Warm Up Exercise

West Texas Campfire Riff (Key of G)

Lesson #372

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

Hey friends! Here’s a fun, easygoing campfire-style riff for you to dive into today. This 12 measure sequence effectively uses only G-C-D, but I’ll show you how you can pepper in some melody lines into the open positions of G, C, and D – allowing you to give quite a bit of character to these otherwise basic chords shapes. For the G in particular, I’ll show a secondary position you can use – which lets you “slide” the melodic phrase downward from the 3rd and 4th fret to the open strings.

Video timestamps:

The song that partially inspired this

Listen to “In His Arms” by Jack Ingram, Jon Randall, and Miranda Lambert to hear the song that inspired this riff. Note, they’re playing things slightly different (different key, different riff, different chord progression) – but you likely can connect the dots between what they’re playing and my exercise here. This track #1 from “The Marfa Tapes” which is an album I’d recommend for sure!

You know how I use my left ringer on the low-E string for the G-major chord in figure 1A? Here’s a lesson I made doing a deep dive on that topic – specifically, showing when to use that G-chord finger position, vs. alternatives where your left-ring is on the 2nd string. There’s a time and place for both of these finger positions! Watch this video and get my PDF to really understand the difference.

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