The most influential artist in popular culture
Biography and Guitar Lessons
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Widely regarded as the most influential artist in popular culture, Bob Dylan has been covered and copied by almost everyone who’s attempted to write a song. Some might even say that he invented modern songwriting. It is difficult to find an artist post ’60 who has not been heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, directly or indirectly.
His classics include a huge selection of songs, making it hard to pick a handful to sum him up but let’s give it a go. Blowin’ In The Wind, Mr. Tambourine Man, Hurricane, Mr. Bojangles, Knocking On Heavens Door, All Along The Watchtower, Subterranean Homesick Blues, Like A Rolling Stone, One More Cup Of Coffee, Sara and Make You Feel My Love, pretty impressive!
Blowin’ In The Wind
Blowin’ In The Wind is a song from the 1963 album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. This wasn’t Dylan’s first album and he still mainly played covers at this point but Blowin’ In The Wind was his own song, quickly covered by his contemporary peers!
In fact, Peter Paul & Mary actually charted the song way before Dylan did with his own version.
Blowin’ In The Wind is often used as an example of a protest song, posing philosophical questions about peace, war, and freedom. American teens in the 60s couldn’t get enough of it and Dylan became an icon.
Dylan has recorded a number of albums following this, now legendary, album. Even though he is now approaching half a century as an active recording artist. For many he still remains the one-man band that sang Blowin’ In The Wind, The Times They Are A Changing and Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.
In 1999, Blowin’ In The Wind was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame. In 2004, it was listed as #14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
One More Cup Of Coffee
One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below) is a song by Bob Dylan from his album Desire. Since its release, the song has been covered by many artists including The White Stripes, Calexico, Roger McGuinn and Robert Plant.
The 1976 album it appeared on is ranked by many as Bob Dylan’s finest collaboration work.
Dylan had approached the concept of making an album from many different angles and this seventeenth studio album was his first attempt at a large collaborative effort.
Collaborative for Dylan meant chaotic for the rest of the band. For example, the violin player, Scarlet Rivera, was spotted walking down the street with her violin case as Dylan passed in his limo. They’d never met before but Scarlet ended up playing on most songs on the album.
Overseen by producer Don Devito, many famed musicians were involved in the making of Desire. Eric Clapton was present at one point but he soon left the studio advising Dylan to get a smaller band. There where five guitar players present on the day he was there!
Emmylou Harris sang the improvised harmony on the original recording making it her first big performance. At the time she was relatively unknown.
It is possible that Dylan surrounded himself with so many musicians because his marriage was heavily on the rocks during this time.
The song Sara speaks for itself. The vocal take for Sara was done with Dylan singing it to her in the studio. Two years later she filed for divorce.
Another controversial track off Desire is Hurricane, a true tale of how Rubin Hurricane Carter was wrongly jailed for triple murder. Since 1976, Dylan has never performed this song again.
Desire is one of those albums that could potentially change your perception of music. It certainly did for me.
Blowin’ In The Wind – Step 1 (Free Preview)
What you’ll hear is in the key of D, however, you must think as if in the key of C.
Go to Blowin’ In The Wind step 1.
Blowin’ In The Wind – Step 2
In this step, you’ll learn the chorus and instrumental sections.
When you can play these two sections you can play the complete song, which we do together at the end of this step.
Go to Blowin’ In The Wind step 2.
Blowin’ In The Wind – Step 3
In this step you pick the part as I strum, now we sound like a duo, a much better idea when playing together.
Go to Blowin’ In The Wind step 3.
Blowin’ In The Wind – Step 4
When you practiced along to the loop enough, try it with me and the singer again. We should now sound even better together.
Go to Blowin’ In The Wind step 4.
Blowin’ In The Wind – Step 5
The capo is back at fret 2 as we play this thinking in the key of C again.
Go to Blowin’ In The Wind step 5.
One More Cup Of Coffee – Step 1 (Free Preview)
Only four chords are used in this song. Instead of feeling at home with chord I, we find our home in chord VI as this song is “in minor”.
One More Cup Of Coffee – Step 2
These are not necessarily what you’d hear on the original recording but put in place to make the arrangement work better on just one guitar.
One More Cup Of Coffee – Step 3
Simply play along with me and the singer in the video. You don’t have to use the same extensions or exact rhythms.
One More Cup Of Coffee – Step 4
We’ll do this by switching key from C to G and then placing a capo on fret five.
One More Cup Of Coffee – Step 5
I’m playing the big chords, you got your 2nd guitar part, Barry is on violin and Miss Al Brown sings.
Chords and Guitar Lessons
This was Bob Dylan’s first hit, half a century later, he regularly plays this classic at gigs.
Go to Blowin’ In The Wind lyrics.
Chords and Guitar Lessons
To make such simple chords sound interesting, Bob turns them around for the chorus and puts the rest down to performance and lyrics.
Your breath is sweet, your eyes are like two jewels in the sky
Your back is straight your hair is smooth on the pillow where you lie
But I don’t sense affection, no gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me but to the stars above
Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.
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