Below is the lesson for “America the Beautiful”.
This fingerstyle arrangement pays homage to one of America’s most beloved melodies. This song also serves as an excellent study for the intermediate player, as you’ll be focusing on developing finesse in your playing. So what does that mean, and how will we be working on it?
Think of all the times that you have heard this song. Unless it’s performed with a marching band, it’s usually played with a soulful manner. This can be thought of as playing with feeling; and a few ways in which we can impose feeling into our playing, is by using tempo changes and dynamics.
Let’s start with the first one, tempo changes. This is a song that works well with incorporating rubato into your playing. This means, that we do not have to strictly adhere to a steady tempo. The overall goal is to have a natural flow to our playing. So some passages could be played a touch slower and others a touch faster. Keep in mind that less is more. Drastic tempo changes will sound out of time, but subtle ones will sound natural.
With dynamics, we can alter the volume of notes and passages to create contrast in our playing. One way we’ll be doing this, is by using a four finger roll strum to strongly accent chord hits. In the lesson videos, we’ll be discussing more ways in which we will use dynamics.
Part 1 – Performance & Free Lesson