Video of the Month: Andy McKee
Okay, I’ve posted this video before on my website, but I’ve decided to revisit it this month. Over the Christmas holidays I was able to catch up on some back issues of Acoustic Guitar Magazine and the most recent issue (January 2011) featured YouTube sensation Andy McKee.
Andy McKee is a fingerstyle guitarist who cites Preston Reed, Micheal Hedges and Don Ross as his main influences. He became an internet superstar when this video was featured on YouTube. To date it has over 35 million views and Andy’s other videos have combined to give him approximately 100 million views. At one time, he had the three most popular videos on YouTube.
The first time I saw this video I was blown away, but I also considered it a bit of a novelty and filed it under “unplayable for mere mortals”. (Especially mere mortals with two young kids.) However, the magazine article included a transcription of the tune and I thought, “Okay, let’s have another look at that video”. Of course everything in the recorded tune seems to happen at a lightning pace, but when you have a transcription to look at, the main elements of the tune are not out of reach for a decent player. There is a lot in there that I’m not accustomed to doing (i.e. using my guitar as a drum kit) but once I got out my metronome, it didn’t take long to get the gist of the first few bars of the tune – albeit at a comparatively glacial tempo. I may not ever take the time to learn the full tune, but it was a lesson to me – the same lesson that I always try to get across to my students: to play something fast, first you have to play it slow.
Anyways, if you want to learn the tune, its in DADGAD tuning and if you’re like me and need a visual breakdown of everything that is happening in this tune, you can get a transcription from the January 2011 issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine or from the CandyRat Records website.