Chords we’ve studied: Am, F, Dm, G7, C7, C, D, G. No new chords today.
Practice before class: play each chord 8 times in the order above, then 4 times each, then 2 times each. Try to keep the up/down up/down up/down up/down in a regular rhythm as you change between chords.
With eyes closed, play C 4 times, then G 4 times, back and forth, to help you get your fingers to “map” these chord positions. How about same thing, only with D and G? This exercise will help when you see two chords that are in sequence in a new song, and want to get more fluid changing from one to the other.
Let’s go over Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and Feliz Navidad: you may have little kids you want to serenade this season! Rudolph might as well join in the mix!
We’ll play thru a new song “Red River Valley”, all easy chords. It’s good to learn the chords & play the song without singing until you feel reasonably ok with that much. In class, we go thru the whole song, but at home, stick with one verse, or one chorus. Learn to strum the chords just for that, then to sing with just that small part of the song. When you get frustrated, it’s because you are moving faster than your brain is absorbing. So back up to where you are comfortable again. If that means one line of the song only, then, that is just fine, do that. If you are putting 20 or 30 minutes in each day, that is the best thing you can do for yourself to start mastering first one thing, then 2, and so on! No practice means you get stuck in place.
Back to the ChattaNOOga or Freight Train strum from last week, which you’ll recall is based on the up/down strum: we’ll try it with Red River Valley, it has a campfire/cowboy feel to it when used with this song. I’ll throw in what I call the “Touch-down” strum, another cowboy one. It’s sloppy & comfortable, good with country songs.