|Getting the most out of your campfire singing|
|The Best Camping Songs|
|Teaching Guitar with the Campfire Songbook|
|Easy Guitar Song Book|
|Guitar Tab Version|
|Banjo Tab Version|
|Mandolin Tab Version|
To be totally honest, I don't use The Great American Campfire Songbook for singing around campfires as much as I would like. That doesn't mean I don't use it. On the contrary, I use it a lot. I teach guitar lessons, and I have found that since it is an easy guitar song book, I can use it with many of my students.
Beginning Guitar Students
For beginners, it has tons of songs to learn the simple open chords on a guitar. The G, D, A, E, C and F chords along with the easy minor and 7th chords are used throughout the book. As a beginner, you can concentrate on the basic chords, without having to worry about the more difficult bar chords, or other types of chords that are difficult to play. Many guitarists learn to play just enough to sing along with and that's it. You can cover a lot of songs by just learning the chords used in The Great American Campfire Songbook. There are over 80 songs to play. There is not a more user-friendly easy guitar song book around.
Picking and Strumming
Once you learn the basic open chords, you may want to move ahead and learn some strumming and picking patterns to spice up the songs you have learned. Moving to the fingerpicking stage is not only fun; it is also not that difficult. You just need to shift your attention from your left hand to your right hand.
There are many ways to pick and strum. Some people use a flat pick exclusively. Others don't use a pick at all, but use their fingers, such as classical guitarists and fingerstyle guitarists. Still others use a flat pick between the thumb and first finger, and use the other fingers to fingerpick. And then still others use a thumb pick that slips onto the thumb, and then pick with the other fingers.
I said earlier that you need to shift your attention from your left to your right hand.
You can still focus on chords of the left hand. Start working on more difficult chords. Bar chords are good to learn. Most guitar players use bar chords on the electric because it is easier to push down the strings. You can also learn to use a capo to help move a song higher or lower, making it easier to sing.
Intermediate and Advanced Guitar Students
The Great American Campfire Songbook is not really geared towards advanced guitar playing. However, by expanding the songs, there are some things you can do to spice up the music. You can start by learning some major and minor scales. The guitar is just about the easiest instrument in the world to learn scales on. Once you learn the scale patterns, you can improvise.
Usually, the layout, or form, of the song goes like this. Everybody sings one or two verses, then somebody improvises one or two times through. Guitar, banjo or mandolin are good instruments for improvisation on these types of songs. You could also use a ukulele, accordian, or just about anything else.
When you improvise, you can start by playing the melody. Once you learn the melody, start changing some of the rhythms and notes; jazz it up; spice it up. You have to experiment. Keep working at it. Eventually, you will start to hear sounds from your guitar that sound good. I have written all of the songs out in tablature form, so they are easy to learn.
If you are ready to go to the next level, I recommend Jamorama. It is the most complete, all-inclusive package I have seen to help you learn what you want to learn on the guitar. It covers rock, country, jazz and classical. They cover tablature as well as the traditional type of notation.
You can learn more about Jamorama by clicking on the picture below.
Copyright 2009 Roger Turner- All Rights Reserved