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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine - Flatpicking Essentials, Volume 2: Learning to Solo - Carter Style and Beyond


Current Edition

In Volume 2 of the Flatpicking Essentials series you will learn how to:

1) Select a Vocal Song
2) Learn the Chord Progression by Ear
3) Learn the Basic Melody by Ear
4) Find the Carter Style Arrangement
5) Learn How to Simplify the Melody
6) Embellish the Carter Style Arrangement using techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, alternate chord strums, tremolo, double stops, crosspicking, neighboring notes, scale runs, drones, and fill licks.

The list of songs 36 that you will study in order to learn how to apply these steps to any song are as follows:
Amazing Grace
Arkansas Traveler
Banks of the Ohio
Bile the Cabbage Down
Boogie-Woogie Blues
Buffalo Gals
Bury Me Beneath the Willow
Crawdad Song
Cripple Creek
Down in the Valley
East Virginia Blues
Grandfather's Clock
Home Sweet Home
Jesse James
Jimmy Brown the Newsboy
John Hardy
John Henry
Keep On The Sunny Side
Lonesome Road Blues
Nine Pound Hammer
Oh, Susanna
Old Joe Clark
Old Spinning Wheel
Red River Valley
Red Wing
Salty Dog Blues
She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain
Storms Are On The Ocean
Streets of Loredo
Uncloudy Day
Wabash Cannonball
Wildwood Flower
Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Worried Man Blues
Yellow Rose of Texas
You Are My Sunshine

You will learn multiple variations of many of these songs.

Table of Contents for "Flatpicking Essentials, Volume 2":

Arranging Solos for Vocal Tunes (Overview)
Step One: Select a Song
Step Two: Find the Chords
Step Three: Find the Melody ("You Are My Sunshine" Examples)
Step Four: Basic Carter Style
Step Five: Simplify the Melody ("You Are My Sunshine" Examples)
Practicing the Steps;
   "Will The Circle Be Unbroken"
   "She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain"
   "Nine Pound Hammer"
   "Jesse James"
   "Red River Valley"
   "Old Joe Clark"
Waltz Time
   "Down in the Valley"
   "Amazing Grace"

Practice with Carter Style
   Jimmy Brown the Newsboy"
   "Grandfather’s Clock"
   "Old Spinning Wheel"
   "Uncloudy Day"
   "Home Sweet Home"
   "John Hardy"
   "John Henry"
   "Buffalo Gals"
   "Lonesome Road Blues"
   "Wildwood Flower"
   "Cripple Creek"
   "Banks of the Ohio"
   "East Virginia Blues"
   "Keep On The Sunny Side"
   "Bury Me Beneath the Willow"
   "Yellow Rose of Texas"

   "Twinkle, Twinkle Tremolo"
   Tremolo Exercise
   "You Are My Sunshine" Tremolo
   "Worried Man Blues" Tremolo
   "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" Tremolo
   "You Are My Sunshine" Spiced-up Tremolo
   "Boogie-Woogie Blues"

Double Stops
   "Bile the Cabbage Down" Double Stops
   Finding Double Stops in Chord Shapes
   "You Are My Sunshine" Double Stops
   "Buffalo Gals" Double Stops
   "Cripple Creek" Double Stops
   "Wildwood Flower" Double Stops
   "Worried Man Blues" Double Stops
   "Streets of Loredo" Double Stops

   Crosspicking Patterns
   Crosspicking Exercise
   "Banks of the Ohio" Crosspicking
   "Wildwood Flower" Crosspicking
   "Home Sweet Home" Crosspicking
   "Oh, Susanna" Crosspicking
   Alternate Crosspicking Patterns

Pioneer Techniques Summary

Neighboring Notes, Scale Runs, and Drones
   Clarence White Excerpt
   "Salty Dog Blues"
   Doc Watson Excerpts and Drone Strings
   "She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain"
   "Buffalo Gals"
   "Wabash Cannonball"
   "You Are My Sunshine"

Licks and Soloing
   C and G Licks
   "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy"
   "The Crawdad Song"
   "Nine Pound Hammer"
   "Storms Are On The Ocean"
   "Old Spinning Wheel"

Fiddle Tunes and Carter Style
   "Arkansas Traveler"
   "Red Wing"

Looking Forward

About the Flatpicking Essentials Series:

The Flatpicking Essentials instructional series is designed to teach you the art of flatpicking the acoustic guitar in a sequential, step-by-step method that will gradually build your flatpicking skill in a way that leaves no "gaps" or "holes." While this method will be extremely beneficial to beginners, this series will also be of great value to those guitar players who have been working to learn how to flatpick for quite some time, yet can't seem to get beyond a certain plateau. If you are having trouble moving beyond memorized solos, adding interest and variety to your rhythm playing, learning how to play up-the-neck, learning how to come up with your own arrangements to songs, learning how to play by ear, or learning how to improvise, then this series is for you!

Too many flatpickers are learning how to play by simply memorizing transcribed fiddle tune solos from tab books and video tapes. In doing that they are learning ineffectively and inefficiently. They are skipping over many vital elements in the learning process and thus they have a weak foundation. In this series my goal is to help you build a strong foundation so that you can easily maintain consistent forward progress in your study of flatpicking.

Each volume of this series presents material that provides the foundation for the next volume. In this first volume "Rhythm, Bass Runs, and Fill Licks" you learn how to develop all of the basic skills you will need in order to become a solid rhythm player. This book is designed to teach you rhythm skills in a way that will thoroughly prepare you for Volume 2, which is titled, "Learning How To Solo: Carter Style and Beyond". Volume 3 will start to build your fiddle tune repertoire by providing you with melody-based versions of the most popular jam session tunes. Volume 4 will teach you how to become familiar with the entire fingerboard and understand how to use it to your advantage in creating interesting solos. Volume 5 will explore the styles and contributions of the flatpicking legends: Doc Watson, Clarence White, Tony Rice, Dan Crary, Norman Blake, and others. Volume 6 will provide you with advance arrangements of songs and tunes (arranged by Tim May). From there, future volumes will explore other genres such as Celtic, Western Swing, and Gypsy Jazz.

As you will learn in the first section of Volume 1, the flatpicking guitar style developed chronologically along a very clear line of sequential technical skills. In order to learn how to flatpick fiddle tunes like Doc Watson, the student needs to build a foundation similar to the foundation Doc built for himself before he started picking lead solos on fiddle tunes. The first two volumes of this course present the techniques and skills that were developed on the acoustic guitar during the 30s, 40s, and 50s "the pre-Doc Watson skills" the skills Doc acquired as part of building his own musical foundation. The remaining volume then continue to follow the chronological development of the style.