Learn to Play: Riffs in the Key of Curtis Mayfield

Getting his start with The Impressions in the late '50s, Curtis Mayfield quickly became one of the most important and influential soul musicians of all time. Today, Joe is breaking down two of his best tunes: "People Get Ready" and "Think."

In the video above, Joe talks about Curtis Mayfield's legacy as a guitar player and about the many guitarists he has influenced. Joe discusses Mayfield's unique penchant for open F# tuning, explains why a sharp is a sharp and a flat is a flat, and also demonstrates what playing in open F# looks like.

In part two, Joe delves into the meat of "People Get Ready" and explains how the recording differs from how Mayfield would play it live.

In this second lesson, Joe breaks down the guitar parts for "Think" into three sections. Unlike "People Get Ready," this song in played in standard tuning and includes more recognizable chord shapes.

Check out the two lessons above, and be sure to follow along with Joe for his in-depth explanation of Curtis Mayfield's unique tunings, chord shapes, and melodic lines.

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