Watch the Route 103 online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from Essentials: Fingerstyle Blues

In standard tuning, the key of G is typically used to evoke bright, major sounds on acoustic guitar. It’s the bluegrass key, the key for wide-open country strums, and so on. (In open tuning, G is the key for Muddy Waters-style slide sounds and other darker stuff, but that’s another discussion). On Route 103, the fingerstyle approach lets us be very selective about our notes, and so conjure up a darker and bluesier sound by sticking to just roots and fifths in the bass and avoiding the open second string, B (the major third of a G chord).