Watch the Song For Tsenacommacah online guitar lesson by Stephen Bennett from Fingerstyle Finesse
Again, this is the Native American name for the coastal plain of Virginia., where I live. It's part of a set of pieces I composed entitled the Powhatan Suite and is on my Music From Tsenacommacah cd, released in 2003. The original recording of this tune was performed on baritone guitar and though the fingerings are the same as what I'm about to show you, it would sound a major third lower on the original recording.
I firmly believe that any tune can teach us something; actually I believe that most tunes contain an entire musical education within them, if only you look...
The most important thing I learned (or was reminded about) from this tune was that simplicity is good; sometimes a beautiful melody will sit easily in very simple chord positions - and that's a good thing! I am constantly looking for new sounds and that often leads me into chord positions with big, uncomfortable stretches. But in this tune, the melody began to speak to me immediately in very basic positions.
So - much of this tune will seem very easy to you, particularly as far as the left hand is concerned. Don't be fooled though; it's somewhat of a deceptive simplicity, for although the left hand chord shapes are no problem, the right hand rhythm is a little tricky. Remember to make the melody sing out.