Folk guitar lessons are some of the most popular lessons available. Folk music sometimes called World Music, originated in the 19th century and became popular in the 20th century. Referred to as “the music of the middle class”, it is defined as music of unknown composers passed down by mouth. In the mid 20th century folk music had a revival know as “contemporary folk music”. Although folk music is world wide and is a part of the oldest recorded history, folk guitar didn’t come to be until the 19th century. The following article will cover what you could expect to learn when taking folk guitar lessons.
Remnants of folk guitar can be found in the popular music of today including rock, pop, and country. Much of the theory and techniques of folk guitar can be found in other styles and genres. Folk guitar lessons can be taken on either a steel string or nylon (gut) string acoustic guitar.
*Chords: Folk guitar uses a very broad range of chords. Your folk guitar lessons could cover learning major, minor, 7th, minor 7th, sus 2nd, sus 4th chords, in both open and bar chord versions.
*Scales: The scales used in folk guitar are primarily major and minor & major pentatonic.
*Right hand techniques: Folk guitar styles are broad and can be played in various ways. Folk guitar lessons could cover strumming, both with the fingers or a guitar pick, finger picking, and hybrid picking (picking with a guitar pick and the fingers together).
*Left hand techniques: One of the most unique things in folk guitar is “alternating bass lines”. This technique is the bass note of a chord switches back on forth between two notes on the same chord. This technique is popular among country players and was a signature part of Johnny Cash’s sound. Another big part of the folk guitar sound is playing single note melodies during and between chord changes. These melodies often followed or matched that of the vocals.
*Theory: Folk guitar arrangements for more than one guitar usually are done so that multiple guitars are not playing exactly the same thing. One guitar will play the main chord voicings and rest will play some sort of accompaniment or “harmony”. In more advanced folk guitar lessons you could learn chord construction for alternate chord voicings. You could also learn “triads” for accompaniment, this will aid in playing alternate instrument parts on guitar such as banjo parts, this is a very common part of folk guitar.
Folk guitar lessons can be the most basic easy way to start learning guitar, but it can also be a long road to learn all of the various styles and techniques. Folk guitar will continue to be a big part of traditional American music and the subject of a large part of guitar lessons for years to come.