Warm Up Exercise

Sierra Ferrell "In Dreams"-inspired riff

Lesson #278

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

Hey friends! Today’s lesson is for a short 5-measure riff with an old-timey, jangly sound – using a guitar technique very much evocative of the “Carter Scratch” style of play, which combines rhythm and lead at the same time. There’s also heavy use of the stretched pinky finger to add flourish notes to a D-major chord, which is something I first taught in lesson #167.

The song this riff comes from is “In Dreams” by Sierra Ferrell, a young up-and-coming country/folk/Americana artist who I learned about through the excellent GemsOnVHS YouTube channel (which travels around, capturing live folk performances off-the-beaten-path). I can’t recommend that particular channel enough, and I look forward to Sierra Ferrell’s upcoming album.

Here’s timestamps for this lesson:

Need help with the pinky stretch on the D?

Check out my video teaching that technique:

Sierra Ferrell’s “In Dreams”

Here’s the song that this riff is taken from – you can hear it in the intro, right off the bat.

Learn more about the Carter Scratch

Here’s a nice video that NPR Music put out, featuring artist Courtney Marie Andrews explaining & demonstrating the Carter Scratch technique. The production of this video, along with her explanation, are super helpful!

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