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Meditative Guitar

Disclaimer: Any direct contact work with patients requires training and background clearance. This blog is for informational purposes only and does not imply training.

Necessity is the mother of invention. I prefer my harp for bedside visits but don’t usually bring it with me on my rounds unless I know that I will need it. It’s too tough on my instruments to be sitting in the trunk of my car while I’m making patient visits. However, I also don’t usually have time to stop at home if I get called to make an end of life visit.

I’m sharing some chords and patterns that are especially meditative. In European based cultures we have certain expectations of certain scale patterns and chords. For instance, most of us think of major scales as happy and minor scales as sad. A dominant chord resolves to the tonic, or the main chord of the key.

Sometimes it is important to play music that is outside of those expectations. The first three chords on the chord sheet are a nice easy progression. The altered C and the un-named chord add a little tension that don’t easily resolve but sound nice.

The next chart shows how the guitar strings are numbered. This is important in fingerpicking. A nice pattern is to fingerpick the A minor chord on the strings shown to the right of the chart. Alternate between standard Am and altered Am.

If you are familiar with modes, playing the D, C, Am sequence allows you to improvise in Mixolydian. I’m still in the process of building up my callouses and my fingers get sore after playing for an extended period of time! Experiment with removing different fingers from the chord. Some are a little “spicier” than others.

I’d love to hear about your musical experiments, whether it is on the guitar or another instrument!

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