Flatpicking Guitar for the Complete Ignoramus!.

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Flatpicking Guitar for the Complete Ignoramus!.
Flatpicking Guitar
for the Complete
Ignoramus!
by
Roy Harvey & Leonard Copeland
Wayne Erbsen
©2010 Native Ground Books & Music
Library of Congress Control Number: 2009934422
All arrangements ©2010 Fracas Music Co. (BMI)
Asheville, North Carolina. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved.
Order Number: NGB-106
ISBN: 978-1-883206-58-1
Come visit us at www.nativeground.com
1
Thanks!
W
riting a guitar book is less like a solo gig and more like the performance
of an entire band. Thanks to Steve Millard for cover art, Barbara Swell
for putting up with me, John Miller, Kelli Churchill, Tom Mindte and Mike
Wright for support, Mark Wingate, Carolyn Dickson and Hilary Dirlam for proofing, Mike
Cooke, Trent Haynes and Walt Koken for photos, and Tina Liza Jones for illustrations.
In particular, I’d like to thank 15 year old Brennen Ernst for his careful research in discovering that Charlie Cline was indeed the first guitar flatpicker to record with a full
bluegrass band. Finally, my thanks go to you, the guitar student, for having the faith that I
can teach you to flatpick your guitar, and for sticking with it long enough for me to do so.
Parts of a
Guitar(ist)
Nut
Fingerboard
Bass Strings
Bridge
Pick
Treble Strings
Pickguard
Fret
Tuners
Instructional CD
An essential part of this book is the instructional CD you’ll find tucked
in the sleeve on the inside front cover. For the CD I recorded a whopping
91 tracks. Each song is played slow enough so you can play along with a
little practice, but fast enough so it sounds like a real song, rather than a
snail slowly slithering sideways (try saying that five times). On each tune
1
you’ll find an illustration of an old gramophone with a number inside it.
These numbers correspond to the tracks on the CD. Be sure to listen to each song
before you try to play it. As a bonus, if you insert the CD into the slot on your computer, and then open the CD drive, you’ll find a file named “lyrics.” Inside this file are
the complete lyrics to all the songs found in the book. Print out the lyrics to each
song so you can sing the song while accompanying yourself on your guitar.
2
Contents
Book Page
CD Track Number
Number
Parts of a Guitar(ist).......................................... 2
Come into the Schoolhouse! ............................. 5
Pioneers of Flatpicking Guitar ......................... 6
The Birth of Flatpicking Guitar ....................... 7
Masters of Flatpicking Guitar ......................... 8
My Flatpicking Heroes ....................................... 9
Tuning Your Guitar.............................................. 10 .......................................................................... 1
How to Hold the Guitar .................................... 12
How to Hold the Pick ......................................... 13
How to Play the Strings .................................... 14
Guitar Chords ....................................................... 15
Rhythm Guitar on Campfire Songs .................. 16
Wayne’s New Tab for Ignoramuses............... 18
Nearly Painless Music Theory .......................... 19
The Fear of Scales ............................................ 20
Finding Your G Scale .......................................... 21 ......................................................................... 2
Playing by Ear ....................................................... 22
Starting Notes of Popular Tunes ................... 23
Picking Out Melodies.......................................... 24
Amazing Grace ..................................................... 25 .....................................................................3, 4
Bill Monroe’s Shady Grove ............................... 26 .....................................................................5, 6
Boogie Woogie ..................................................... 27 ................................................................ 7, 8, 9
Down the Road .................................................... 28 ................................................................. 10, 11
Flatpicker’s Blues ................................................ 29 .......................................................... 12, 13, 14
Goin’ Across the Sea .......................................... 30 ................................................................. 15, 16
Little Maggie ........................................................ 31 ................................................................. 17, 18
Will the Circle Be Unbroken ............................ 32 ................................................................ 19, 20
Playing in the Key of C ....................................... 33 ....................................................................... 21
Black-Eyed Susie ................................................ 34 ................................................................ 22, 23
Bury Me Beneath the Willow ........................... 35 ................................................................ 24, 25
Cotton-Eyed Joe ................................................ 36 ................................................................ 26, 27
Darling Corey ....................................................... 37 ................................................................ 28, 29
Deer Lake Polka .................................................. 38 ................................................................ 30, 31
Little Rosewood Casket .................................... 40 ................................................................ 32, 33
Keep on the Sunny Side of Life ...................... 41 ................................................................ 34, 35
On Top of Old Smoky ....................................... 42 ................................................................ 36, 37
Red River Valley .................................................. 43 ................................................................ 38, 39
Shortenin’ Bread ................................................. 44 ......................................................... 40, 41, 42
Where the Soul Never Dies ............................. 45 ................................................................ 43, 44
Wildwood Flower ................................................ 46 ................................................................ 45, 46
Playing in the Key of D ....................................... 47 ....................................................................... 47
Angelina Baker..................................................... 48 ................................................................ 48, 49
Arkansas Traveler .............................................. 49 ................................................................ 50, 51
Cluck Old Hen ...................................................... 50 ................................................................ 52, 53
3
Contents
Book Page
CD
Number
Track Number
Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down .......................... 51 ................................................................ 54, 55
In the Pines .......................................................... 52 ................................................................ 56, 57
Little Willie ........................................................... 53 ................................................................ 58, 59
Soldier’s Joy ........................................................ 54 ................................................................ 60, 61
Train 45 ................................................................. 55 ................................................................ 62, 63
Whiskey Before Breakfast .............................. 56 ................................................................ 64, 65
Playing in the Key of A Minor ........................... 57 ....................................................................... 66
House of the Rising Sun .................................... 58 ................................................................ 67, 68
Muley’s Daughter ................................................ 59 ................................................................ 69, 70
Poor Wayfaring Stranger ................................. 60 ................................................................ 71, 72
Rain and Snow ...................................................... 61 ................................................................ 73, 74
Shady Grove ......................................................... 62 ................................................................ 75, 76
Key of D Minor .................................................... 63 ....................................................................... 77
Little Sadie ........................................................... 63 ................................................................ 78, 79
Swannanoa Tunnel .............................................. 64 ................................................................ 80, 81
The E Minor Scale .............................................. 65 ....................................................................... 82
The Cuckoo ........................................................... 65 ................................................................ 83, 84
Wild Bill Jones ..................................................... 66 ................................................................ 85, 86
The Key of A ........................................................ 68 ....................................................................... 87
Man of Constant Sorrow .................................. 69 ................................................................ 88, 89
Tater Patch .......................................................... 70 ................................................................ 90, 91
Using a Capo ......................................................... 71
How to Jam .......................................................... 72
Figuring Out What Chords Go Where ............ 73
Backing Up Fiddle Tunes ................................... 74
Popular Fiddle Tune Chords .............................. 75
Flatpicking Listening ........................................... 77
Chords & Bass Notes.......................................... 78
Tune & CD Index ................................................. 79
Native Ground Books & Music ......................... 80
Tommy Jarrell, left, & Fred Cockerham
4
Come into the Schoolhouse!
I
t’s your first day of guitar school.
You’re nervous as a long-tailed
cat at a rocking chair convention.
You select a seat nearest to the back door,
so you can slip out if things get a little rough.
Sheepishly taking your guitar out of your
case, you try to act invisible so the instructor won’t know you’re there. Just before
the bell rings, you stare at the textbook
for the class: Flatpicking Guitar for the Complete Ignoramus! My gosh! What have I gotten myself into? As you look around, you
realize that this is not the stuffy kind of
guitar class where the instructor raps you
on the knuckles with a ruler if you hit a
wrong note.
“Welcome to your first day of guitar
class!” says the grizzled old guitar professor from his stool at the front of the
schoolhouse. “Today we’re going to learn to
flatpick a guitar. Take a deep breath and
let it out slowly. Now we will begin.”
Who This Book is For
• True and total beginners with no experience with the guitar.
• Folks who once knew two or three chords, but have forgotten half of them.
• Guitarists who have been playing for many years, but are stuck playing the
•
same twelve songs over and over and want to be prodded with a sharp
stick. Ouch!
People who have a sense of humor and love to laugh out loud.
What You WILL Learn
in This Book
You’ll learn how to: tune your guitar,
hold your pick, play basic chords and scales,
pick out simple melodies, play solid rhythm,
start to learn to play by ear, and learn the
meaning of the word “boom-chick.” By the
time we’re done, you should be able to play
forty great flatpicking tunes using a new
system of writing out tunes, sometimes
called “tab,” that I invented just for this
book. As if that’s not enough, you’ll also learn
to play back-up guitar to any number of common and bizarre fiddle tunes without breaking a sweat or breathing heavy. All this in
the comfort and luxury of your home, apartment, treehouse, or while squatting under a
railroad bridge with a tattered blanket over
your head.
What You WON’T
Learn in This Book
Because this book is for ignoramuses, or
near-ignoramuses, you won’t find a whole lot
of fancy-schmancy stuff in here. Instead,
you’ll find SIMPLE arrangements of forty
tunes. These tunes have been reduced down
to their basic nakedness, just like the day
they were born.
The Callahan Brothers
5
Wayne’s New Tab for Ignoramuses
Instead of standard
musical notation, we’re
going to use a new easy
form of tablature (or
“tab”) that I invented
just for you and other
readers of this book. If
you look at other guitar
books, or download tab
from the Internet, you
already know that there
are normally six horizontal lines that represent
the six strings of the guitar. On those lines (or
strings) are numbers,
which tell you which fret
to play on that line or
string. Everybody uses
this system, and I’ve got
to tell you, it STINKS.
What’s so stinky about the number system of tab that everyone uses? Although
this system will certainly get a beginner
started, it will be your ruin down the line.
Why? Because the numbers don’t really
mean anything! You never hear a real musician say, “we’re going to play in the key of 4
on the 3rd string, or 7 on the 6th string.”
Instead, real musicians use a language of
letters and say stuff like, “this is going to
be in the key of D,” or “that’s a handsome G
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run you just played.” So, if you’re ever going to join the ranks of the non-ignoramuses,
you might as well get used to using letters,
not numbers, right now.
As if that’s not enough, if you ever plan
to play with any other musical instrument,
or learn even a tiny bit of music theory, you’ll
find the language of “3 on the 4th string,”
to be useless. Most other instruments speak
in terms of letters like A,
B, C and D. Correct me if
I’m wrong, but I’ll bet
that some of you will
eventually learn to read
music. My new tab system
will get you well prepared
to do just that, because
you’ll already know where
to find your notes on the
fingerboard.
Courtesy of Rik & Bonnie Neustein
I
f you already know how to read music, I stand up and salute your
intelligence and musical chops. Good
work! The only thing is, since this is a book
for ignoramuses, if you read musical notation, you may be overqualified to be called
a true “ignoramus.” No matter. We’ll just
sweep that under the rug and sneak you into
the ignoramus club by the back door with
no questions asked. Tell them I sent you.
Not yet convinced?
Here’s several examples
of why my new system
makes sense. A G run always ends on a G note,
and a D run always ends
on a D note. If you know
where your Gs and Ds
are, you won’t have to
read a stupid number in a
book. Instead, you can find it yourself. Another example: A G chord always contains a
G, a D and a B. If you ever want to learn to
improvise on a G chord, my system will help
you find the notes of a G chord, because
you’ll know where to find those notes on
your guitar. The bottom line is that you’ll
have to trust me on this. My system will
teach you to play guitar in the short run,
and in five years or less, you’ll be thanking
me for teaching you this way.
Picking Out Melodies
A
s you start to get acquainted
with this book and peruse its
contents, you may notice that
you won’t find any of the newly-written
songs by your favorite bluegrass or acoustic composers. Why? Because the publishers who own many of the newly-composed
songs have made it prohibitively expensive
to print their songs without mortgaging my
house and giving them my guitar and dog to
boot. Instead, the songs Ill be teaching you
have proudly stood the test of time and are
happily in the public domain.
The Order of the Tunes to Play
The songs that will be easiest for you to pick are generally the ones you are
already familiar with. To make it easier to find your favorites in the book, the
songs are arranged in alphabetical order within each key.
“Amazing Grace” is a good tune to start
out with because it’s so well-known. Above
the six lines, which represent the six strings
of your guitar are bigger letters, like G, C
and D. Those are those chords. Since it starts
and ends with a G, you’re right if you guessed
that “Amazing Grace” is in the key of G. Of
course, that means we’ll be using the G scale,
the G triad, and the chords normally found
in the key of G: G, C and D.
Please keep in mind that “Amazing Grace”
is in 3/4 or waltz time. That means the
rhythm will be ONE two three, ONE two
three. In guitar lingo, that translates to
“boom-chick chick.” The “boom” is your bass
string for whatever chord you are on and
your “chick chick” means you strum DOWN
(toward the floor) twice with your pick.
Bass Strings: In the box to the right are
your bass strings for the key of G. For songs
in waltz time, play two crisp strums down on
the bottom three or four strings. That’s your
“boom-chick chick.”
24
Before you start reading the tab and
trying to pick out the tune, I suggest you go
through and play the chords while keeping a
steady beat with your “boom-chick” or
“boom-chick chick.” When you can do that,
try singing the song while you change chords.
Next, try picking out the tune, without looking at the tab. You can find the starting notes
on page 23.
Bass Notes
Chord
G
C
D
Name
G&D
C&E
D&A
String
6&4
5&4
4&5
NOTE: In the upper right hand corner
of each of the following tunes in the book,
you’ll find a chart with the notes of the scale
you’ll need to play the melody of that song.
A note in a circle means you play that note
open, or unfretted. Review these notes before you play each song.
Key of G
W
Amazing Grace
3,4
hen first picking out “Amazing Grace,” just
play the melody without any strums. The
strums are represented by an arrow. After
you’re comfortable playing the melody, hold down the chord
at the same time you’re playing the melody.
Timing: Since “Amazing Grace” is in 3/4 or waltz time, that means each measure will
get three beats. Starting at the first complete measure (”maz-ing”), tap your foot three
times, not too fast. The G note would get a down-up with your foot, the arrow or strum
would get a down-up and the B would get a down and the G would get an up.
At the beginning of line 3, use your four finger G chord (page 78, far right). On line
four, over the word “now,” play B string open, then quickly get to your D and strum it.
25
Tune & CD Index
Tune
Page
Amazing Grace .......................................... 25
Angelina Baker.......................................... 48
Arkansas Traveler ................................... 49
Bill Monroe’s Shady Grove .................... 26
Black-Eyed Susie ..................................... 34
Boogie Woogie .......................................... 27
Bury Me Beneath the Willow ................ 35
Cluck Old Hen ........................................... 50
Cotton-Eyed Joe ..................................... 36
Cuckoo, The .............................................. 65
Darling Corey ............................................ 37
Deer Lake Polka ....................................... 38
Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down ............... 51
Down the Road ......................................... 28
Flatpicker’s Blues ..................................... 29
Goin’ Across the Sea ............................... 30
House of the Rising Sun ......................... 58
In the Pines ............................................... 52
Keep on the Sunny Side of Life ........... 41
Little Maggie ............................................. 31
Little Rosewood Casket ......................... 40
Little Sadie ................................................ 63
Little Willie ................................................ 53
Man of Constant Sorrow ....................... 69
Muley’s Daughter ..................................... 59
On Top of Old Smoky ............................ 42
Poor Wayfaring Stranger ...................... 60
Rain and Snow ........................................... 61
Red River Valley ....................................... 43
Shady Grove .............................................. 62
Shady Grove (Bill Monroe) .................... 26
Shortenin’ Bread ...................................... 44
Soldier’s Joy ............................................. 54
Swannanoa Tunnel ................................... 64
Tater Patch ............................................... 70
Train 45 ...................................................... 55
Where the Soul Never Dies .................. 45
Whiskey Before Breakfast ................... 56
Wild Bill Jones .......................................... 66
Wildwood Flower ..................................... 46
Will the Circle Be Unbroken? ............... 32
Key
.................... G
.................... D
.................... D
.................... G
.................... C
.................... G
.................... C
.................... D
.................... C
................. Em
.................... C
.................... C
.................... D
.................... G
.................... G
.................... G
................. Am
.................... D
.................... C
.................... G
.................... C
................. Dm
.................... D
.................... A
................. Am
.................... C
................. Am
................. Am
.................... C
................. Am
.................... G
.................... C
.................... D
................. Dm
.................... A
.................... D
.................... C
.................... D
................. Em
.................... C
.................... G
CD
Track Numbers
................... 3, 4
................... 48, 49
................... 50, 51
................... 5, 6
................... 22, 23
................... 7, 8, 9
................... 24, 25
................... 52, 53
................... 26, 27
................... 83, 84
................... 28, 29
................... 30, 31
................... 54, 55
................... 10, 11
................... 12, 13, 14
................... 15, 16
................... 67, 68
................... 56, 57
................... 34, 35
................... 17, 18
................... 32, 33
................... 78, 79
................... 58, 59
................... 88, 89
................... 69, 70
................... 36, 37
................... 71, 72
................... 73, 74
................... 38, 39
................... 75, 76
................... 5, 6
................... 40, 41, 42
................... 60, 61
................... 80, 81
................... 90, 91
................... 62, 63
................... 43, 44
................... 64, 65
................... 85, 86
................... 45, 46
................... 19, 20
79
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