Breakfast Jams: Andy McKee

Good morning! 

This morning we're listening to a song by the American guitarist, Andy McKee. He's known for using a variety of unconventional playing techniques.

Please enjoy this song, Hunter's Moon, with a side of bacon and waffles. 

Andy McKee

Some things to look for:

As you watch Andy McKee's video, here are the unconventional techniques I was talking about. . . 

Traditional Guitar Playing Example ( source ) Notice the under-neck playing position and vertical frets.

Traditional Guitar Playing Example (source)
Notice the under-neck playing position and vertical frets.

  1. Hand Position: Do you see how his left hand is reaching over the neck of the guitar? Most guitarists play with the hand under the neck.

  2. Slapping: Andy McKee plays like this to facilitate another part of his technique - slapping. As you watch, notice how he sometimes uses four fingers to slap the strings? Listen for the twangy sound it makes.

  3. Fanned frets: Frets are metal lines on the neck of a guitar that separate notes. Most guitars' frets are vertical, but notice how Andy McKee's are slanted. That has to do with the tuning of the strings and making sure each note is always in tune no matter where it's played on the instrument.

  4. Guitar, or drum? See how Andy McKee is hitting the body of the guitar? Since the body of the guitar is hollow it acts just like a drum. Notice how some "drum" sounds are higher and lower than others. It makes the piece groove more.

Here it is:

Enjoy your breakfast and some Andy McKee this morning.