Learn to play guitar like Lindsey Buckingham in five minutes

The former Fleetwood Mac guitarist’s individual approach helped propel the band to multi-platinum success, here’s are some handy tricks you can use to add a Buckingham vibe to your own playing.

Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham. Image: Fin Costello / Redferns / Getty Images

While Peter Green or Danny Kirwan might be more commonly regarded as the ‘guitar heroes’ in Fleetwood Mac, but it was their successor Lindsey Buckingham’s unique sound and style that helped drive the band to multi-platinum success and household name status.

Lindsey’s style certainly isn’t typical of your usual pentatonic-loving blues rock guitar hero. He fuses elements of blues with country and folk to create a something altogether more individual. All the examples in this lesson are played in Double Drop D tuning (low to high – DADGBD) with a capo on the 2nd fret. All the fret numbers are relative to the capo.

Finger picked rhythms

Five Minutes to Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey takes a lot of influence from country and folk music and he often prefers a fingerstyle approach to rhythm. This simplified style of Travis Picking appears in many Fleetwood Mac hits. It’s a 16th note rolling pattern with a moving bass note.

Unique chord voicings

Five Minutes to Lindsey Buckingham

In some of Fleetwood Mac’s more rock-sounding moments, Lindsey prefers to lean on some unique chord voicings instead of the usual major/minor/power chord formula. This rhythm uses slash chords and sus2 and 4 chords to give it a unique and interesting sound.

Repeated, accented lines

Five Minutes to Lindsey Buckingham

On paper, this looks very easy, it’s the 3rd fret of the B string with the open E string played together in straight 16th notes before sliding up to the 15th fret. Pay attention to the accent markings here. You’re accenting the 1, and “a” of 1 and the “&” of 2. You’re repeating the same across beats 3 and 4. You could split the bar in half in your head and count 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 and accent each of the 1s.

Melodic leads

Five Minutes to Lindsey Buckingham

When Lindsey does dip into more traditional sounding lead lines, he keeps them very melodic. This is a D Minor Pentatonic shape (As the A, D, G and B strings are still tuned the same). The focus is on the melody rather than pentatonic noodling and jamming.

About the Author

Leigh Fuge is a guitar teacher and professional musician from Swansea in the UK. He has taught hundreds of students face to face and via the musicteacher.com platform. He has over 10 years’ experience working in the industry as a touring musician, session guitarist and teacher. Musicteacher.com has a network of teachers based all around the UK. Check out the website today and find your local tutor.

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