Al Green Biography

The Reverend

Biography and Guitar Lessons

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Al Green

Al Green is an American R&B, Gospel and Soul singer who enjoyed great popularity during the 70s.

Among his hits, you’d find Let’s Stay Together, Take Me To The River, and Love and Happiness.

But he also successfully covered A Change Is Gonna Come, Unchained Melody, Light My Fire and My Girl.

Green was not signed to one of the major labels, instead, he opted for Memphis label Hi Records. Apart from Ann Peebles and her main hit I Can’t Stand The Rain, Hi Records had all its success with Al Greens recordings.

Following the serious success of the 70s, Green moved away from the commercial world and spent the 80s singing strictly gospel. After all, Al Green was the reverend!

In 1988 he made a comeback and has been touring and releasing albums ever since.

His latest release came as late as 2019!


Guitar Lessons


A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 1 (Free Preview)

In this firsts step, we learn two extremely detailed TAB examples which are exact transcriptions of what I play in the video with the singer.

Out of all 8 steps, this is by far the most difficult. It is also the most complex lesson so far in this course.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 1.


A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 2

Luckily, this step is much easier to nail than step 1, which was testing, to say the least.

Now we’re dealing with chord II and VI mainly. The rhythm is super repetitive and you could even make up your own variations.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 2.


A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 3

The easiest step among these 8 is here, playing the intro.

Ironically, it looks the most complicated if you focus on the chord names. In the video lesson, I talk about why these chords have the names they do.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 3.


A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 4

It’s time to play the complete song. As you’ve practiced each section individually, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Still, the verse strumming is difficult. Try copying me in detail as well as just playing along, not worrying too much about it.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 4.


A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 5

Is it an F# Minor Pentatonic, or is it an A Major Pentatonic? That is the question you must answer today by being able to hear the difference.

This is definitely not easy as they have the same notes!

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 5.


A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 6

The secret to hit melody writing is revealed in this step. Let’s learn from Sam Cooke, he’s definitely one of the best!

Having something to say certainly helps, although to get on the radio, you got to hit the correct intervals as well…

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 6.


A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 7

In this step, we look at how you could construct a 2nd guitar part that will work with me and the singer.

Start by playing as the TAB show and I explain in the video lesson, then try varying it.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 7.


A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 8

The time has come to play with me and the singer as if we were meant to play together.

Use the 2nd guitar part ideas you learned in the last step as your foundation. Every time you play it again, modify it.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 8.


Guitar Lessons


Take Me To The River – Step 1 (Free Preview)

In this first step, we take an overview of the chord progression which has so many important lessons in itself, especially if you want to learn more about songwriting.

We also look at the initial transcriptions of bass line, horns, and strings to get this arrangement going.

Go to Take Me To The River step 1.


Take Me To The River – Step 2

It’s time to start learning a bunch of variations on the verse.

The question is, how do we combine horns, keyboards, and bass line into a one acoustic arrangement?

Go to Take Me To The River step 2.


Take Me To The River – Step 3

In this step, we dive into the bridge and discover how it can be varied using chord extensions and bass lines.

Since the verse is varied leading into this section this is also included in all examples.

Go to Take Me To The River step 3.


Take Me To The River – Step 4

The chorus is what is put under the microscope in this step.

The horns have an important part to play here, so does the bass. Put these together and you have a part.

Go to Take Me To The River step 4.


Take Me To The River – Step 5

The final missing bits of the arrangement is here clarified. This includes the intro, m8, and outro.

If you know the previous parts well, this is not too difficult to achieve.

Go to Take Me To The River step 5.


Take Me To The River – Step 6

In this step, we start putting the entire arrangement together.

Simply play along with the TAB loops and you will complete the first half of this one acoustic guitar arrangement.

Go to Take Me To The River step 6.


Take Me To The River – Step 7

Let’s play the 2nd half of the arrangement, this includes the m8 and outro.

The verse and chorus now have all embellishments such as hammer-on, slide, mutes etc. Nail it note for note using TAB loops.

Go to Take Me To The River step 7.


Take Me To The River – Step 8

After discovering all the great secrets of this composition, you are now finally ready to play the complete song.

Play it along with me and a singer.

Go to Take Me To The River step 8.


Related Pages


Chords and Guitar Lessons

For anyone interested in how to write a fantastic chord progression, look no further! This blues/soul/gospel classic is one of Al Green’s finest compositions.

The question is: How do you combine all those strings, horns, keyboards, guitars, and bass lines into just a one acoustic guitar arrangement?

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come chords and guitar lessons.


Lyrics

A Change Is Gonna ComeI was born by the river in a little tent
And just like that river I’ve been running ever since
It’s been a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come lyrics.


Chords and Guitar Lessons

This blues/soul/gospel song has been condensed into a one acoustic guitar arrangement.

Bass line, horn and string section parts as well as the guitars, drums, percussion and keys sound like one organic machine on the original recording. The challenge lies within making it work on just one acoustic.

Go to Take Me To The River chords and guitar lessons.


Lyrics

Take Me To The RiverI don’t know why I love you like I do
After all these changes that you put me through
You stole my money and my cigarettes
And I haven’t seen hide nor hair of you yet

Go to Take Me To The River lyrics.


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