Ventura Highway by America | acoustic
An acoustic guitar lesson on how to play "Ventura Highway" by America from their 1972 album Homecoming.
This is one of the most positive and uplifting tunes from the seventies. It has that rare kind of magic about it and is arguably as popular today as it was back in the day. It was written by Dewey Bunnell who also wrote "A Horse With No Name" and "Tin Man".
All three of these songs were massive hits and all three are based primarily on just two chords! Some of the best and most enduring songs are often the simplest in structure, but it takes a great song writer to be able to pull that off!
Even though this tune is in essence pretty simple, it's four chords in total including the chorus, it's the strumming that will hold most people back. Strumming an acoustic is always looked at as easy, but to strum evenly and in time is a lot harder than it appears! And this tune is no exception.
It starts out with the main strumming pattern but changes as it goes along so there are actually two patterns to learn. I also go over the harmony guitar parts that are such a strong hook. They really give the tune a lot of it's character I think.
Finally, there's a guitar part in the chorus that's back in the mix in the left channel. And even though you could listen to this tune for years and never really notice it, to me it's a very important part and helps to lift the chorus. It's almost like a banjo type part.
When I was learning this one I couldn't help but notice at around 17 seconds on the original track, on the G13 chord just before he sings "Chewin' on a piece of grass" there's a flub on the rhythm guitar part resulting in a bad note. It goes by real quick but you can definitely hear it.
Just goes to show, back in the day perfection was less important than overall feel.
Anyways, I had a great time making these videos so I hope you enjoy them and have fun playing this great tune. Cheers
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