All posts by Robbie

Folsom Prison Blues Gets a New Great Ending

Folsom Prison ending - Impress your friends

As part of my series on big endings, here is a great finish for the Folsom Prison Blues. You'll thrill your audience and impress your friends with this one. It's got octaves, chord substitutions and even a right hand crossover in it.

Will people be peeved when you tinker with tradition and change a time-honored ending? Not likely, because it's a compliment to the original artist when you offer an interesting interpretation of their great work. Besides, you'll create more curiosity in your playing and your performance if you give your audience something to talk about.

You'll get a lot of mileage out of my ending for Folsom Prison Blues as it frees your listeners to travel down new roads. Learn this new ending for Folsom Prison  and leave them wanting more of your fancy playing.

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Everybody Loves a Great Ending

Give the audience a great ending:

As a performer and a writer, you want to treat the audience to a great ending. Hopefully, we never find ourselves in a situation where our listeners feel it's great that we've ended. To prevent that, take the extra step and come up with a great ending.

A fade works great in your records but live performances will get a lot more mileage from a big finish. In this preview from my lesson on The Breakfast Blues, I demonstrate the components of a sweet little ending.

A great ending from the beginning

I learned this principle from Peter Berring, an accomplished musician and acclaimed composer who played piano in one of my early bands. Before we started to jam on a song, Peter would come up with a great ending to play.  When we went through the song and arrived there, it was ready and waiting for us.

The most memorable stories generally have the best endings. So remember, when you are arranging or writing material, don't forget to structure your song to have a great ending.

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13th Chords Sound Great

13th chords from Robbie's 13th floor

13th chords are a great way to spice up your sound. They give a rich, full sound that creates the feeling that you're turning a corner.  These are among my favorite chords because they can be used in a lot of different situations. In my 2 Finger Genius video, I show some examples of some really easy 13th chords to try. In the video above, when I refer to the 7th of the chord, I mean the dominant 7th or the flat 7th. For more details on how these numbers work be sure to see the video from my 13th Floor series on the Guitar Style page.

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The Ultimate Instrument

The Ultimate InstrumentWire and wood, an ultimate instrument

Bass lines, chords, solos in every style - the guitar can do it all.  And with an acoustic model, it's portable, organic and self-sufficient. Even if the power goes out, you're still in business. The first thing to learn about the guitar is that it's the ultimate instrument that can take you in unlimited musical directions as a player and a writer. Hold on to that wood and caress those wires, that baby will never let you down. She'll be the one that made everybody happy that you brought her to the party.

(Photo: Andy Burnfield)