Zac Brown Band – Chicken Fried at Red Rocks
This song received widespread acclaim, becoming the first
chart single for the Zac Brown Band and their first number-one hit on the
Billboard country charts. It has since become a country classic enjoyed by country
lovers and non-lovers alike 1.
The singer is standing while holding the guitar closer to
his body and relatively higher than the electric guitarist. The electric
guitarist has a more relaxed standing posture and has his guitar neck at a
lower angle than the singer guitarist. Thus, the electric guitarist has to curl
his wrist more when playing notes while the singer guitarist can keep his
arm/wrist relatively horizontal/straight. The singer guitarist also strums each
chord while the electric guitarist seems to pick at individual strings on his
electric guitar, especially during the solo.
Liszt – LAGQ Hungarian Rhapsody no.2
This song is the most famous of the set of 19 Hungarian
Rhapsodies by composer Franz Liszt. There is an original piano solo form and an
adapted orchestrated version; both have been used extensively—directly and
thematically—in animated cartoons and several popular songs 2.
The guitarist to the far left is holding his guitar neck at
the highest angle of the four guitarists. He also holds the guitar body
relatively low on his leg, which allows his strumming arm to maintain a more
relaxed posture. The guitarist to the middle left holds his guitar in a more
relaxed but similar manner to the far left guitarist. His strumming arm is more
relaxed than the strumming arm of the far left guitarist. The middle right
guitarist has the least relaxed posture of the four. He keeps his guitar close
and higher up on his body, with the guitar body almost touching his chin. This
causes his left arm to be raised up higher to reach the guitar neck. The
guitarist on the far right has a similar posture to the far left guitarist, but
has the guitar closer to his right side (strumming side), which causes him to
extend his strumming arm further outward to reach the sound hole with his
John Mayer and Brad Paisley “Daughters”
This song was originally John Mayer’s third single from
“Heavier Things”, produced in 2003. Since its release, the piece has enjoyed
widespread critical acclaim, winning the 2005 Grammy Award for Song of the Year
and selling over a million copies in the US within 10 years 3.
John Mayer keeps his guitar at a medium height to where his
shoulders are slightly raised in order to allow his strumming arm to get a good
angle on strumming the strings. Brad keeps his guitar slightly higher than
John, and keeps the neck of his guitar at a slightly lower angle than John to
where at some points the neck is almost horizontal.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Foxey Lady (Miami Pop 1968)
Foxey Lady is one of Jimi Hendrix’s best-known songs. As
such, it was frequently performed in many concerts throughout Hendrix’s career,
and was “placed (at) #153 on (Rolling Stone’s) list of the 500 Greatest Songs
of All Time,” 4.
Jimi keeps his electric guitar at a medium height, which is
at a lower height than most classical guitarists. He holds the guitar in a very
relaxed manner to where he can easily move himself and the guitar around, which
is constantly happening. He frequently adjusts the angle of the guitar neck but
generally always keeps the neck above horizontal.
Martin Taylor performs “Stella by Starlight”
This song was originally by Victor Young, and is one of the
most popular standards. In May 1947, Harry James and his orchestra made a
recording of “Stella by Starlight”, which eventually reached 21st
place in the pop charts 5.
Martin keeps his guitar at a medium height on his body, with
the neck at a relatively high angle, and the guitar body tucked close to his
body and strumming arm. His left arm has to reach quite high in order to reach
the first few frets. His strumming arm remains quite still as he is playing
with his fingers individually. He uses his pinky to keep his fingers steady as
he is playing.
My Choice: Sungha Jung – Someone Like You (Adele)
Someone like you is a song by Adele, written for her second
studio album, 21.
Receiving widespread critical acclaim, this song is
considered the highlight of 21 and is currently one of the best-selling singles
of all time with 10 million copies sold worldwide 6.
Sungha keeps the guitar in a position consistent with the
position we practice in class. The guitar is kept in a vertical upright
position, and he keeps a gap between his fingers and the fingerboard. His wrist
and arm position is relaxed. His strumming arm remains quite still as he is
playing with his fingers on individual strings. He also wears picks on each of
his individual fingers.