The Star Spangled Banner Guitar Lesson

One thing you probably didn’t know about the United States’ national anthem is that it was mainly created by two different people. The lyrics that we, in the U.S., learn to recite at a young age were written in 1814 by Francis Scott key, a lawyer from Maryland. The music, however, was originally a tune called “To Anacreon in Heaven” written in 1780 by a composer named John Stafford Smith. The lyrics and music were later combined to form “The Star Spangled Banner,” which was adopted at the U.S. national anthem in 1931.

In almost a century’s time, countless musicians, composers, conductors, and orchestras have recited their own versions of this anthem – some of them being guitar players! In fact, one famous instance of a U.S. National Anthem guitar performance was Jimi Hendrix‘s at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival in 1969. Today, we’re going to show you how you can play “The Star Spangled Banner” on guitar!

Performance & Tips for Expressive Playing

In this lesson, David MacKenzie shows you how to play “The Star Spangled Banner” on guitar. As David explains, you can use techniques such as string bending, vibrato, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and even slides to add expression and musicality to the performance.


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