Sunday, January 31, 2021

New Tabs

 Hi, everybody. I just linked a bunch of new tabs on the sidebar to the left (desktop view). Arkansas Traveler, Blackberry Blossom, Bury Me Beneath the Willow, Cattle in the Cane, Cuckoo's Nest, Drowsy Maggie, Forked Deer, Leather Britches, Lonesome Fiddle Blues, Nine Pound Hammer, Salt Creek, Soldier's Joy, Temperance Reel, and What a Friend We Have in Jesus.

I'm sure there are mistakes and oversights to tweak in these arrangements. Let me know if you find things to fix. They are mostly simpler arrangements, made for a guitar student--not contest arrangements. 

Hope you're all doing well & getting plenty of picking in.

Also, I've started doing some flatpick-related streaming: 

On Friday nights (7:30 pm Eastern Time), I do a Youtube jam-along stream where I play bluegrass jam standards, starting at a slower tempo and speeding up as the jam goes along. I try to show the chords on the screen for each tune as we play it, and leave spaces where I just play rhythm so you can take instrumental breaks. However, this coming Friday (Feb 5th), I won't be doing the Friday night stream due to family plans. I'll try to post a reminder here when I pick back up on Feb 12th. Here's the link: The Flatpick Apprentice - YouTube

On Wednesday and Sunday nights (also 7:30 pm Eastern Time), I do streams on Twitch where I play a little more variety of songs, and take requests (if I know them). Those are more like a mini-concert, though people of course can and do pick along with the songs. Here's the link: TheFlatpickApprentice - Twitch

If you stop by a stream, say hi and let me know you came from the blog. Hopefully I'll see you there!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Cattle in the Cane

A cool & unusual fiddle tune. The first time this tune really made an impression on me was at my first flatpicking contest -- Grand Lakes Fiddle Fest. Jerry Shadrick played his arrangement on a Brazilian Rosewood/Adirondack Spruce dreadnought guitar he had made, and it sounded amazing. I don't know if I've ever heard a guitar sound better through a sound system.

This tune changes from A major to A minor halfway through, and also borrows from the melodic minor scale (the G sharp contained in the E7 chord).

Here's a guitar tab: Cattle in the Cane
And a mandolin tab: Cattle in the Cane - mandolin.

This arrangement has some Tony Rice influence, and some influence from a few other fiddle arrangements. One thing that I do differently than some--I use an E minor chord in the last measure of the A part. Some people use the same E7 chord as in the B part, but it doesn't particularly make sense as all of the melody is in A mixolydian, and I never hear anyone emphasize the G sharp in the A part, so I stuck with diatonic chord of E minor.

Here are some rhythm tracks:

||: A | A | G | G | A | A | G | Em A :||
||: Am | Am | C | C | Am | Am | C | E7 Am :||

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Cold Frosty Morning

This is a cool fiddle tune. It's in A minor, but the scale includes a major-sounding sharped 6th note (F#), which makes this tune in the A Dorian mode. Apparently some other Dorian mode songs are Eleanor Rigby, Another Brick in the Wall, and Scarborough Fair.

From what I read on the ever-reliable internet, this tune memorializes a battle called "Culloden Moor", in which an English army defeated a Scottish army and ended the Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland. This was followed by executing certain Scots who had been allied with that resistance, and giving their lands to other more English-friendly people.

Here's a recording of it on guitar: Cold Frosty Morning demo
And here's the tab for that arrangement: Cold Frosty Morning tab

I'll try to get a version of this up on Youtube with my pal Jack, who plays a great version of this tune on clawhammer banjo.

Some notable recordings of the tune include the Emory Lester & Mark Johnson recording from "Acoustic Rising", and the Butch Baldassari & David Schnaufer recording from "Appalachian Mandolin & Dulcimer".

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Cuckoo's Nest

I'm doing this one in D, since that's how I first learned it and how I most often hear it in jams. I understand it's also played in G or in E minor in some circles.

I'm working on a twin guitar arrangement that I used to play with my friend Kevin back in Oklahoma. I believe he got it from Doc & Merle--I've challenged myself to figure it out rather than try to look it up, so it'll probably come out a bit different.

Here's the guitar tab and the twin part. It's a capo 2 arrangement.

Here's the mandolin tab.

Here's how the guitar, twin, and mandolin tabs sound together:

Chords (no capo):
no capo
A part  |: D | A | C | G | D | D G | D A | D :|
B part  |: D | D | C | C | D | D G | D A | D :|

Here are the rhythm tracks:
Cuckoo's Nest 150 bpm
Cuckoo's Nest 170 bpm
Cuckoo's Nest 195 bpm
And a zip file of all tempos (48 MB)

The performance of this tune that always comes to mind for me is the one Nickel Creek did on their first album--just such a great job.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Nine Pound Hammer

I recorded these rhythm tracks in the key of G, which seems like the most common key for this song. But, it's a vocal tune, so it gets moved around to whatever key suits the voice.

I structured these rhythm tracks like this: Intro, then 5 verses with a break between each verse.

Here's a demonstration with vocals and breaks in it: Nine Pound Hammer Demo

Nine Pound Hammer 120 bpm
Nine Pound Hammer 130 bpm
Nine Pound Hammer 140 bpm
Nine Pound Hammer 150 bpm
Nine Pound Hammer 160 bpm
Nine Pound Hammer 170 bpm
Nine Pound Hammer 180 bpm
Nine Pound Hammer 190 bpm
Nine Pound Hammer 200 bpm
Nine Pound Hammer 210 bpm

And a zip file of all tempos (38.7 MB)

| G | G | C | C | G | D | G | G |
| G | G | C | C | G | D | G | G |

Pretty simple.

Here are some youtubes of it: