A few tricks for learning a Greg Brown
- 1. Keep in mind that Greg is an excellent guitarist, but uses
fairly basic chords. I would describe him as an excellent guitarist
not becasue he's excellent like Hendrix, but because he uses the chords
and guitar to augment the song, not to write a song around flashy guitar.
Many, if not most of his songs only have 3 or 4 different chords, &
most all are played in the first position.
- 2. Start with learning his songs from the Live album or a "bootleg"
if you have one - it's easier to hear the guitar when that's the only instrument.
- 3. Starting with The Poet Game, pay attention to the tuning Greg's
in. If it sounds like something you're clueless on in standard tuning,
try dropping the E strings down to D
- 4. Don't force yourself into singing the songs in the same key
Greg does. Get the hang of the melody and capo the guitar to someplace
you're comfortable singing.
- 5. Learn a tiny bit of music theory - i.e. what major chords
are usually in a key progession. If your in G, you'll use the G,
C, and D chords the most. The next most likely chord to show up is
- 6. Remember the first chord in a song will be the "root"
chord - same chord as the key it's in.
- 7. With 5 and 6 in mind, if you hear a "chord" somewhere
in the song & match to it, you can then figure out what other chords
are most likely being used.
- 8. If it sounds good when you play it, and you have fun playing
it, it must be right, EVEN IF IT ISN'T HOW GREG DOES IT.