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Watch the Gentle Genius online guitar lesson by James Hogan from Essentials: Soul Rhythm Guitar

"Gentle Genius" is a really classy chord progression with some elegant fills in the style of soul and R&B guitar genius Mr. Curtis Mayfield. While many know him from his "Super Fly" era playing and singing, Mayfield's beautiful chordal work and fills have inspired countless players. In fact, his influence can clearly be heard in Jimi Hendrix's chordal work. Hendrix once said, "The best gig was working with Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions. He probably influenced me more than anyone I'd ever played with up to that time, that sweet sound of his, you know."

In this example, we'll check out some of Mayfield's beautiful "Impressions" era chord moves, intervallic fills, and lush harmonics! We'll also be going fingerstyle here, though you can play the example with a pick if you prefer. Check out Mayfield's "People Get Ready" with The Impressions for some inspiration.