The first song I plan to teach him is one of his favourites, Little Ghost, by The White Stripes. The CBG is tuned to Open A which means that playing this will be super easy. The song has 3 chords, A, D and E. To play those, we just need to play the strings open for A, then 5th fret for D and 7th fret for E. Here is a bit of it with me playing solo on the new CBG.
The thing to remember with these open tunings is that you can look at the note on the top string (in the diagrams below) and that is the note you are playing when you fret all 3 strings at the given fret. So for example:
- Open = A (nothing fretted)
- 2nd Fret = B
- 5th Fret = D
- 8th Fret = F
This is why open tunings are loved by slide players. You can hit all the notes without fingering if you desire. To get other chords like minors, 7ths, etc, you are going to need to finger the strings. But for my purposes to teach the note circle and the importance of frets to my son, slide playing will do.
For reference, here are the whole notes laid out on the 3 string guitar.
Legend for my Diagrams
Here's what the A Major Scale sounds like on the high A string (the one on the top of the diagram).
A Minor Pentatonic Scale
A Blues Scale
Remember, the Blues Scale is more of a roadmap. Take the Minor Pentatonic Scale and sprinkle in some of the Major Scale and see what works. Not every note on here is going to work but think of this as the options you have when working with the Blues.
Here's what the A Blues Scale sounds like on the high A string (the one on the top of the diagram).