How to Play Sweet Acoustic Blues Chords In Steely Dan Style

In this Guitar Control video lesson, some of you might recognize that I wanted to kind of move into the future we’ve been exploring some of the older blue stuff this is what I promise you some more sophisticated cores and some alternate cores and what we’re going to get into right now this is a song by Steely Dan called “The Pretzel Logic Shuffle”. I recently had been called upon to do an acoustic arrangement of it I do a gig with a friend of mine back in San Francisco every now and again every third Sunday or so and we do acoustic blues most of the night we wanted to try some different arrangements of some more modern stuff.

steely dan pic

For this one I want to show you these chords because they’re different than a lot of the shuffles that you’ll hear we’ve been doing more basic stuff you know more sort of right down the middle of the alley stuff but this one’s got some interesting changes let me show you how they go so you know in a minor shape obviously by now right so if we hit if we move that up too and you still keep your it’s in the key of A minor, if you keep A minor you’re root note and that you do this sort of B minor shape over it look that looks like more like an a-minor there obviously you’re coming off of this note so if you can see those nodes sets of sharp a B and a D if you add that to a low a note it sounds like this it’s almost like a piano chord isn’t it and this is just flat-out right get your G you see your e it’s like a C chord really but when a in the bass is what makes it different so it sounds like this.

Then the next the next passage is an F note and you’re hammering-on what looks like an a minor but it actually makes it an F major seventh but don’t worry about that stuff you just know that you go to the F note all open strings right come down on it like an E minor with an Ever note on the base and then back to your little same voicing now in the verse form it goes like this when I left to the Southland in a traveling missile show and we’re going to do a fork or two and we do the same move with a D-string and you know how you make a D minor down here right move it up to and hit your D-string get an F position here you can see what I’m doing so it looks just like a D minor chord but up to you going to be an A and a G and then and F position here see a little bit tricky a little bit of a finger bend there somebody or adamant about using picks which is fine but in this one I find to get the voicing right and to get this sort of almost piano quality to it helps to use your finger style technique and maybe it’s a good way for you to practice that so you’re going to hit very simply a D chord down here we all know that but whether this is different you hit an E on your bass note so it sounds like this really nice chord and then you just move that D chord up to right one to two an E now this one you hit an A on the bass note so that’s a lot to take in in one passage so I’m going to I want to spend a little time on this because I think it’s important for you to understand these are different kinds of voicing these are almost like piano chords where you have the luxury of working both hands and you can do alternate notes alternate bass notes gets a whole different kind of voicing going course.

Steely Dan is famous for that but I I really enjoy this one because it’s a straight up shuffle which is something they don’t do a lot of they do a few I’m going to do one more before we’re done too so let me play this in context with a song I’ll sing it’s a little high for me so bear with me but I’ll just try and sing around it and you’ll understand why I play what I play and I’ll kind of open it up and I’ll do some little dynamic things as well so you’re going to started hanging out there by the way it’s fun song solo.

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