Warm Up Exercise

Sierra Ferrell "In Dreams"-inspired riff

Lesson #278

Video lesson

PDF Print-friendly chord sheet available for Patreon supporters

Supporting me on Patreon gives you access to the PDF for this as well as 150+ other lessons. One month minimum ($3, cancel anytime) gets you access to everything... here's a free sample. Thanks for supporting me and this project!

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!

Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!

If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).

You can also support me on Patreon. For only $3/month you'll get access to a print-friendly PDF of my notes for each new lesson (view free sample).


Subscribe to my YouTube channel

Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!

Recent video lessons:

📝 Print-friendly PDFs now available for all new lessons I make, including all those listed below. Get a free sample »

← back to lesson list