements
  2. Hammered chords part 1 - a quick demo on playing hammered chords with G & C
  3. Hammered chords part 2 -  a quick demo on playing hammered D chords and coming this with G & C in a short exercise
  4. Percussive guitar anatomy - a breakdown of bass drum, snare drum and hi-hat you can mimick on the acoustic guitar body.
  5. A simple percussive beat - learn how to combine a bass drum sound, a snare drum sound and a hi-hat sound.
  6. Combining chords and beat
  7. Overdubbing a simple vocal - add a simple hummed vocal over the top of the chords and beat
  8. Combine into a simple song part 1 - combine chords, beat and humming into a simple song
  9. Combine into a simple song part 2 - add lyrics and learn to play the song 'Smile'
    • You can tweak the lyrics/chords or adapt the song



1. Introduction: like soon your eyes. Why did I close mine? Stomach brand new life you have? Why I want so surprise brace. 2. Welcome: watches face I A brand new life in your have. Why? 3. Hammered Chords - Part 1: So Day one is going to require some open chords, including G. See on then. What I want to do is move that up. Two frets on another version off D. Ok, now what we're gonna be doing with these cords is not strumming or picking. With the right hand, you're gonna be doing what I call hammered chords. Okay, So what that means is you're gonna be playing everything with your left hand. So it goes something like this. If you've never tried hammer ons and pull us before is a technique that would be required for the advancing a songwriter. Because what it does, it will free up your right hand toe. Add in any other textures, such as because of finger style. What I suggest is is to break up the cord into two or three fingers so safe we've got the G chord. What I suggest is to start your first and second finger. Now, the key thing is is try and get as much clarity as possible. So some of this eso you can struggle the strings, you construct just the top four strings. Okay. Key thing is to try and keep the clarity of the notes for a long as possible, So I'd start off really slowly. So okay, and then we can move to r C chord. Now you need to do that with your 2nd 3rd finger, which looks at the sea. Or if some of you have tried to see at nine before you can do that again with your first and second finger. So just like the g on the A string second fret and the e string Third fret. You can just move down a string. No, again, you can strum the A D and G String or just the and Eastern you. Okay, so let's combine the G and C together time with 4. Hammered Chords - Part 2: now you can add in normal open d chord. But this chord in the early days of the beginner is actually quite tricky to get guarantees . So it's even harder when you're doing hammer ons and pull up. So it was sound something like this if you were to do that, Theo. Okay, so it needs a lot more strength toe work around that. The problem with sometimes adding hammer ons and pull us to accord like this is you may add a little bit of attention to your left hand, which may then flow into your right hand, so you want to try and keep everything as relaxed as possible. So instead of playing our decode here, we're going to play another D with a few extensions, which has an open gene on opening. OK, but what we're gonna do is just play the A string fifth fret and the D string fourth fret Okay, along with the pattern we have with the GNC earlier. Then if you apply the full chord to each one will go something like this. And the key thing is to strung on the first beat off every court so strong in you thin when you move to the sea you strung from a string the fifth Street. And then when you get to the D, you can either strong or you could just hammer on. Okay, so too which issues in G, C and D for this, but you can add it to any other court sequence like So what I suggest with a hammer cause is to go through a court progression that you love with the ham accords, very slowly building up speed and get yourself prepared for the right hand, which will be the percussive stuff. See that very 5. Percussive Guitar Anatomy: way today we're gonna be prepping the right hand with some guitar body percussion. Okay, so let's get straight into it. Okay, So guitar body percussion one my favorite features off the modern finger style world. What I chat about first is the guitar Anatomy, and then we're gonna go into a simple beat where you'll be out of combined with the ham accords in tomorrow's lesson. So let's get started. Every guitar, slightly different. It sounds slightly different. Onda, uh, there are many different finger style guitarist out. There is many different guitars that you can try out there, and it has different qualities. So But what I tend what I like to do, in my opinion, is to break the guitar up as if it was a drum kit. Okay, now, in my opinion, it doesn't sound exactly a drum kit. Drummers were full offended, but what it, in my opinion, sounds more like South American percussion like Kongers on and Glaros, etcetera, etcetera. But for this tutorial is just easier to break up the anatomy into bass drum, snare drum, etcetera. Let's start with the bass drum. Now there are three different points that I like to use the bass drum, and they all have different qualities. Starting off. This is the main bass drum that I like to use. Just hit. It depends on how you're accused of guitar has made. What I do is I suggest, used this part of your hand he to try and get the bass drum. Okay, So is also another bass drum sound around here? No, as Basie. But the good thing about this area is if you're playing chords, you'll be out of play your bass drum around there and play them at the same time. There is also down this area, and now I've got a scratch pad over this point here. But you can use that again. What I suggest is to explore around the guitar. Okay, So that is your base drunk and okay, The next is a snare drum. Now you can either use your fingers, tips your fingers all you can use your now's on one of those guitarist who doesn't have any long fingers on my right hand. So I apologize if I'm going against the grain. But it's just one of those things. I've tried it. I don't enjoy it, But anyway, so I used the tips of my fingers to place a snare drum. Now I tend to play around this area here. Okay, I also play around this area here. Now, it doesn't matter if you've got a standard or you've got a cut away. It will still sound. Snare drum s Okay, So there's two types of snare drum there that you can go between the tones. All right, so we got bass drum, that snare drum, which is very handy around the area for Scott Bass drum instead. Now the snare drum needs a snap. Okay, So what I'd be careful with is just the rim off the Qatar. Okay. What you want to be doing is getting the side just explore around each area here. Now, there's some electro acoustics that have inputs around here. So what I suggest is avoid that area about a few injuries from that in the past. So I suggest just a move your hand around and just find the best areas. Like I said, every guitarist different. You can try a high hat as well, so you can use your finger covering over the strings by muting it and tapping the strings in a different area or when you hit the strings with your hand like we do is traditional singer songwriters. Between chords. You can use that as a high hat, but what I found is with the left hand is concentrated on the court. So I tend to just put in simple bass drum and snare drum beats. But you can explore is much your luck, So that is the percussive guitar anatomy. 6. Basic Percussive Guitar Beat: wait. What we gonna do now is we're gonna play a simple beat. What we do in the bass drum, Then we can do snare drum. They were gonna do double bass drum, then snowdrop. So now what I like to do is add my thumb in between the bass drum and snare to create a slight different variation in sound. And that sort of mimics a Tom is such or ah, high conga. So all right, give that a go. We try very, very slowly. So we're gonna do bass drum base from bass drum base thumbs bass, drum based thumbs. Base base. Right now. You contrite there on this area as well? So you've got place base bums, base base. Now, you can add the high hat into the sequence if you want, and it would go something like this. Do this very sorry. So it's gonna go, but, uh but but but but but but, huh? Okay, so then you combine that with the beat. All right? That is just a simple beat that you can try. Combine that with the hammer cords and start to build up this song. So after this video, I go through the beat very, very slowly to a speed that you're comfortable with and then get ready to combine the two. Okay, wait. 7. Combining Chords and Beat: today is gonna be a lot of fun. And we're gonna combine the left hand with right hand using chords on percussion. So I'll give you a little example and then we'll break it down. It's gonna be something like this. Alrighty. So we're gonna be using is the three chords from the first lesson So G O. C. On the the D shape as well What we're going to start off with is the left hand and then build in the right hand. So this is where the coordination is going to kick in. What I call it is left hand training, right hand training. And then we've got the top training with the vocal as well, which would be doing next case that this is the G. So what we're gonna do, we gonna count it like one e and two and three and four on one e n 234 So the one he end is gonna be the hammer on and pull off. So we've got running on. Then at the end of the sequence, you're gonna be playing on the four. And so it goes. Okay, so when it comes to that four and the and part you need to take your fingers off and then have backed down after that. And you don't need to strung on the first beat three. Okay, Now be Zaki semen. See as well. So 233 and then with the D ship as well. So 123434 on your counting. Why should play in these cords? What I suggest is as a singer is to sing along with each court. So and that will get you prepped for women's signature of the top of all of this. That is the left hand. Then with the right hand in between, you're gonna go. So what we gonna do? We gonna take out the bass drum from the start so straight into a snare after you've done that hammer on and pull up. So the one e n and then to let's try this with the to. So you've got base base bass bass thing. You change the sea. So a space based space and then back to the GTO based, space based space. Get that DeCourcy based space. Then you go down to the sea. They space. Okay, so that's day three. So What I suggest off this video is to concentrate on the left hand training, then the right hand training and then combined them very, very slowly. Okay, Now you can use it for any court sequins that you like, and you can use the same rhythm. So what we're doing tomorrow is going to try adding the vocal over the top and then start building up towards this song. Okay? So keep practicing. Keep perfected. And I see you tomorrow. See that? 8. Overdubbing a simple vocal: way. I'm very excited off that sequence that we played. Now the key thing is, is when you're trying to combine left hand with the hammer on courts on right hammer. The percussive stuff is to not go into complex with your vocal phrasing or even words. And so the key thing is to start with booze and then build it up from there and even try humming or using different vows just to start to build up the melodies on the confidence to try and see if we can build this. So why I like to imagine is is if you've got a triangle and this is the same as if you are a traditional singer songwriter, we're playing cause of the left hand we're playing strumming and picking the right hand and was singing straight on. Okay, now what we tend to do is if you can try and get a visualization off, both there, OK? And that way you'll be able to open up the chest on seeing a lot more comfortable, because when we're focusing so much on each hand, it will restrict some your vocal cords, annual body as well. You wanted to be warmed up as much as possible. Let's quickly go over the left and right hand technique for the guitar that we played over the last few days. So all right now what we'll do is we'll add some booze over the top of it. So I suggest again is to play it very slowly so you can have the concentration to be on a sing of the top of it. Okay, so we've got okay . So that's just with news. What I tend to do when I'm playing lots of gigs or I'm going out doing performances and recording things tend to do this and warm up my vocal using humming, which some of you might do already. It's actually quite nice washing, getting the blood circulation around your hands and your warming them up. You're warming up your vocal at the same time so you can use that exact same phrase again. Or you can use scales however you like, and then build up that way. So let's try that with humming so you've got way. That is just a very, very quick lesson on adding vocals over the top. There's nothing to do with lyrics or anything to do with actual complex melodies. But that's something you can start trying if you are a songwriter or if you're a singer songwriter trying out lost different things. Like I said, you can try it out. We have songs that you already know and then start to build up the confidence in this advancing a songwriter section. What we're gonna be doing tomorrow is going through a little song that I've put together and that you can use in your own project if you like. Or you can use some of the techniques and some of the cause to put into your own son writing or material that you've learned. So in the meantime, keep practicing, keep affecting, and I see you tomorrow way. 9. Combine into a simple song - Part 1: today. I just wanted to go through a little song about positivity, smiling and believing in everything that you're doing on day it's gonna go something like this. And then what would do will break it down And you can use its much light. You can change the lyrics you can add in whatever melodies I'm gonna give it to you as a little freebie. You know, you strike me what you got me? Thank you. Just I just All right. But what we're gonna do would just go through that first part. So using the g o now. Okay, you can change the lyrics as much you like, but I just saw create some positivity for you going forward. Okay, So the best way to start is to go through the humming again. So we avoid using the lyrics and we just work out melodies way. So what I did with the D in the sea there is do strong, snatched from strong, snatched from strong with strong. Okay, just to create a little bit of variety in the actual core progression. So we've got way not a bulls, not 10. Combine into a simple song - Part 2: I think. Then you can start substituting the humming with some lyrics and you just all right, So let's break it down. Studies me, then you just okay. And so what I forgot to say is you can use a kapo. So I have a kapo here and you can adjust it to your vocal range. Okay, So let's go up to say, Kapo five hit. We can do exactly the same pattern. That's why I love open court just and you can just as much you like. So that is something that I want you to work on. You can take that away of you can. You can add it to your project where you could mix up the cords as much you like. You can even mix up some of the strumming some of the percussive elements as well. Just start carving out your own song. Exciting thing is, you are one of the first to have got through this course and you'll be at the top ranks as you keep going through. So in the meantime, as I'm always going to say, keep practicing. Keep affecting, keep performing. And I'll see you seen Take it. But 11. Grab the course companion book (with lots more info) at - money . Get a job. Okay. Money, cash that cash.