Warm Up Exercise
West Texas Campfire Riff (Key of G)
Get the educational PDF(1 page)
- Support me on Patreon.com to get access to this and 200+ other educational PDFs I've made, plus new PDFs I make going forward (1-2 added each week).
- The cost is $3/month (one month minimum, cancel anytime). Annual plans also available. Here's a free sample if you're on the fence. Thanks!
After clicking the button and logging in to Patreon, look for the PDF attached to the bottom of the post.
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.
- 0:00 Preview & lesson summary
- 3:25 Chord shapes used
- 4:52 Figure 1A: The basic riff
- 9:28 Figure 1B: Add the sliding G
- 13:07 Figure 2: Interlude riff
- 14:58 Full playthrough (no capo)
- 15:41 Full playthrough (capo 5)
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!
Related lesson: G-chord finger position guide
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.
Get my lessons in your inbox!
Every couple weeks I send out an email newsletter with links to whatever new lessons I've made. Sign up here and stay in the loop!
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).
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:
📝 My "song" PDFs are now individually purcasheable! I've arranged a licensing agreement with Musicnotes, a service that lets you buy sheet music. Patreon suppoters get 50% off each purchase. Get the latest info here » (last updated July 1, 2021)
September 12, 2021
A deep-dive into the common positions of the major scale, and how they each relate to the CAGED chord shapes... which makes it all easier to understand!
August 29, 2021
I recently got my 1st electric guitar, and was surprised how many things immediately confused me. Here's a quick inventory, in case it helps anyone else starting out!
August 25, 2021
An overview to the CAGED chord shapes! I'll show how they repeat on the fretboard, no matter which key you're playing in.
August 20, 2021
A deep-dive into common stretches within the D-major chord -- and whether it's better to use your left-pinky vs. left-ring finger to reach these 4th fret notes.
August 13, 2021
In which I answer questions sent in my by Patreon supporters! Playing G with 2 fingers, my practice routine, memorizing the fretboard, the secret to light & brushy strums, and more.
July 31, 2021
Watch as I explore a handful of different ways to play a single riff (Key of E), using different positions on the fretboard -- but always playing the same notes.
Browse my all lessons
By lesson type
By song decade
By musical genre
By guitar technique
By musical key
By popular artist
- Johnny Cash
- Tyler Childers
- Tom Petty
- Neil Young
- Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Willie Nelson
- John Denver
- Guns N' Roses