Newsletter #3 • Summer 2003
News, Music, tablature, MPs, to download & learn!
Hello and welcome to our Musix Newsletter #3!
This issue includes six tunes for guitar & mandolin, with standard notation, chords, tablature, and lyrics, in .pdf and MP3 formats. You can download and print .pdfs of the music and listen to the MP3 examples. First, some news.
Dix Bruce & Jim Nunally
Jim Nunally and I have been travelling to the midwest and Nevada and playing music from our latest CD Brothers at Heart. Newsletter #2 included a transcription of our cross picked version of “Banks of the Ohio.” We hope you’ll check out the rest of the CD too. Below you’ll find another tune from the CD, “Beautiful Brown Eyes.”
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 web site.
Newsletter #3 Tunes
You can download the pdfs, print them out and then hear an MP3 recording of each of the following tunes.
When I record the accompanying CDs for my books, I always play each example or tune at both slow and regular speeds. In addition, each tune is recorded in stereo so you can isolate the parts. Unfortunately audio takes up a lot of space on the web site and we only have room to post our examples at one speed and in mono.
I Never Will Marry
“I Never Will Marry” is from my “Beginning Country Guitar Handbook.” This arrangement is halfway between standard flatpicking and chord melody. The idea is to strum the chord and end the strum on the melody note. It’s written in the key of F to give you practice in keys other than C and C. Circled numbers denote fretting finger suggestions.
“Beginning Country Guitar Handbook,” despite its title, is a general flatpicking text starting with backup, connecting notes, runs and finally leads. For more information, click here.
Beautiful Brown Eyes
Jim Nunally and I recorded this great old song on 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 second fret and played out of C position which puts me in the key of D. Again, circled numbers denote fretting finger suggestions.
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
A lot of you are interested in learning swing and jazz chords. Here are some very useful chord forms for the traditional jazz standard “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.” Just plug the chords shown in the diagrams into the music and you’ll be swinging! Each form is played without any open (unfretted) strings and that makes each one moveable, up and down the neck, to play up to eleven different chords. You’ll also be muting strings one and five on most of the forms.
In measure 13, you’ll see the chords Bb6 A7 Ab7. The Bb6 gets two strums, the A7 and Ab7 get one each.
I learned these chords from Mel Bay’s “Rhythm Guitar Chord System.” It was the best three bucks I ever spent. Of course it’s gone up in price over the years but it’s still the best deal going! The system teaches four different forms for each chord: one with the root in the bass, one with the third in the bass, one with the fifth in the bass, and one with the seventh in the bass. If you learn the whole system, you can play practically any pop, swing, or jazz standard at three or four different positions on the fingerboard. The system also defines each basic chord form and shows how moving one finger changes the chord, for example from G7 (root position) to G6 (root position). Click here for information.
I used these chords and this chord system in my video “Basic Swing Guitar,” which teaches moveable closed chord forms and discusses how to get that swing feel while comping on ten great standards. Click here.
I also used the chord system in several of my BackUp TRAX book/CD sets: Swing & Jazz, Early Jazz & Hot Tunes, and Traditional Jazz & Dixieland. On all the BackUP TRAX sets, you listen and play along with the tunes on the CD, at slow and regular speeds, learning both rhythm and leads from the book. They all make great jam sessions and let you practice grooving and soloing to your heart’s content! All the BackUP TRAX book/CD sets and the “Basic Swing Guitar” video include chord diagrams like those in the “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” .pdf.
East Virginia Blues
Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin Solo
“East Virginia Blues,” from my “First Lessons: Mandolin” book/CD set, is a bluegrass classic. Here’s a relatively easy solo in a traditional bluegrass style. We’ve taken the basic melody and added lots of extra fill in notes.
Auction Pa Strommen
I’m working on a couple of books with an old friend from Wisconsin, Bruce Bollerud. Bruce is a wonderful accordion player who knows a million tunes, most of them from the Scandinavian and European cultures that came together in Wisconsin. I’ve been pestering him over the past few years to collect them into a book so new generations can learn these songs. We’ve just about finished one he’s titled “Scandinavian House Party Music.” These are songs that Bruce learned from Norwegian fiddlers at house parties out in the country. Since they come from the fiddle tradition, Bruce suggested that they’d make fun mandolin tunes. I agree with him and am in the process of arranging the tunes for mandolin: “Scandinavian House Party Music for Mandolin” We’ll keep you posted on both the availability of Bruce’s accordion books and a possible collection of Scandinavian mandolin tunes.
The story of the title (“Auction at Strommen’s”) is this: An auction was scheduled at Strommen’s place but it rained. So, the farmers grabbed their instruments, headed inside (probably to the barn) and played some music. “Auction Pa Srommen” is usually played at a moderate tempo with a nice dance lilt, around 130 to 140 on the metronome.
Many of the tunes that Bruce collected for this project are quite similar to fiddle tunes played in bluegrass and old time music. Some even have similar titles. I’m sure musicians mixed and traded in the old countries and continued swapping once they landed in the U.S. These tunes are naturals for fiddle and mandolin. Let me know what you think of “Auction Pa Srommen” and if you’d be interested in a whole book of similar tunes. Contact@musixnow.com
A Beautiful Life
I wrote this one out with mandolin tablature but the chords will work for any instrument. I’ve always liked the sentiment of this song and thought I’d pass it on to you.
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 Contact@musixnow.com 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!
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