Saturday, August 20, 2011

"In Training"

I finished writing my arrangements for Winfield, which was an incredible amount of work.  I've discovered that I am not a fast transcriber--I would far rather play a lick and then play another lick and then play the rest of the song, than play a lick and write it down.  Also, the longer the writing session, the harder it is to stay focused.  But I'm done writing now!

For those who care, here are the guitar tabs for the arrangements I'll be playing at Winfield:

Red Haired Boy (pdf and guitarpro)
The Old Spinning Wheel (pdf and guitarpro)
Beaumont Rag (pdf and guitarpro)
Liberty (pdf and guitarpro)

I will post Youtube videos once I have the arrangements down well enough to make videos.  Unfortunately, during the transcribing process I also did quite a bit of re-writing.  Now I need to learn the re-written parts.  My plan is to play each of the 4 sections 100 times for each of the 4 songs, then play the whole songs 100 times.  Then I'll evaluate what else I need to do get ready.

Of course, that amounts to 2,000 repetitions.  Which, by my calculations, will take about 37 hours of practice time.  And I have 28 days left until the contest.  It'll be busy!  So, yeah, I'm "in training" now, as boxers say.

I've been using this speed trainer as a practice tool.  I set it on a 10 or 15 minute loop and set it at an easy starting tempo and an almost-difficult ending tempo and do my repetitions while that click is playing.  The hardest part about practice is putting the guitar down at the end.  Especially when I know there's still so much work to do.

I'll probably post the Youtubes sometime around the first week of September.


  1. Thanks for posting the tabs Dave! I've been working on Liberty a lot and maybe I can work some of those licks in. I've only been playing guitar since January but making good progress. Can't wait to hear how well you do in Winfield. Thanks also for the link to the drum trainer!!

    Max in AZ

  2. You're welcome, Max. I'll let you know how Winfield turns out. I'm a little apprehensive, since I'm starting late, but who knows?

  3. Good luck - I'll be in the audience at Winfield cheering you on. I really like your arrangement of Liberty a lot. I groaned a little when I saw Beaumont Rag since so many people do it, but you have a bunch of interesting licks in there so I think it will go over well.

  4. Thanks, Shawn. I agree with you about Beaumont Rag--it's way overdone in contests. I'm using it because I already had a pretty well-developed arrangement I'd been playing, and I was short on time because I started preparing late. If I'd had more time, I probably would have developed an arrangement of New Five Cents or Mason's Apron.

    I do like the tune, though. It was one of the first tunes I learned to flatpick, because I enjoyed hearing my uncle play it on fiddle so much.

    It sure has a different flavor on guitar than it has on fiddle. The sassy slides that characterize this song (on fiddle) just don't come out on guitar very naturally. The pre-bend/pull-off in the B part of the 4th break has a little of that sass, but it's not the same.

  5. Dave,

    Really great stuff! Wish you good luck at Winfield - I'm sure you'll have a blast!