Topic: Best of both [acoustic] worlds -- fingering 'and' strumming mix
Interesting few days and music a la mode and another case where my classical piano playing passion took second fiddle [no pun intended] to the guitar. Anyway, the song [available on Chordie] is vintage but still a grabber, "Flashdance ... What A Feeling" [sic] and a quick attribution: 1983-- Lyrics by Keith Forsey and Irene Cara, music by Giorgio Moroder] and featured more than once in the 80's flick, "Flashdance" . Good tune to get the best of both acoustic worlds, fingering 'and' strumming plus a rather rapid change of tempo so it's a good chance to do a little bit of everything. Cajoling my wife to sing the tune [or at least hum the thing] while I play it is another matter!
What's that? Yeah, I still get "Barre-itus", so to speak, so when the frequent B minor barre chord shows up in the tune, I do the alternative B minor [individually, 4 notes, X,X, F#,B,D,F#] . The F# minor is no problem since it's a partial barre at best and those I can do decently and sans the 'pause' thing but the full 6 string barre, well, rather than do the old pause-city routine or, worse still, have the barre chord show up with at least 2 strings DOA and I don't mean 'X' notation stuff either, I simply do the available, shall we say, 'work-around' same chord alternatives! It's not that I've given up the ship on barre chords but let's just say I'm still working on it. Hey -- a player at the get together let me try his guitar as he tried mine [I had on hand my 12 string Fender and the "Little Martin" LXME] and the other player was using the Takamine EF261SAN acoustic-electric which I really liked -- low action too and it comes standard with XL strings to boot ranging from [** in inches vs mm] .009 to .047! Very nice sound! [Sidebar: Here's one for you -- just for the exercise, go to your search engine and type in the words "how to pronounce "TAKAMINE" .." and you'll see no fewer than 10, that's 10 'different' pronunciations at multiple websites! I finally found one guitar forum where one poster says, and I'm quoting now, "This may help ... I'm of Japanese extraction but still speak Japanese and the way I pronounce it is [phonetically] "TAH-KAH-MEE-NEH" with no emphasis on any particular phonetic syllable [...] and I'm only saying this because when I recently heard "Take-a-meany" and "tock-a-mine", hey, something had to be done!" [sic]. A smiley was then added to the comment by the writer of that post.
So, and getting back to "Flashdance... What A Feeling", if you want both fingering [extended intro and song lead-in as repeated -- A-E-Bmin-F#min-D-A-G-E] and strumming and a night/day difference in tune tempo, but good practice for same, give it a try! Another one that works well on the acoustic and fingering/strumming mix [although it's generally done 'arpeggio' style on the electric] is "Van Diemen's Land" by the "Edge" in U2. Also a vintage tune but a keeper! Speaking of vintage tunes and U2, that "Rattle and Hum" DVD with U2 I'd equate most positively with the 2004 Eagles 'Oz Land' tour DVD. Great stuff!
PS -- Just to clarify a couple of matters -- First, Chordie has the song listed as "What A Feeling" [Irene Cara] -- second, both the intro and then the lead-in are the same chords when it begins, with the 'A' chord, "First, when there's nothing, but a slow glowing dream ..." , you should get -7- beats, if you will, out of each chord plucked down/up with the fingers and then SLOWLY but 'fluidly' move to the other chords with 7 beats each and the progression [given above] is a neat sounding one. The intro, you alone, then the singer [or yourself] with the same chords again because the chord progression repeats itself. Of note, most renditions of the song will actually notate "begin to strum here" and the tempo really gets into high gear. The 7 chord lead-in tho' and plucking them each 7 times is pleasant to the ear, at least IMO. The chorus part must also be fluid so new players should practice the chord switches until they become automatic. BTW, on the Takamine EF261SAN, not cheap, but it's, and again IMO and so stated, just as great sounding as many a comparable Martin, Seagull or Taylor acoustics I've heard. Runs about 1K and change [most quoted price, new, at various US guitar commercial entities is $1,049.00 ==WITH== the hardshell case included. -- Doc Tony
UPDATE PS#2 -- I probably rate a D- for 'clarity' and threw everything off with my comment of "plucking them each 7 times is pleasant to the ear" -- let me try that again and this piece of the post was mostly geared to new players since I note that besides long-term seasoned guitarists, the forum also has its share of brand new guitar players -- anyway, what I meant by the '7 times' was the plucking of each individual string contained in the chord in that tune progression [** it helps if you ever saw or have the "Flashdance" DVD and the flick begins with a synthesizer simply doing the A chord in full arpeggio mode] and that's what I meant, 'arpeggio' playing via the fingers on each 'individual' string of the chord doing the chord string by string with the fingers and then after working the fingers down the individual notes of the chord, simply coming back up on the same chord!
For new players, two prospects open up -- you learn acoustic fingering [versus the pick over-reliance in acoustic playing] AND an appreciation via the 'ear' how important it is to watch for those chord 'X' notations! All too often, I'll see brand new players stumming or randomly trying to pluck ALL of the strings and disregarding the 'X' string ["do not play"] notations in the chord books with the resulting dissonance then getting lost in the shuffle with the zeal of actually playing a tune without pauses!
With fingering, the thumb becomes the bass note 'hammer' so to speak but the new player quickly realizes that while there are options on the E chord which has no 'X' stuff and fully 'open' , the, as a quick example, normal 'D' chord only requires the 4 string D-D-F#-A with the X-X on those 'missing' bass notes but if plucked in the 'What A Feeling" tune would have the 'ear' rebelling forthwith! This, of course, does not apply to so-called alternate D chord applications. I find that brand new players tend to sometimes strum or try to finger-pluck 'all' the strings but just as quickly learn via the ear that there are very valid reasons for 'X' don't play or string 'mute' notations! The 'What a Feeling' extended intro and verse continuation with the same chords before the strum begins can be rather nice on the ear especially if done fluidly since it's not a tune that lends itself to any 'positional' pauses ... not to mention the rapid and then sustained fast tempo increase.
Hey, you know by now my love of "flicks" [movies], so, does this line from a music oriented flick ring a nostalgic bell with you? "Does he want to be a musician ... or an airline pilot!" [pauses] "Mr. Martelli, are you finished setting up your ... equipment?" [** "FAME"  -- 'Mr. Shorofsky' [Albert Hague] to 'Bruno Martelli' [Lee Curreri] ]. And the follow-up line as bellowed: "MR. MARTELLI! [3X repeated as Martelli launches the multiple synths into a Beethoven piece] --"THANK YOU! ONE instrument at a time will be quite sufficient!"