Beginner Guitar 4

Michael, Row the Boat Ashore

Beginner Guitar 4 - Michael, Row the Boat Ashore has a few new skills for you to work on as well as consolidating skills learnt in previous lessons. Apart from playing both dotted note rhythms and quarter and half notes we move onto using whole notes (semibreves) and a Glissando or slide and an Anacrusis or Upbeat.

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As the name suggests, a whole note takes up the whole bar in which it is situated. In other words,  the one note played will last the entire measure or bar until you come to a new bar and another note is struck.

You can see an example of this in bar 4 of Beginner Guitar 4, where you play an open string (1st string) "E" note for the entire bar. Be careful to NOT put your finger back on the string once you've struck the note otherwise it will be truncated and spoil the melody line. It's all part of the overall tonal quality and performance for which you're striving, so make sure to use care in your performance.

If you inculcate good habits early your playing will improve at a faster rate. You see you won't be continually back-tracking to fix previously entrenched bad habits.

A Glissando is a slide. In this case, I've put one in bars 11 to 12 between the "D" to "E" notes and back to the "D" note. You'll notice in this very same phrase in bars 3, 4 & 5, I play the open string E note rather than use the slide. This highlights the different ways you can perform phrases on the guitar and gives you a "gentle" introduction into playing a glissando or slide.

The technique is performed by lessening the pressure applied to your finger on the D note WITHOUT actually lifting your finger off the string. Yes,  that's right your finger stays in contact with the string the whole time from when you shift up to when you shift back. This creates a nice, "warm" tone to the phrase and is considered very musical.

You might notice the slight Vibrato as well once I reach the upper note. This is a slight "swelling" of the note and again, it is considered very musical and appropriate. Don't be tempted, however, to over-do it! There's nothing worse in terms of musicality to see someone performing both glissando and vibrato with all the grace and charm of a 500 pound gorilla! :))

Seriously though, watch videos on YouTube of people like John Williams and Julian Bream, to name just two. They will give you a wonderful example of crisp technique with musicality, panache and gravitas!

To see some more info. On Vibrato look here...


To see some more info. On Glissando look here...


The other topic we need to discuss is the Anacrusis.

An anacrusis is also named an upbeat. It is a note or notes "taken" from the last bar of the music and placed right at the beginning of the music. As you can imagine this is not then a full bar of music (and neither is the last).

The effect of the anacrusis or upbeat is to accent the first (and some say subsequent) note(s) of the next bar(s) to give it an even stronger feel.

It just gives the music more character, flair and interest. I hope this lesson has been instructive and useful for you.


Go here to view the Beginner Guitar 4 - Row Boat Ashore for classical guitar on YouTube...

End of Beginner Guitar 4

That's it for Beginner Guitar 4.

The previous lesson was...

Lesson #3 - Yankee Doodle...

The next lesson is..

Lesson #5 - Surprise Theme Haydn

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