How to Make Celtic Music on Guitar | Lesson for Beginners

Right now we’re going to get a little bit of
Celtic music coming at you. I’m Irish-American;
that’s my heritage. On my dad’s side all my
relatives come from Ireland, from southern Ireland.
So I feel the Irish, the Celtic music in my blood.

I wrote a song called “Clan Dillon”. My last name
is Dillon, obviously, and “Clan Dillon” is really
to my ancestors. And the other name for the song
is called “Rituals”. When I wrote “Rituals”, I
wanted to capture the mood of the green hills of
Ireland, if you will. And so this is called “Rituals”.
And what I’m going to do is I’m going to show you the
chords to it and then I’m going to show you the lead
that’s got some really interesting Celtic patterns
in D-minor.

First of all, I want to say that we’re in drop-D tuning.
What we’ve done is we’ve taken our E string and dropped
it down a full step. D-tuning is kind of nice because
you get that bottom. Very dynamic. Now what I like to
call this — it’s sort of a modal tuning. It’s neither
major nor minor, but the scales we’re going to be working
on and the passage we’re going to be working on for all
intents and purposes are D-minor.

Now, in this particular song, the way it goes, I’m going
to teach you the changes. They’re really basic. It’s a
B-minor, which you probably know by now. That’s the first
chord, and the second chord is just a straight C. Now,
be careful when you hit this C not to hit the low D at
the same time. It’s not the end of the world if you do.
It’s a little bit of a discord. So, in general, when
hitting the C, make sure your target note is this one
right here. And then your target note on your first
chord is your low D. So the verses are just simply a
D-minor, then back to your C, back to your D-minor.
It’s got a kind of nice strum. This is what marks the
end of the verse.

Now, the B section is interesting. This is a B-flat
chord. So you’ve got a B-flat on your bass on your A
string and your pinkie is on the B note of your B string,
and then a half-step up to a C. So from a B-flat, a B, C.
See how that’s going? It’s a C with a D in it.

The bridge goes to a G. Now remember you’ve got your E
down to D. So you’re going to have to do a different kind
of G. Check this out. This is a cool kind of G. It almost
sounds like bagpipes. So the way you accomplish that is,
you take your third and your pinkie on the 3rd fret of the
E and the A string and slide it up. Your first finger is
on your C note on your B string and your D note slides up.
It’s almost as if — you have to visualize that if it was
down to an E, your G position obviously looks like that.
But because we’ve gone down to a D, we have to finger it
this way. But what happens, it gets a very dark sound.
You hear that? Almost a foreboding kind of sound.

So that’s how this song goes. It’s called “Rituals” and
I wrote “Rituals” — I came up with the name “Rituals”
because to me, a ritual is something that’s a little more
conscious than a habit. A ritual is something you do over
and over. And for me, like practicing guitar could be a
ritual. I pick up my guitar every day and practice. So I
wanted to basically describe — we talk about acoustic
enlightenment, so a ritual, you know, if you practice
your guitar every day, you’re going to get better. My
job is to find something inspiring to show you. So in
this one I’m going to show you some different chords.

How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


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