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Mockingbird: Introduction, Gear & Tone


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Hey everybody, this is Tom for Guitar Tricks and today we are going to learn how to play "Mocking Bird", as recorded by James Taylor & Carly Simon in 1974. This light and playful rock song cycles through a 16 measure form and features two distinctive guitars and some iconic blues-rock vocabulary!

In this tutorial we'll talk about gear and tone, we'll learn the intro, the verses, the guitar solo, and the modulated verses. This song is in 4/4 time with a quarter-note of 113 bpm; also, I'm tuned down a half step to concert Eb but I will being calling out the chords as if I was in standard tuning, in E.

To play this song all you need is an electric guitar and an amp. Today I am playing a Fender Telecaster set to the bridge pickup into a Line 6 amp modeler for reverb and a Fulltone Distortion Pro for gain. For guitar 2 I'm also using a Pipeline tremolo pedal.

I always prefer a tube amp with natural gain but ultimately this song can be played on any guitar through any amp or amp modeler. Just use your ears and common sense to get the best sound you can with the gear you have!