In today's lesson we’ll be taking a look at Day and Age - an acoustic bluesy song by Julian Lage. There are few versions of the song available but my transcription is based on a video that he did for Collings Guitars. With this one I feel that Julian really went for it, it’s very spontaneous and fun to listen and play!
First I’ll talk about some general things about the song, then I will go through a few specific parts that I think are interesting and then I’ll finish off with one key takeaway, one thing that we can learn from this song, practice it and get into our own playing.
Day and Age (same as all songs from World’s Fair) requires using a technique called hybrid picking. It basically means that you need to hold a pick with your thumb and index finger and use the other three to pluck some notes or chords. Let's look at the first four bars of melody where I marked what is played with pick and what with fingers:
In my opinion Day and Age is not a very difficult hybrid picking song especially that in the solo/improvised part fingers are used not that often and patterns are not that complicated. If you are a solid pick player willing to practice a bit you should be fine :) If you’re up for a serious challenge, check out Tommy Emmanuel hybrid picking style - “Endless Road” might be one of many great examples.
This song has rather short form, the whole structure has only 16 bars and it’s played at a lively tempo so it goes fast. Let's look at the theme of the song and try to identify the melody, In other words what would you sing when humming this without a guitar? I end up with something like this...
Once you have realised and internalized this melody in your head there are two benefits:
1. You will now know what notes need to be played louder to make melody stand out which is always a good thing for every song
2. You will get freedom to play melody but without being forced to play transcription exactly note for note each time.
So after you’ve learned the melody part, you can give it some personal touch when it comes to what is in between melody notes...