4 Ways to Play Happy Birthday on Guitar (Part 2)

The last lesson covered ways to play Happy Birthday in chord solo as well as lead and rhythm. Click me to review if need be>> 4 Ways to Play Happy Birthday on Guitar (Part 1). In this lesson, we will be playing the song TRIO!

Ensemble has long been included as an indispensable part in music training. Duet, trio or even quartet playing all prove to be helpful in developing one’s musical skills.

To make great ensemble music, performers pay attention to how the rhythm, phrase and tone have changed in a way that the parts best fit together as a whole. When compared to soloing, the team of players stay close to one another, which therefore requires greater harmonic support, better rhythmic control and higher levels of coordination.

Can’t wait to play Happy Birthday to your loved ones perfectly after knowing the good practices for ensemble? Let’s have a look at the following tab!

3. Trio

Average bpm (120 bpm):

Practice track at 80 bpm:

Seems easy? Let’s brainstorm on what variations can be made!

1. Training for harmonic support—Who am I?

Do you know each chord good enough? If you and your team are asked to stop at certain point throughout the piece of music, by repeating the notes you all are playing at the moment, can you say aloud which chord is made up of these notes?

Let’s say you three stop at the second beat of the seventh bar, in which notes D, A and F can be found. Could you tell me which chord has the above components? Yea, a Dm chord for sure. How about the first or second beat of the sixth bar? They do sound like a Dm7 chord, but which notes are missing? Yup, A and D respectively.

Try this out on other beats and bars!

2. Training for rhythmic control—Guess the leader

If each of you can stand alone, keep the tempo steady and never slip into other parts, you should be ready for the challenge below.

Have one of you initiate the change of speed (it can be either faster or slower) on the way. Others observe carefully and follow as closely as possible. See if anyone will be “tailgating” (and even took the lead) or fall behind.

Tips: Apart from a change in speed, changes can also be made on the length and the degree of loudness or softness of notes. For instance, notes can be played in an abruptly disconnected manner, yet being strong and powerful at the same time. On the other hand, they can be smoothly connected, sounding creamy and cheesy.

3. Training for coordination competency—You are here!

Get dispersed and fill up the space. You can either be standing at a point or moving around as you play the guitar. As music becomes ambient, try to listen carefully whether the music that you play is in harmony with that of your partner. Do they fit into the overall atmosphere as well?

To increase the level of difficulty, split yourselves into groups by lot, each playing a separate part (and without knowing which part others are playing). Kick off playing and keep wandering as you go. After a certain period of time, get back to find out who’s in the same group with you.

Are you with me?

Ask this question from time to time as you play. If necessary, stop anytime to check if you and your teammates are in the same pace. Ensemble is never about showing off. It requires listening and active responding. Have fun complementing one another!