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Newsletter #11 • November 2007
News, Music, tablature, MP3s, to download, play along with & learn!

Here's Musix Newsletter #11. It includes news, updates, and a whole bunch of music:


Mandolin solo: “Bury Me Beneath the Willow” based on the new “The Parking Lot Pickers Songbook-Mandolin edition.”

Flatpicking Guitar solo: “Bury Me Beneath the Willow” based on the new “The Parking Lot Pickers Songbook-Guitar edition.”

Gypsy Swing Guitar, chords & melody: “Margie” from the “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm for Guitar” sessions.

Gypsy Swing Mandolin, chords & melody: “Margie” from the “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm for Mandolin” sessions.

Crosspicking Guitar: “Oh Come all Ye Faithful” to promote Holiday cheer.

Mandolin solo: “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” as a jazz waltz to promote even more Holiday cheer.

Guitar chords: “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” as a jazz waltz to promote maximum Holiday cheer.

2007 has flown by like a whirlwind but it’s been packed with lots of music and publications. Since May, I’ve had five book/CD sets published. Three have been separate editions of “The Parking Lot Pickers Songbook” for guitar, mandolin, and banjo. The other two are separate editions of “Gypsy Swing and Hot Club Rhythm” for guitar and mandolin.

I have to confess that I didn’t produce all five sets in their entirety in 2007. I’d been working on “The Parking Lot Pickers Songbooks” for about four years and banjoist Bill Evans co-authored the banjo edition with me. And, all the band versions of the Gypsy Swing project were recorded in 2006. Most of the writing and production for Gypsy Swing was done in early 2007. Still, it’s been a full year, to say the least.

“The Parking Lot Pickers Songbook” turned out to be a huge project. Much bigger than I expected. It just kept growing and expanding as we discovered more and more songs that we felt we had to include. The sheer volume of the material, to collect, transcribe for publication, and record was a challenge. We actually recorded all of the two hundred and twenty five plus songs and included them on the two CDs packaged with the book. You can hear each and every one.

“The Parking Lot Pickers Songbooks” (all over 300 pages and published by Mel Bay Publications) feature Bluegrass, Old Time, Country, and Gospel standards written with music, tablature, lyrics and chords, by the giants of traditional American music: Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, The Osborne Brothers, Jimmy Martin, Doc Watson, and many more. We’ll include a song from the project in this Musix Newsletter.

Click the following links for complete information on the three separate editions of “The Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook”: guitar, mandolin, and banjo.

“Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm”
I’ve been amazed in the growth of interest in Gypsy Swing & Jazz over the past few years. It seems that suddenly everyone wants to learn the style and repertoire. And why not? It’s moving, exciting, and fun to play! The two new “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm” book/CD sets, one for guitar and one for mandolin, teach twelve great swing standards recorded by Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, and the Quintette of the Hot Club of France.

They’re structured like my BackUP TRAX series and you’ll play along with a hot Gypsy Swing band while learning chords, comping, and melodies. Beginners can practice basic skills while more advanced players can hone their improvisation chops, each at their own individual pace. Includes standard notation, tablature, chord diagrams, lyrics, playing tips, and more. The back up band is a classic "Hot Club"- style rhythm section with two acoustic rhythm guitars and string bass.

On the guitar edition you’ll hear guitar playing all the leads in addition to rhythm. For the mandolin edition I added rhythm mandolin — which may be a first in an instructional CD of this style — in addition to playing all the leads on mandolin. You’ll be able to clearly hear how mandolin rhythm and leads sound in the Gypsy Swing style. We’ll feature a song from the Gypsy session below. Click here for complete info on “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm for Guitar” and “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm for Mandolin” book/CD sets. We’ll jam all night long!

P.S. — We have several copies of "Gypsy Swing for Guitar" with covers that were slightly damaged cosmetically (bent corner, creases) in shipping. They've never been opened or used in any way and are guaranteed to be complete and useable. If you don't mind a slightly worn look, they're a great deal! Click here for info.

Martin Clinics with Jim Nunally
If you live in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, we hope you’ll come by and see some of the latest Martin guitars, pick up some free Martin swag, and hear Jim Nunally and I play some tunes on the Martins. Martin regional rep Joe McNamara will be on hand to fill you in on Martin’s latest models and future plans as well as pass out cool Martin stuff. (Usually not an actual guitar, though!) The dates are 11/14/07 in Berkeley and 11/15/07 in Livermore. Click here for details.

Jim & Dix Nevada/California November 2007 tour
Come and see Jim and I perform in Nevada and north eastern California. We’ll be in Reno, NV, on Friday 11/16/07, Winnemucca, NV, on Saturday 11/17/07, and Folsom, CA on Sunday 11/18/07. (Yes, I think Jim can be coaxed into singing “Folsom Prison Blues” at that show!) Click here for details.

New odds & ends/audio equipment
We just added a guitar flight case (dreadnought size), a Roland TR-707 Rhythm Composer Drum Machine, a Fender Echo Reverb III, an iDrum Drum Machine Software package for Macintosh (m-audio), an APC Battery back up for computer, and a Alesis Microverb III to our “Odds & Ends” page. Click here to browse.

Now, on to the the music, TAB, and MP3s!

Mandolin solo: “Bury Me Beneath the Willow.”
I took the basic arrangement from “The Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook” and wrote a relatively easy solo. It’s in the key of D as is the guitar solo that follows. The numbers between the standard notation and the TAB staff are suggested fretting hand finger numbers. “s” denotes a fretting hand slide, “h” is a fretting hand hammer on.

In the upper left corner of the page of the basic version you'll see the following:

"M: D; F: G or A
CD 1-Track 22

"M: D" means that the typical male vocal key for "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" is D. "F: G or A" means that the typical female vocal key is G or A. If your voice doesn't fit either of those keys, fear not! Each "Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook" contains complete information on transposing any song to any key. "CD 1-Track 22" tells you that the recording of the song is on CD number 1, track 22.

This solo is arranged in a kind of a pre-bluegrass style. It’s a simplified version of how Bill Monroe played in the Monroe Brothers. In my “Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin” book/CD set I refer to it as the “note fill in” style. To perform a solo in this style, just take the basic melody, which you’ll find in standard notation and TAB excerpted from the “The Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook, Mandolin Edition,” and add in eighth notes of the same pitch where you see quarter or longer notes. Compare the solo to the original melody and identify what I added and where. I suggest that you play the notes with alternating up and down pick directions. If a note falls on beats 1, 2, 3, or 4, play it with a down pick. If the note falls on the “ands” between the numbered beats, play it with an up pick.

I added in a few licks in measures seven, fourteen, and fifteen to dress things up a little bit. Once you can play the solo as written in the key of D, try moving the whole solo over one string so your first note is on the second string, fourth fret. If you keep your hand and TAB positions the same, you’ll transpose the solo to the key of A, which is one of the likely female vocal keys.

The MP3 has the solo played at one speed. Most all of my books have solos and melodies played at both slow and regular speed. To save space online, I usually only include one speed in the Newsletters.

Flatpicking Guitar solo: “Bury Me Beneath the Willow.”
Like the mandolin solo above, the arrangement this solo is based upon comes from “The Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook, Guitar Edition.” The solo is in a basic Carter style with melody notes and strums. It’s a bit unusual in that it’s written in the key of open (uncapoed) D. Carter-style solos are usually written out of G or C. I’m a cheerleader for learning to play in all keys. Here’s your chance to work out a little in the key of D on a well-known song that you’ll probably have a lot of opportunities to play.

The numbers between the standard notation and the TAB staff are suggested fretting hand finger numbers. “s” denotes a fretting hand slide, “h” is a fretting hand hammer on. You might find the first note F# played with your fourth finger to be a stretch. Like all things, if you work on it, it’ll improve.

In the upper left corner of the page you'll see the following:

"M: D; F: G or A
CD 1-Track 22

"M: D" means that the typical male vocal key for "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" is D. "F: G or A" means that the typical female vocal key is G or A. If your voice doesn't fit either of those keys, don't worry: each "Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook" contains complete information on transposing any song to any key. "CD 1-Track 22" tells you that the recording of the song is on CD number 1, track 22.

The last note in measure three is an E. The fretting finger suggestions says “2 (1).” That means that you can use either your second, which is what I do, or your first finger to play this note. It all depends upon how you finger your G chord.

As with the mandolin version above, the MP3 has the solo played at one speed. Most all of my books have solos and melodies played at both slow and regular speed. To save space online, I usually only include one speed in the Newsletters.

For more information on flatpicking, check out my "Basic Country Flatpicking Guitar" DVD, "Beginning Country Guitar Handbook" book/CD set, and "You Can Teach Yourself Country Guitar" book, CD, DVD.

Gypsy Swing Guitar, chords & melody: “Margie.” Here’s a sample of the type of material you’ll find in my “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm” book and CD set for guitar. “Margie” is a great song in the key of F. It’s not included in the “Gypsy Swing” book/CD because we couldn’t fit it on the 74 minute CD. We hope to include “Margie” in another Gypsy Swing project in the near future.

Play along with the MP3 at the slow speed and learn the chords first. When you have them memorized and can play along with the slow cut, try playing along with either of the fast cuts. The first has the band playing back up and includes the melody to “Margie” played on the guitar. You can adjust the balance of your MP3 player — or simply take off one headphone — to hear the melody or not. The third cut is a band version playing the chords to the song with no melody or lead. I’ve shortened it to twice through the chord changes to save space online. All of the band cuts on the “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm” CD are full length and you get a chance to play each song several times through to build your chord and song repertoire and strength.

When you’ve got a pretty good handle on the chords, try learning the melody to “Margie,” again starting with the slow version and working your way up. When you can play the melody, it’s time to try making up your own solos. Start by changing the melody slightly and work from there. Click here for complete info on “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm for Guitar."

Gypsy Swing Mandolin, chords & melody: “Margie.” Just like the guitar version above, here’s a sample of the type of material you’ll find in my “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm” book and CD set for mandolin. “Margie” is a great song in the key of F. It’s not included in the “Gypsy Swing” book/CD because we couldn’t fit it on the 74 minute CD. We hope to include “Margie” in another Gypsy Swing project in the near future.

Play along with the MP3 at the slow speed and learn the chords first. When you have them memorized and can play along with the slow cut, try playing along with either of the fast cuts. The first has the band playing back up and includes the melody to “Margie” played on the mandolin. You can adjust the balance of your MP3 player — or simply take off one headphone — to hear the melody or not. The third cut is a band version playing the chords to the song with no melody or lead. I’ve shortened it to twice through the chord changes to save space online. All of the band cuts on the “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm” CD are full length and you get a chance to play each song several times through to build your chord and song repertoire and strength.

When you’ve got the chords nailed, try learning the melody to “Margie,” again starting with the slow version and working your way up. When you can play the melody, it’s time to try making up your own solos. Start by changing the melody slightly and work from there. Good luck! Click here for complete info on “Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm for Mandolin."

Crosspicking Guitar: “Oh Come all Ye Faithful.” If you’ve read my Musix Newsletters for any length of time, you know that I love Christmas music. Over the past twenty years or so, I’ve gotten quite familiar with all sorts and styles of seasonal fare by working with guitarist Mike Wollenberg in The Holiday Duo. In that duo I play mostly mandolin but also some guitar. We perform a wide repertoire from traditional to jazz to pop. I love the sound we get with mandolin and guitar. It’s light and airy.

Throughout that entire time, I’ve considered putting together a book of Christmas music. The problem has always been just where to focus the book. Should it be a mandolin book? A guitar book? Swingy versions of carols? Traditional arrangements of standards? Serious acoustic arrangements of well known pop Christmas songs? I’m not sure yet how it’ll all shake out, but I’ve started three or four separate books with a variety of material arranged for guitars and mandolins. I guess the focus is, guess what, Christmas music!

This crosspicking version of “Oh Come all Ye Faithful” is one I often play when I do solo jobs during the season. It lays well on the guitar in the key of C and can be played at moderate tempos. In fact, I think it sounds better at a moderate tempo than at a breakneck speed. I’ve shown my basic pick direction pattern with the little arrows in the first few measures between the standard notation and the TAB staffs. I alternate down and up picks on the eighth notes throughout. If you’re used to crosspicking with a “down-down-up” pattern, that will work just as well. The numbers between the standard notation and the TAB staff are suggested fretting hand finger numbers.

I’ve added a few chords to the traditional tune and if you fret them as shown, most of the cross picked notes will be easily accessible. In measures four and five I added an E7 and Am to change the harmony a bit. Chord diagrams are shown. You’ll use this Am again in measure eleven.

I play “Oh Come all Ye Faithful” capoed at the second fret. Since we’re playing out of the key of C, the capoed sound of the piece will be in the key of D. I often use the capo on these cross picking solos. It gives the solo a lighter and more delicate feel. I’m sure I got the idea from the sound of the high capoed lead guitar on a lot of the old Stanley Brothers recordings. You should experiment with how “Oh Come all Ye Faithful” sounds uncapoed or capoed higher than fret two. See which you like best and go with that. Keep in mind that you’ll probably have to adjust your tuning, especially on strings five and six, as you capo up the fingerboard. Most fifth and sixth strings start to go sharp as you head up the neck.

Mandolin solo: “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” as a jazz waltz. I couldn't leave all you mandolinists off my Christmas list so here’s a swingy/jazzy version of “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.” The background info on “O Come all Ye Faithful” above applies to this song as well. The chord sheet shows both mandolin and guitar chords to make “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” into a relaxed but slightly modern sounding jazz waltz. As I always suggest, learn the chords first before you move on to the lead. The Bbmaj7 brings a lighter feel to the progression. You can substitute regular old Bb or Bb6 chords for the Bbmaj7.

The lead is mostly played with tremolo. I put in the tremolo where it felt good to me without any particular overall plan. Feel free to experiment with your own articulations. Compare the solo to the simpler melody in the chart with lyrics. Analyze what I added to this traditional melody and how I changed a few things here and there to make the solo flow.

Guitar chords: “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” as a jazz waltz. I thought of this arrangement as a lead mandolin vehicle but there’s no reason you couldn’t play a guitar lead on it too. The basic melody and chords can be found on the simpler melody chart with lyrics. Give it a go!

The guitar chords for accompanying the mandolin or lead parts are on the chord chart.

Here’s wishing you all a happy holiday season and great 2008. Be sure to check out our past Musix Newsletters for more material, including holiday selections, to listen to and play. Thanks for your kind support!

Dix Bruce

Bury Me Beneath the Willow Basic (Mandolin) Music & TAB from The Parking Lot Picker's Songbook-Mandolin Edition

Bury Me Beneath the Willow Mandolin Solo Music & TAB

Bury Me Beneath the Willow Mandolin Solo MP3

Bury Me Beneath the Willow Basic (Guitar) Music & TAB from The Parking Lot Picker's Songbook-Guitar Edition

Bury Me Beneath the Willow Guitar Solo Music & TAB

Bury Me Beneath the Willow Guitar Solo MP3

© Copyright 2007 by Musix
Gypsy Swing Guitar "Margie" Music, TAB, Chords

Gypsy Swing Guitar "Margie" mel & chords slow MP3

Gypsy Swing Guitar "Margie" mel & chords regular speed MP3

Gypsy Swing Guitar "Margie" back up track MP3

Gypsy Swing Mandolin "Margie" Music, TAB, Chords

Gypsy Swing Mandolin "Margie" mel & chords slow MP3

Gypsy Swing Mandolin "Margie" mel & chords regular speed MP3

Gypsy Swing Mandolin "Margie" back up track MP3

"Oh Come All Ye Faithful" Music & TAB

"Oh Come All Ye Faithful" MP3

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” Basic Music & TAB

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” Chords

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” Solo Music & TAB

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” MP3

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” Chords