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Learn Guitar Online, Cat Stevens – 3 Tips to Play Acoustic Guitar

Cat Stevens songs are favorites among guitarists of all ages. It’s hard to imagine a party or campfire sing-along to some Cat Stevens without playing it on an acoustic guitar.

With songs like Father and Son, Moonshadow, Morning Has Broken, Peace Train… you simply can’t go wrong in your repertoire.

Cat Stevens is popular for several very important reasons: 1. the melodies are easy for the audience to remember / 2. the guitar chords don’t need to be played much and most importantly. / 3. Cat Stevens songs sound good with a solo acoustic guitar.

Lately, studio effects have become part of the overall finished product. The end result is that while a particular musical production may sound interesting and be visually stimulating when watching a music video, it is extremely difficult to recreate that music with a huge amount of lighting, amplification, sound effects, etc.

The original role of the recording studio was to record the event, but since 1957 the studio has often tried to “create the event” by adding studio effects such as reverberation, reverberation, and distortion to create the piece of music. more interesting.

The problem with this approach when trying to create a “musical audio event” is similar to watching a movie created primarily to “showcase” or “show off” the latest visual effect… the problem is often the weak storyline.

Cat Stevens songs require nothing more than an acoustic guitar, because Cat’s songs are structurally strong and stand their ground without any electronic props or gimmicks. This is the test of a good song…does it stand up on its own merits?

Just a few artists like The Eagles, Creedence, Cat Stevens, etc. he has the expertise to write music that sounds great with just one guitar.

Here are three tips for playing Cat Stevens songs:

Tip 1. Learn to recognize musical intervals

Musical pitches measure the distance from sound to pitch, just as a builder must have a measuring system to measure the length, width and height of building material, a musician must be able to recognize the “sound” of a pitch.

Listen to the intro to “Peace Train” for a good example of the sixth interval. At first listen, it may seem that only one note is played, but during subsequent listenings, it turns out that there is also a harmony note.

When you listen to “Peace Train”, the first notes you will hear are C – D – E – E – D – C , these notes are played on the second string of the guitar, and there is a second note played under each melody. notes.

Signs of harmony; E – F – G – G – F – E is played on the fourth string. It’s a good idea to play the intro with the fingers of your right hand (for right-handed players).

If we measure the distance from the low harmony note (E) played on the fourth string to the melody note (C) played on the second string, we will find that the distance is E=1, F=2, G=3, A =4, B= 5, C=6, hence the name of the musical interval.

Tip 2. Learn how relative minor chords work

Each major chord has an associated minor chord that represents the opposite musical effect, for example if we say major chord = light then relative minor chord = dark.

More examples:

major chord = happy / minor chord = sad // major chord = male / minor chord = female.

Musical examples: C major = A minor / G major = E minor / D major = B minor / A major = F# minor / E major = C# minor etc.

Cat Stevens often substitutes the relative minor chord for the major chord to further his musical story. Listen to “Father and Son” and notice how he changes the second chord in each verse.

Verse 1: G to D/F# Verse 2: G to Bm (relative minor to D major) Verse 3: G to D major.

Tip 3. Learn to read standard music notation

Although many artists don’t read music if they want to play a wide variety of music, the ability to read standard music helps you research and understand where many popular artists get some of their material.

For example, Cat Stevens’ popular hit “Morning Has Broken” was originally a traditional Gaelic tune written by Mary MacDonald in 1880. When translated into English by Lachlan Macbean in his 1888 book “Songs and Hymns of the Gael”, the translator said. the tune is the name “Bunessan”.

Cat Stevens understands that a song is a 3 minute story and Cat knows how to tell that story.

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