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Acoustic Artistry with Calum Graham

Award-winning Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham aims to transform the average fingerstyle player into an artist. Using a modern approach to fingerstyle guitar, Calum teaches you techniques in the context of his own songs to get you on your way to composing your own beautiful fingerstyle songs.

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Calum Graham brings us a modern approach to fingerstyle guitar with harmonics, hammer-ons, two handed tapping, rhythmic accents, and many other techniques designed to inspire the artistic side of acoustic guitar playing. You'll be well on your way to creating your own fingerstyle guitar compositions!

Lessons in this Series:

Lesson 1

Series Introduction

Award winning, Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham introduces his Jamplay Artist Series, which aims to transform the average fingerstyle player into an artist. Using modern techniques such as harmonics, hammer-ons, two handed tapping, rhythmic accents, you'll be well on your way to...

Length: 4:02 Difficulty: 0.0 Free Sample Lesson
Lesson 2

The Hedges Hammer-on Pull-off Technique

Using his song "The Nomad" Calum shows us a technique inspired by one of his biggest influences: the great Michael Hedges.

Length: 10:48 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 3

Exploring Counterpart

The idea of counterpart in a composition is two different lines moving counter to each other. In this lesson, Calum uses his song "The Nomad" to illustrate the use of this technique.

Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 4

Right Hand Slap Technique

In this lesson, Calum shows us an energetic technique achieved by slapping the strings with your right hand. Again, this is in the context of his song "The Nomad".

Length: 9:07 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 5

Basslines 101

When constructing fingerstyle pieces, one must act as their own bass player. In this lesson, Calum gives an introduction to playing basslines, and shows us multiple ways to play them.

Length: 6:16 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 6

Adding Layers to Basslines

Now that we've learned how to execute a bassline in different ways, it's time to layer another part on top of it! A challenging concept that will further your left and right hand independence.

Length: 16:02 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 7

Two Handed Tapping Sequence

Calum continues working us through his song "The Nomad". This lesson is all about a two handed tapping sequence in the song, meant to strengthen our hand independence.

Length: 13:40 Difficulty: 4.5 Member Only
Lesson 8

Various Ways to Play Melody

Adding variation and nuance to your playing sometimes consists of learning to play melodies different ways. In this lesson, Calum takes a simple melody line and plays it with open strings, then with harmonics.

Length: 6:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 9

A Little Orchestra

Truly artistic acoustic arrangements can almost sound as though there is a small orchestra at your fingertips. Calum is a master at this technique and uses this lesson to show you how to achieve this effect.

Length: 14:47 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 10

Call and Answer

In this lesson Calum takes a look at he traditional, time honored technique of the call and answer, putting it into a modern sounding fingerstyle passage.

Length: 9:47 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 11

Thinking Rhythmically

As important as melody and harmony are, the acoustic guitar affords a unique opportunity to emphasize another musical element: rhythm. Calum shows us how to think of our guitar as percussion instrument or even a drum set in this lesson.

Length: 9:32 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 12

Yoga For Your Fingers

As you can probably see, playing in Calum's style requires lots of dexterity and strength in your fingers! Well, it just so happens that he has a great set of exercises to help you gain that strength and dexterity: Yoga for your fingers!

Length: 15:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 13

One Man Band

Part of mastering this style on the acoustic guitar is learning how to make your guitar take on the personality of many different instruments. In this lesson, Calum shows how to incorporate different techniques that will make you sound like a one man band!

Length: 8:02 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 14

Right Hand Development

In this lesson, Calum shows some advanced right hand techniques like rasguedo, string security and string skipping.

Length: 19:09 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 15

Harmonics

Harmonics can be a great tool for adding flavor and uniqueness to your solo guitar pieces. In this lesson, Calum shows us an excerpt from his song "Waiting" to demonstrate the use of pinch harmonics.

Length: 19:02 Difficulty: 4.5 Member Only
Lesson 16

Percussive Slap Harmonics

A technique that provides an aggressive percussion approach as well as a melodic uniqueness, percussive slap harmonics is a useful tool in your arsenal of artistic acoustic techniques.

Length: 12:06 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 17

Melodic Multitasking

Acoustic artistry involves being able to multitask on your instrument. Playing bass parts, counter melodies and melodies at the same time is a common occurrence. In this lesson, Calum gives us a passage to work on that will sharpen our multitasking skills.

Length: 13:52 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 18

Creating Internal Rhythm

Creating internal rhythm is the process of filling some of the space between melodic notes with ghost notes or passing notes to give the passage more of a rhythmic feel. In this lesson Calum uses his song "Three Way Street" as an example of how to create internal rhythm.

Length: 11:49 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 19

Utilizing Open Strings

In this lesson, Calum shows us the advantage of using open strings. As the example, he uses his song "Phoenix Rising".

Length: 11:16 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 20

Two Handed Tapping 101

To get a little more proficient at two handed tapping, Calum shows us how to practice the major scale using this technique.

Length: 7:55 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 21

Cascading Harmonics

The sound of cascading harmonics is very reminiscent of a harp. In this lesson, Calum show a lick that can be used to add that quality to your songs.

Length: 7:44 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 22

Thumb Upstroke Technique

Although not as common, up and down picking strokes with the thumb can be used in fingerstyle guitar playing. In this lesson Calum gives us some pointers on how to execute this.

Length: 7:50 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 23

The CAGED Concept

The CAGED concept has helped countless guitarists over the years. In this lesson, Calum gives his take on the concept, and explores its usefulness.

Length: 13:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 24

All In One

Mixing certain elements together gives us a "guitar stew" of artistic techniques resulting in a complex and beautiful musical situation. Percussive guitar, harmonics and hammer-ons are on the ingredient list in this lesson.

Length: 14:35 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 25

Travis Picking

In this lesson Calum gives us his take on the classic technique called Travis Picking. Using his song "Through the Photo Album", he takes us into this very Tommy Emmanuel-esque composition.

Length: 23:26 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
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