Dyce’s action-packed lessons get aspiring students learning real songs in no time—all while teaching them music theory and scales that connects the music to relatable, practical theory. His custom-tailored lessons are based on this realization. “I know that all of my students are unique, both as people, and as musicians,” Dyce states, “so I realized that my lessons should celebrate these differences.” Instead of following a rigid, “cookie-cutter” approach to teaching, he makes allowances for these differences, and custom tailors a lesson plan that enriches their musical tastes, goals, and strengths. Dyce has learned, over two decades of playing and teaching professionally, when to push students—and when to stay out of the way. This sort of expert guidance helps students flourish, because they learn music on their own terms.
While these new custom-tailored lessons allow students to concentrate on the music that interests them—Dyce’s expert hand ensures that each lesson flows logically to the next. Students learn the guitar the right way, building on concepts, reinforcing their knowledge, building confidence—and most importantly—having fun! Dyce’s students learn how to play the guitar like the pros do, right from their very first lesson, no matter what style of music they are learning!
When Dyce is not teaching the guitar, his musical efforts go to performing in churches and Christian events. Besides accompanying worship services, Dyce plays dynamic, spiritual original songs and popular covers. As Dyce proclaims, “I’m giving the gift God has given me back to Him-dedicating my life to serving Him and my fellow man in this way.”
Lesson #5: Fly Away
For our next lesson we are going to cover the song “Fly Away” by Lenny Kravitz. We're advancing past the basic concepts we covered earlier and we're moving into the realm of four chords per song. The rhythm is more complex and exciting as well so get ready to dig in!
The chords are: | A C | G D | Each chord is played 5 times each in a fast rhythm. We will play the A chord as a barre chord which means you will lay your entire finger down on strings 4-3-2-1 (and slightly mute the 1st string by lifting your finger off the string.)
For the A chord you don't want to ring the 6th string or the 1st string. That will take some practice to have enough control in your first finger to isolate your strum to be confined only to the 5-4-3-2 strings. As I wrote above I like to mute the 1st string with my first finger by coming off the string slightly and I also mute my 6th string with my thumb. Please experiment with this and watch the video for added coaching.
Hopefully you're familiar with the CG and D chords as we have covered them in prior lessons. If not I still give a detailed description of them in the video. After you are comfortable strumming the chords, join me in playing with the drumbeat to get comfortable with the rhythm and progression. Start with playing each chord one time each and switching your fingers early to the next chord in order to get there on time. Next try the playing the respective chords two strums each. Then, when you are comfortable, add a third strum like in the video.
Now I'm going to introduce the concept of the upstroke to your repitore. Now that you're comfortable doing the down stroke three times each per chord, I want you to add an upstroke in between the down stroke. The rhythm is: down up down up down. That’s 5 strums per chord. You just need to come up with the same authority as you came down. Also the choice of strings to hit will be the same with the down stroke as the up stroke. However if you had a couple wrong strings here and there it’s no big deal.
Before I would ask you to play along with the song, I would have you play at the song speed (85 BPMs) with a drum machine to isolate any issues that may still be there. A link to this tempo is provided here for you to practice with
This song is a lot of fun! I really want to encourage you to not be content with just playing the chords by yourself. Instead you want to go all the way and try to play with the song. Playing along with a song will challenge you so much more because it's going to force you to pay attention to the song and get in sync with Lenny Kravitz instead of just doing what you want to do at your own tempo.
Music is a lot like learning a new language. It's not enough to get the workbook and the CD but you have to actually interact with somebody and dialogue with them in that language in order to get the feel of how to communicate in that language. Playing with the song will be a stepping stone to prep you with playing with other people. This will be a crucial transition and getting good at your instrument and ultimately getting in a band.
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Catch me on Skype or Youtube for further online lessons. Thanks!
Lesson #4: Hang On Sloopy
For our next lesson we will learn to play “Hang on Snoopy,” by the McCoys. The song is basically | G C | D C | and you will play each chord 2 times each. Please refer to the video for the chord charts.
To begin to play the song simply strum each chord with down strokes 2 times each. Start by strumming slowly and playing by yourself until you can switch records comfortably. Then start playing with this drum machine beat at 65 BPMs.
Ultimately you want to get a place where you can play with the song. If you are a beginner I encourage you to take it slow and give yourself a week of getting comfortable with the chords before expecting yourself to be able to play at the speed of the song. It is very important that you take it slow so that your chord changes are smooth and you don't get discouraged.
Please check out the part of the video where I am playing with the song so you can see how to participate. At first I demonstrate how to play it all with down strokes and then how to include upstrokes as well. If both of those options are still too hard for you, I also demonstrate how to play a simpler version of this with just one stroke each. Hopefully between the three options you will find your comfort zone and build from there. However, if playing with the song is still too difficult, just use the drum machine link instead.
I encourage you to press thru the initial difficulty to reach a place where you can have fun with the song. “Hang on Sloopy” is just under three minutes in length and if you can play through all three minutes you have grown to a place of incredible stamina in your playing. This stamina is definitely something to work toward. Therefore please don’t move on just yet if you can play the chords fast enough. Try to challenge yourself to play them for the entire length of the song. This will hone your rhythm and start to build your ability to groove.
I hope you enjoyed the lesson and I’ll see you next time.
Lesson #3: Stir It Up
For this week’s lesson I'm excited to teach you the song “Stir It Up” by Bob Marley. This is another beginner lesson and we will be using the chords A, D, and E for this simple song.
Let’s start by getting familiar with the chords A, D and E as best you can and practice switching back and forth between them. Keep in mind that we are doing a beginner version of the song “Stir It Up.” This lesson will allow you to play along with Bob Marley but not necessarily do exactly what he does in the recording.
1) First get familiar with the 3 chords to the point that you can switch back and forth confidently.
2) Start playing the chords in this sequence: A four times,D two times and E two times.
3) Then start playing the groove with this drum beat of 60 BPMs the link below.
4) Once you feel like you can keep up with the speed of the song, start playing along with “Stir It Up.” It would be best to first join me in playing along in the video lesson to get comfortable with the placement of the chords in reference to the lyrics.
I really want to encourage you to practice until you have the stamina to play the entire song through. It would be a huge milestone in your development if you can go the whole five minute length of the song without breaking your concentration or losing your place.
As you get confident with the down strums of four A’s, two D’s and two E’s, you can start to change it up by adding some upstrokes as well to your rhythm. I know strumming up and down can appear easy but if you are attempting it for the first time it can be pretty difficult. The truth is: the right hand is the real superstar of guitar playing.
Even though most people focus on the left hand when they watch someone play, a lot of technique is really in the right hand. In fact, from the right-hand comes all the attack, percussiveness, authority, and groove. Start experimenting alternate strumming with these chords by adding an upstroke after every down stroke.
I hope you enjoy this lesson and see you at the next one!
Lesson #2: Sweet Home Alabama
Today we are learning to play a simplified version of the classic song “Sweet home Alabama,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, using the chords D, C, and G. I have gone to great lengths to find songs like this that can be simplified because it allows the beginner student to participate in playing a famous song that they know and love. In this beginner lesson we are focused strumming the chords along with the song.
1) First practice switching between D, C and G over and over until you are comfortable moving quickly between the 3 chords.
2) After you're comfortable switching, start implementing this rhythm: strum D two times, strum C two times and strum G four times.
3) After you get your strumming consistent, start playing to the 70 BPM drum machine in the link below. You can hear me playing in the video to a beat at 70 BPM's but the actual song is 100 BPM's.
4) When you are comfortable at a slower speed then try to play along with the song or with a faster beat. You can either find a faster beat on youtube or simply play by your self at a faster pace.
5) Eventually try to play along with “Sweet Home Alabama” as I do in the video toward the end. At the end of the video you can see me get a little more creative with the strumming. Hopefully this will inspire you to continue to learn and also give you a sneak peak at what techniques are right around the corner for you.
I hope you enjoyed this lesson and see you at the next one.
Lesson #1: C & A Minor Chords
For today's lesson we are going to cover how to play the C and A minor chords together. This is a great beginner lesson because C and A minor are practically the same chord. Both only use only five strings and only require a change in only one finger to switch chords. Please follow the charts and the verbal and visual description in the video to learn the chords.
1) First get comfortable with the chords, and try switching back and forth.
2) Try to play each chord four times each and switch back and forth at your own pace.
3) Then try to play both chords together and learn to switch quick enough to not have any pause in between the switching of chords so that you don't drop a beat.
4) After you have gotten quick with switching between the chords, try to play C and A minor four times each with the drum machine at 70 BPMs from the link below.
It is imperative to not only learn the chords on the guitar, but to learn to play with a consistent rhythm as soon as possible. In fact, rhythm is the key difference between musical-sounding noise and actual music that other people can sing and participate with.
Now feel free to watch at the end of the video as I play these two chords four times each with the drum machine. I welcome you to join in and play the chords as they come up in the video in time with me. I'm going end this video lesson with some basic strumming of the C and A minor chords, and then I’m going to embellish a bit to inspire you with how interesting these two chords can get. Hopefully watching me “get down” a little will be entertaining for you as well! Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you at the next lesson.
Audition Video: Dyce Kimura
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Winner + Final Results Announced!
TrueFire's Next Top Guitar Instructor:
1. Robert Renman (38% of total vote)
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