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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine - Flatpicking Essentials, Volume 3: Flatpicking Fiddle Tunes


Current Edition

Flatpicking and fiddle tunes go hand-in-hand. However, in this day and age too many beginning and intermediate level players rely too heavily on tablature when learning fiddle tunes. This becomes a problem in the long run because the player eventually reaches a plateau in their progress because they don't know how to learn new tunes that are not written out in tablature, they do not know how to create their own variations of tunes that they already know, and it becomes very hard to learn how to improvise. Flatpicking Essentials, Volume 3 helps to solve all of those problems. In this volume of the Flatpicking Essentials series you are going to learn valuable information about the structure of fiddle tunes and then you are going to use that information to learn how to play fiddle tunes by ear, and create your own variations, utilizing the following detailed steps:

1) Learn the Chord Progression, Find a Recording, Find the Key, Sing the Melody, Find the Chords
2) Learn the Melody on the Guitar by Ear
3) Simplify the Melody, Melody Analysis, Melody Burnout
4) Embellish the Simple Version
5) Work on Variations

You will also study major scale exercises, "folded scale" exercises, and various standard fiddle tune patterns and be shown how to apply them when developing your own arrangements and variations.

Table of Contents for "Flatpicking Essentials, Volume 3"

A Brief History of Fiddle Music in America
Flatpicking Fiddle Tunes on the Guitar
The Structure of Fiddle Tunes
Step One: Learn the Chord Progression
Find a Recording
Find the Key
Sing the Melody
Step Two: Learn the Melody on the Guitar
Step Three: Simplify
Melody Burnout
Step Four: Embellish the Simple Version
Step Five: Work on Variations
"Paddy On The Turnpike" Version 1
"Paddy On The Turnpike" Version 2
"Paddy On The Turnpike" Version 3
"Paddy On The Turnpike" Version 4
"Paddy On The Turnpike" Version 5
"Paddy On The Turnpike" Version 6

Major Scales, Folding Scales, and Common Patterns
Major Scales
8-Note Folding Scale
4-Note Folding Scale
3-Note Folding Scale
Folding Thirds #1
G Pattern 1
G Pattern 2
G Pattern 3
Chromatic Pattern
Folding Thirds #2

A Look at "Forked Deer"
"Forked Deer" Version 1
"Forked Deer" Version 2
"Forked Deer" Version 3
"Forked Deer" Version 4
"Forked Deer" Version 5

Beginning A Fiddle Tune Repertoire
"Angeline the Baker" Version 1
"Angeline the Baker" Version 2
"Angeline the Baker" Version 3
"Beaumont Rag" Version 1
"Beaumont Rag" Version 2
"Big Sciota"
"Bill Cheatum"
"Billy in the Lowground" Version 1
"Billy in the Lowground" Version 2
"Black Mountain Rag" Key of C
"Black Mountain Rag" Key of G
"Blackberry Blossom" Version 1
"Blackberry Blossom" Version 2
"Bonaparte's Retreat" Key of D
"Bonaparte's Retreat" Key of C
"Cherokee Shuffle" Version 1
"Cherokee Shuffle" Version 2
"Cuckoo's Nest"
"Eighth of January"
"Fisher's Hornpipe"
"Flop-Eared Mule"
"The Girl I Left Behind Me"
"June Apple"
"Katy Hill"
"Leather Britches"
"Liberty" Version 1
"Liberty" Version 2
"Old Joe Clark"
"Over the Waterfall" Version 1
"Over the Waterfall" Version 2
"Ragtime Annie" Version 1
"Ragtime Annie" Version 2
"Red Haired Boy" Key of G
"Red Haired Boy" Key of A
"Rickett's Hornpipe"
"Sailor's Hornpipe"
"Sally Ann"
"Sally Goodin'" Version 1
"Sally Goodin'" Version 2
"Salt Creek" Version 1
"Salt Creek" Version 2
"Salt Creek" Bluesy B Section
G minor Pentatonic Blues Scale
"Soldier's Joy" Version 1
"Soldier's Joy" Version 2
"St. Anne's Reel" Version 1
"St. Anne's Reel" Version 2
"Temperance Reel" Version 1
"Temperance Reel" Version 2
"Texas Gals"
"Turkey In The Straw" Version 1
"Turkey In The Straw" Version 2
"Whiskey Before Breakfast" Key of D
"Whiskey Before Breakfast" Key of C

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.