7 HUGE Acoustic Guitar Lessons from The Byrds • Acoustic Tuesday 237

The Byrds were pioneers of psychedelic and folk rock. While acoustic guitars weren’t their main axes, there are still plenty of lessons to learn from this incredible band.

The Byrds have a rich history of rocking out and pushing the boundaries of rock. They weren’t afraid to crossover into different genres. And, as a result, they took a variety of different techniques and applied them to non-traditional situations.

From the way they modified chords to how they reimagined certain arrangements, there are plenty of technique lessons you can learn from the Byrds. I want to specifically focus on 7 key areas of The Byrds’ music.

By the end of this lesson, you’ll learn some Byrds-inspired techniques that are sure to help you discover that ’60s folk-rock sound on your guitar.

Besides discussing the techniques we can learn from the Byrds, you’ll also get to hear more about the Tony’s Acoustic Challenge Family, slide guitar technique from an earlier AT episode, and the interview that’s inspiring me on my guitar journey right now.

Featured in this episode…

  • Atkin Guitars
  • David Bowie
  • Chatham Rabbits

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  1. Great show again. Thanks, I believe some of us older / beginners really could use the breaks in the Daily challenges videos like you do here, maybe a loop so we don’t have to remove our hands from the guitar , Just a suggestion.
    The folk artist I would like explore would be Arlo Guthrie, as well as John Denver. The new to Me artist I stumbled on is Reina del Cid. She won me over many times but her Ship of fools YouTube. To me was fantastic. I would love to learn that song. She plays with a capo. I’m not there yet.
    Have a Grateful Day!

  2. Joni Mitchell would be great future subject . Not only great songs but a lot of alternative tunings used in her early acoustic work

  3. I was lucky to see the Byrds live at the Pilgrimage Theater in LA in June 1969. They were AMAZING. The funny thing is that The Firesign Theater opened for them. Psychedelics were rampant.

  4. Hearing the different ways bands have modified how the guitar is played is an interesting trip on the guitar adventure. Thanks for the Byrds piece.

  5. Tony …The segment on The Byrds was AWESOME …I am an old Folk Music fan and would like for you to explore a few of the other Folk Musicians ..Perhaps John B Sebastian and the Lovin Spoonful …???

  6. Another great Acoustic Tuesday from Tony. I enjoyed your 7 lessons of the Byrds techniques and melodies. As a suggestion, how about examining the playing innovations of Chuck Berry, particularly hearing the difference he initiated to the “G blues scale” by double picking and fretting the adjacent string simultaneously as the single conventional picking for this scale. In my mind, this method develops tones “to die for”. Compare the two methods and see/hear for yourself………Fabulous!!

  7. Tony, Jeff Knapp mentioned the Traveling Wilbury’s. They are one of my favorites as well as the Beatles and ELO with Jeff Lynn. Some stuff along those lines would be fantastic. Orbison, Harrison, Lynn, Petty, Dylan and their studio drummer, it don’t get no better than than that! Can’t wait for what you have in store for us.

  8. Tony, this is my 3rd Acoustic Tuesday. I work every other Tuesday so I have to watch late a night to keep up. I just finished 30 days to play ( and will repeat the entire sequence as soon as I can) and am moving forward into chords and fret board challenges. I love Acoustic Tuesday but I must be careful, I’ll spend too much money! Got to tell you from episode 236 I think it was, I fell in love with the Taylor 562 C.E. 12 string. Looks like a good entry point for me on a 12 string at a reasonable price/quality match. And I liked that you said it was the most comfortable. I began my TAC journey approximately 3-4 weeks ago with a new Taylor 114 C.E. It is very comfortable to me and my fingers are now growing callouses again after so many years of not playing. Thanks for your encouragement and the wonderful info on Acoustic Tuesday! I am 68 years old and grew up on the Byrd’s and so many other great musicians (James Taylor as one of my many favorites). Anyway, thanks Tony. Really happy I joined TAC. Learning more than I knew before and am amazed at my progress. For all those who wonder if they should join, I say emphatically yes! Dive into the deep end of the pool and we’ll see where we are 90 days from now.

  9. Saw the Byrds in 1970 or early 1971 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. at a drive-in theatre parking lot. I recall the band and everyone around was “eight miles high”
    Maybe you might highlight the music of Buddy Holly or John Prine?

  10. Love the segments. Would love to see the tabs that demonstrate what you are explaining. Another Band- Pink Floyd.

  11. really enjoyed today’s episode. I use a flat pick and also finger picks but never thought to put the two together. Will definitely try it. Would like to watch an episode on alternative tunings, and also one on alternative voicing of chords if you have one.

  12. 8 Miles High was written about their 1st trip (flight) to London… “grey. grey own know for its sound.” Inspired by John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” 🙂

  13. Really enjoyed this episode. I have always liked the Byrds and their sound. Seeing how they made their sound was really great. The comments from the songwriters was inspirational. I am enjoying my guitar journey and thank you for turning me on to it. But more than that I look forward to Tuesday and these presentations to propel me forward and motivte me.

  14. Hey Tony,
    I started the 30-Day Challenge two days ago. I anticipate my greatest challenge will be staying on task with each lesson and not get distracted like a dog on a squirrel farm by “ooo-wow” guitar-related things that inundate the internet. I expect your program is just what I’ve always needed. After months of watching your videos, I’m glad I finally pulled the trigger and joined TAC. ~Gordon
    (P.S. Speaking of The Byrds, have you seen the documentary “Echo In The Canyon”? It’s about the music scene in Laurel Canyon in the 60’s, of which The Byrds were a big part of. Peace out.)

  15. Love the the deep dive exploration of the Byrds Techniques. Tried some of that hybrid picking and gosh darn it sounded good. And It was not so hard to do. Maybe after hanging around here for a while I have gotten better at playing. Got to see Roger McGuinn last month. Good times.
    I know they are not acoustic but I am tossing Allman Brothers into the hat. The idea of two lead guitars trading back and forth and in harmony is an area of focus for me lately. Would love to hear you dissect the techniques. Peace To You My Guitar Guru.

  16. The Byrds lesson was Awesome, listening to them growing up and revisiting them on the show, learning their playing tips was a bonus after trying to figure out how what they were doing. Thanks Tony. The Buffalo Springfield , Neil Young would be a lesson segment. All the Best, Paul!

  17. Byrds segment was really helpful. A regular feature such as this would be useful to me in so many ways. It teaches a documentary history lesson about the guitar, musicians and the social culture of the time. Learning how to play songs is the ultimate goal for me. Focused breakdowns of portions of songs
    makes learning easy and enjoyable. Cheers

  18. I really did enjoy this A/T. It was totally different, and I actually learned something I’m going to try, chord modification. A lesson on one of the popular Beatles songs would be good. Thanks Tony. Steve

  19. Great bit about the Byrds. How about something similart about the Buffulo Sprimgfield, Credence Clearwater and the Traveling Willburies.

  20. I love the segment on playing around with chords. It really makes me realize that it is not all that difficult. It also allows me to noodle around outside of core playing. The song Dust In The Wind does this with the D chord that I learned ages ago.