By Aaron Stang
Where do we go from book 1?
For the second level of Sound Innovations for Guitar we continued on the course set in level 1: Combine well-established systematic pedagogy with non-systemic creative and “experiential” learning. In other words, explore and play satisfying music; learn by doing, then explain and understand as the opportunities arise and as a students’ “need-to-know” develops; or even better, their “desire-to-know.”
Mash it up!
Most guitarists love many varieties of guitar music and enjoy everything from bluegrass to blues, jazz to country, metal to Mozart. So we try to present many styles and have fun with them as we do. “Spanish Metal” from page 22 of book 2 is a Flamenco/Metal mash-up that combines everything the students have learned to date—simple fingerpicking, strumming, interesting Flamenco chords, and rock power chords—all combined into one trio arrangement.
How do you do that?
Guitar 1 plays a simple fingerpicking pattern that constantly alternates thumb-index-thumb-index. The index finger is “glued” to the open first string, while the thumb plays the classic “Malaguena” melody on the inside strings.
Guitar 2 plays a basic strum pattern using the Flamenco-style chord voicings that the students began playing way back in book 1.
Guitar 3 gets to have a lot of fun. This is the metal-style part. Guitar 3 should be played on electric guitar, on the bridge pickup (aka “lead” pickup) with plenty of overdrive for a driving rhythm sound. Guitar 3 enters on the repeat. The first time through is all acoustic. The part starts very simple and then gets more rhythmic each time through (see the full TAB).
The song ends with a rubato acoustic Coda. On the video the coda is also used as an intro. Have your students watch the video carefully and listen to the song a lot before they attempt to play it. This goes back to my opening concept that guitar is easier to play than read. I encourage students to play all they can, their understanding will follow.
Get the full version of “Spanish Metal” here.
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