More than an Intro. How More Than A Feeling creates an epic sound with 3 chords.
In music, sometimes less is more, and sometimes very few ingredients can make a great dish if you use the right spices.
Here’s the intro of Boston’s “More Than A Feeling”, which is a clear example on how rich three simple chords can sound. The three chords are D, Cadd9 and G, and the technique that we will use is called Arpeggiating.
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Here’s what the TAB looks like for the intro.
Here are the chords in the intro.
Using these three chords together makes one of the most effective classic rock alliances. You can hear them in songs like Sweet Home Alabama, You Shook Me All Night Long, or Knocking on Heaven’s Door and many, many more. The first key to success is changing from chord to chord smoothly.
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The key is in the ring
Making the switch is a matter of looking carefully at the fingers that need to move and the fingers that stay. In this case, the secret is in the ring finger.
If you look at the position of the fingers in D, Cadd9, and G, you will notice that the ring finger stays in the same position on all three chords. We can use the ring finger as an “anchor”, and can then easily find where the other fingers go by rotating around it.
You can find more information on how to switch chords here: http://rockprodigy.com/blog/secret-tips-on-switching-chords
Also, try playing Lesson 23 “Anchor” in the Rock Prodigy app to expand on this concept.
Spice It up
Now that we have taken a closer look at the main ingredients of this hit, let’s add the secret spice: arpeggiating.
Arpeggio is a musical technique where notes in a chord are played in sequence, one after the other, rather than simultaneously strummed.
This is a very common technique in Classical Guitar, since the position of the fingers in the finger style technique allow for the player to easily pick the strings one by one.
When playing electric guitar, this technique can get tricky when you have to play all the notes with your pick instead of fingers. Here are some tips to master the picking.
Keep your picking hand in contact with the bridge at all times, pluck softly and make sure that after picking one string the pick stays between the next string and the one you just picked.
Target the lower notes and play them with a downstroke.
Target a series of notes played on consecutive strings and play them by picking all the notes in the same direction.
If using the same picking direction doesn’t feel right then play the lower notes with a downstroke and keep alternating the picking afterwards. It will look like this.
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Try to approach this part using a clean amp sound. This riff could be a great excuse to experiment with the middle pickup positions on your guitar. With the Tone and Volume control all the way up, experiment with different pickup combinations to get that clean but full tone. Also, you can add a bit of Echo and Reverb to add some extra depth, and some Chorus, if you really want that 80’s sound.
Stay in tune.
Try the free Rock Prodigy demo on your Mac, iPad or PC. Download here: http://www.rockprodigy.com/download/