Flatpicking Guitar Magazine March 2012 Old French Reel

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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine March 2012 Old French Reel
Flatpicking Guitar Magazine Free Lesson
March 2012
Old French Reel
Arranged for FGM by Mickey Abraham
Hello and welcome back to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter. I
have just returned from a weekend of teaching, performing, and jamming down by the famous Suwannee River. I
was at Suwannee Springfest which is a wonderful music festival held at the beautiful Spirit of Suwannee Music Park
in Live Oak, Florida.
This Month’s lesson tune is “Old French Reel” and it’s one I learned this past weekend while hanging out
at the festival. The melody was shown to me by the great fiddler, David Blackmon. David has played fiddle with
everyone from Jerry Reed to Widespread Panic and currently plays with Rev. Jeff Mosier and the Mosier Brothers.
I really enjoyed jamming on the tune but I wasn’t able to pick up the intricacies of the melody while the
tune was blazing by. After the jam I asked David to show me the melody. I recorded him playing the tune on my
iphone and then began arranging it for the guitar. Learning flatpicking tunes from fiddle players is always the best
way to ensure that you are learning an authentic version of a fiddle tune.
Although the tune was taught to me in the Key of D, I knew immediately that it would work really well out
of a “C” flatpicking shape. It’s amazing how it starts to sound like a Norman Blake or Carter Family style tune as
soon as you put the capo on and pick through chord shapes (Perhaps that’s just the way I hear these old tunes). If
you are playing this tune alone or with another guitarist you can even try putting the capo at the 3rd or 4th fret.
To me, the higher you go with the “C” position the more you will morph into the Carter Family!
Like many tradition tunes, the form of the “Old French Reel” is AABB. Most of the notes and fingerings in
this arrangement are very straight forward but there are a few places of technical interest. Take care in annunciating the triplet pick-up notes. I pick these three notes with two pick strokes. First strike the open g string down,
then hammer on the second fret (without picking), and then finish with an up stroke on the open b string. Picking
the triplet this way will enable you to begin the first downbeat of the tune on a solid down stroke.
In measure 3, you will encounter the technical challenge of picking a “C” chord shape with alternate picking. To play this line smooth make sure you keep your left hand holding the “C” shape while your right hand
carefully picks through the notes of the chord. When playing the triplet in the B section, use one pick stroke for all
three notes. I first pick the open b with a down stroke, then use a hammer-on and a pull-off to sound the next two
notes. I really like where this triplet falls in the tune and on the guitar. Overall “Old French Reel” ends up being a
wonderfully attainable right hand workout.
I hope you enjoy working on this new melody. Tunes like this are great to jam on and perfect to accompany
a contra dance. As always, if you have any questions or comments on this e-lesson or any ideas for future e-lessons,
just drop me a line at [email protected]
Old French Reel
œ œœ œœœœœœœ œœœœ
œ
Œ œœœ œ œ œ œ œ œ
œ
œ œœœ
œ œœœ
C
3
4
&4 Ó
1
Ó
T
A
B
Arranged by Mickey Abraham
Œ
H
0 2
0
1
G
0 1
2
1
0
2
3
2
0
1
0
3 1
C
0 1 3
0 1
3 0
3
0
1 3
0
1
H
0
0
0 2
3
3
œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ
œ
œ
œ
œ
œ
œ œ œ
&
œ
œœœ
œ
œ
G
6
1
0
1
1
2
0
2
3
2
0
1
0
3
1
0
3
C
1
3
0
1
3
0
3
1
1
1
H
1
0
0 2
3
œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ
œ œ œ
œ
œ
œ
œ
œ
œ
œ
&
œ œ
œ
œ
œ œœœ
œ
œ
10
C
G
1
0
1
1
2
0
2
3
2
0
1
0
3
1
0
C
1
3
0
1
3
0
1
0
3
0
1
3
H
0
0
0 2
3
œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ
œ
œ
œ
œ
œ
œ œ œ
&
œ
œ œ
G
14
1
0
1
2
1
0
2
G
œ œ œ œ œœœ
&
œ
18
3
3
0
3
2
0
1
0
3
1
0
C
1
3
0
1
0 1 0
3
0
3
0
3
1
1
1
1
0
1
œ
œ œ œ œ
œ
œ
œ
œ œ
œ œ œ œ œ
œ œ œ
œ #œ œ œ
F
G
H P
3
1
0
4
0
0
3
1
0
1
2
0
3
2
0
3
1
0
0
0
3
3
0
1
Old French Reel (con’t)
œ œ œ œ œœœ
&
œ
22
3
3
0
3
1
0 1 0
0
G
œ œ œ œ œœœ
&
œ
3
3
0
3
1
0 1 0
0
œ œ œ œ œœœ
&
œ
30
3
0
0
4
0
0
3
1
0
1
2
0
3
1
0 1 0
3
0
3
1
0
0
0
0
1
œ
œ œ œ œ
œ
œ
œ
œ œ
œ œ œ œ œ
œ œ œ
œ #œ œ œ
F
G
0
4
0
0
3
1
1
0
2
0
0
3
2
3
1
0
0
œ œ œ œ
œ œ œ œ
œ
œ
œ #œ œ
œ œ œ
F
0
4
0
0
3
1
0
1
2
0
3
3
G
H P
3
0
2
H P
3
3
G
H P
3
26
œ œ œ œ
œ œ œ œ
œ
œ œ œ œ œ
œ #œ œ
œ œ œ
F
0
3
2
0
3
1
0
œ
˙
0
0
0
1