Musix Newsletter #2 • Winter-Spring 2003

News, Music, tablature, MPs, to download & learn!
Hello and welcome to our Musix Newsletter #2. It’s been a while since the last one (Musix Newsletter #1) and we’ve got lots of things to tell you about and music to play.

This issue includes five tunes for mandolin and guitar, with standard notation, chords and tablature, in .pdf and MP3 formats. But first, the news!

New CD from Dix & Jim
Jim Nunally I have just finished a new CD entitled Brothers at Heart. It’ll be released on March 7, 2003, on FGM Records (the folks that bring you Flatpicking Guitar Magazine).
Jim and I sing and play a collection of our favorite songs, mostly traditional, mostly in the “brother duet” style. Those of you who love simple and straight forward singing and picking will surely want to get a copy. Click on the CD cover below for more information.

One of the tunes from the CD is my crosspicking guitar version of “Banks of the Ohio.” You can download the music and TAB to it below.
Congratulations to my good ol’ pal Jim. His photo is on the cover of the current issue of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine along with a feature article on his music. Check it out!

Fiddle Tunes for Cello with BackUP TRAX
We’ve got a few other projects in the works and due out soon. Tell your cello-playing friends that soon they too can learn fiddle tunes with BackUp “TRAX: Old Time & Fiddle Tunes” play along book & CD set! Renata Bratt, nationally-known performer and music educator, helped me prepare and played all the cello solos on this special edition of BackUP TRAX: Old Time & Fiddle Tunes. As soon as it’s available, we’ll post info on the website.

String Band Classic Vol. 2
We’re still waiting for the release of Vol. 2 of “String Band Classics: The Highwoods String Band,” a collection of transcriptions for guitar and mandolin from their classic recordings. “String Band Classics Vol. 1” featured transcriptions from The Fuzzy Mountain String Band. As soon as Vol. 2 is available, we’ll post info on the website.

The Tunes
You can download the .pdfs, print them out and then hear an MP3 recording of each of the following tunes.

Intro to Musix Newsletter 2 & Memphis Minnie Blues MP3

Memphis Minnie Blues
“Memphis Minnie Blues” is from my BackUp TRAX: Basic Blues for Guitar. It’s a relatively easy “riff” blues in the key of A. The MP3s that go along with the TAB will give you a preview of what the “BackUP TRAX: Basic Blues for Guitar” book/CD set is all about.

The book/CD set provides you with a hot blues rhythm section to play along with — you play all the leads! I included a variety of blues in many keys: country, delta, texas, urban, slide, alternate tuning. “Memphis Minnie Blues” is named after the great blues guitar player and singer Memphis Minnie.

On the actual BackUP TRAX CD you’ll first hear the melody to each tune at a slow speed, with just guitar backup. Then you’ll hear the melody again, this time in the context of the full band, at regular speed. Finally, you’ll hear the band track, without any lead, and you supply all the licks, melodies, and solos! It’s a lot of fun, if I do say so myself!

The MP3s below for “Memphis Minnie Blues” are shortened, not in stereo (like the TRAX CD) and I didn’t include the slow version at all. The band tracks on the CD let you play the tunes several times through and most cuts are about three to four minutes.

“Memphis Minnie Blues” music & tab pdf

“Memphis Minnie Blues” excerpt MP3

“Memphis Minnie Blues” band track MP3

Banks of the Ohio crosspicking
Jim Nunally and I recorded this classic melody for our new CD Brothers at Heart. We arranged the tune as a guitar duet where I start out with a simple flatpicked melody and then ease into the cross picking.

I capoed at the fourth fret and played out of C position which puts me in the key of E. For his rhythm, Jim capoed strings 1-5 at the second fret and left the 6th string un-capoed. He then played out of the key of D, which capoed at the second fret sounds like the key of E. The combination of this with the uncapoed 6th string makes it sound like Jim is playing with a lowered 6th string.

The hammer ons in measure 1 and 8 might throw off your timing at first. If that’s the case, leave them out, at least temporarily. I use an alternating “down/up” picking pattern throughout, as noted with up and down arrows in the first few measures. You could just as easily use a “down-down-up” pattern.

“Banks of the Ohio” intro MP3

“Banks of the Ohio” music & tab pdf

“Banks of the Ohio” MP3

Shady Grove
I love this song in all of its many forms. This particular version is based on one I transcribed for my “Shady Grove: Acoustic Guitar Solos by Jerry Garcia” book. It combines elements of Jerry’s solo with bits I’ve heard from other players down through the years. This arrangement includes solos in two octaves. We also have a mandolin version of Shady Grove. Click here.

Intro to “Shady Grove” MP3

“Shady Grove” music & tab pdf

Shady Grove MP3

Danny Boy and The Cuckoo’s Nest
Since St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching, here are mandolin versions of two of my favorite tunes: “Danny Boy” and “The Cuckoo’s Nest.”
This version of “Danny Boy” is played with a bit of a swing and lots of eighth notes. In the second part I use a lot of tremolo to build the dynamics. There’s a simpler version of “Danny Boy” in my “Favorite Mandolin Picking Tunes” book/CD set.

The most difficult parts of “The Cuckoo’s Nest” are the triplet passages in measures 2, 4, 8, and so on. Luckily you can play them with the combination of a hammer on and a pull off.

Intro to “Danny Boy” & “Cuckoo’s Nest” MP3

“Danny Boy” music & tab pdf

“Danny Boy” MP3

“Cuckoo’s Nest” music & tab pdf

“Cuckoo’s Nest” MP3

So long!
That’s all for this issue of the Musix Newsletter. I hope you’ll enjoy playing along and listening. If you have a moment, drop us an e-mail and let us know both what you like and what you don’t like about this occasional publication. I’d also like to hear what other types of things you’d like us to include in future issues. Until then, keep on playing music!

Dix Bruce

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