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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: “Give Me Back My 15 Cents” (Basic)

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>> Here's Give Me Back My 15 Cents.
It's a tune that I learned.
I first heard Doc Watson do it.
And I think he learned it from his days
with Clarence Ashley.
And it's, probably goes, you know,
far back as beyond there into the
vaudeville days.
But it's it's a great tune.
And not a lot of people play there's, you
ought to with all these things that we
work here, you ought to go find some
different versions of these tunes.
And, you know, you can hear how different
artists bring their influence and
their style to all these great melodies.
And if the song is anything it's, it's a
great melody to play.
And, well within the Doc Watson
flatpicking style and
here's a basic version of it.
And again, I've got four rhythm tracks at
four different tempos.
The first one I'll play along here.
I'll play the, it's an AAB form.
One of tunes we had are AABB.
This is just AAB.
It's, it's it's a longer verse and a
And if you go search out Doc Watson
singing it,
then you can hear what I'm talking about.
But here it is at 65 beats a minute.
>> One, two, three.
>> All right, there's one time through
Give Me Back My 15 Cents.
Since this is an AAB form,
we'll look at the we'll look at the A
section, it's repeated.
And we, we talked a little bit about the
the Mother Maybelle style
with a Jimmy Brown tune earlier and
there's a little bit of that
in this where the chords are sort of
spelled out within the lead lines.
And because again we're in the playing out
of the C,
our capos are off now and in the, in the
key of C.
And so it's, and again,
employs three chords, the one, four and
five, C, F and G.
And so straight off it, you know,
we're spelling out a C C Major scale form
into a C chord.
Straight off of the melody.
all that's, I mean one of the things we're
talking about also is, you know,
big notes that, that sustain and ways to
find that.
And with this, within the first bar you
can keep your finger down on
the first fret second string C note.
You know,
it rings, you can hear it still ringing
through all that.
You know,
and again, it creates that effect of, of
how these notes sustain and cascade, and
it makes your playing sound smoother.
You know, you can and all,
again all this is still based on solid
approach of technique.
And, and, you know,
that we're still within our, you know,
we've hopefully got a,
a solid left-hand grip on the, on the neck
here and, and, and note access.
A lot of quarter notes up front so
a lot of, lot of downbeats or down strokes
on the pick.
And there's an eighth note so
we're gonna down up alternate.
so, that notes gonna lead us to the F
And I'm gonna hold it for two two beat,
two counts and pick back up into the next
then, we talked about the chromatic walk a
little while ago.
This one's built into the melody.
So here it is again slowly, the A part.
The other C chord.
On the second ending of,
of, of this version here that I have I
have us playing some double stops.
So from the bar before.
That's a chromatic eighth note thing
So what the chords are doing there.
Spells out F to C in this case,
can actually go to a sort of a, a version
of the, of the G or the five chord.
But mainly it's,
it's, the idea is to keep that C ringing
through there.
Because, and again, that's one of the
great things about the Maybelle Carter
style, and with this kind of tune, the way
Doc plays them, is,
is a lot of great, opportunities for notes
to ring into other notes.
And, it creates this, a beautiful sort of
effect of what,
I think of what draws a lot of people to
And sort of the mystery behind it, you
when these notes sound really clean and,
and clear and, you know, powerful.
So that's pretty much the A part of Give
Me Back My 15 Cents.
We'll come back in the next lesson with
the chorus, or the B part.
All right,
we're gonna jump into the B part of Give
me Back My 15 Cents.
And hopefully you may have found a
version, Doc Watson's singing it,
you'll notice the story is about a, a, a
guy that gets married and
plays fiddle for his mother-in-law, and
she hits him with a poker,
and he wants to get out of there and go
back home.
And it's this great little, it's a funny
little melody.
It's a, it's a slight kinda comedy number
it's got a really great melody in the
And for flat picking for, for some of the
stuff we've talked about,
we've, we've discussed how these eighth
notes in a 4/4 time signature or
usually a down up sort of pattern.
And when there's, when there's a quarter,
or a hammer on, or
slide pull off, whatever that we allow for
We keep our, our right our picking hand
hopefully loose and, and
rhythmic through all these things where we
sort of assume and,
and almost almost realize the stroke.
The extra stroke with our hand.
And so we don't stiffen up and, and, and
play and and, and bring in some tension.
So in the second bar of the B section
we are gonna run across something like
that with so our melody starts out.
so this, these you've got a two one and
two and here and, and
the, the two eighth notes are tied, which
means you hold them.
And so
because the down beat is not struck at
this point.
The neck of the C note is gonna be up.
We're keeping, we're gonna keep with this
rhythmic right rhythmic picking hand.
I'm gonna call it rhythmic right hand cuz
I'm right handed.
So there's actually two ups in a row,
which is the first time we've come across
that at this point.
And really the,
the reason that's the way it is, is
because if I were to play it.
You know, we don't play that second G.
That's where your downbeat would be-
So we're, we're, we're bypassing that,
but, but our right hand in order to keep
a, a consistent kinda rhythmic feel
through this, this kind of playing.
That, you'll have two upstrokes in a row.
then maybe something to isolate, just work
on that for a few minutes.
then back to the we're staying in our C
hopefully, you know, if, if you know, as
muscle memory's growing with, with that.
Particular form and the,
and again that's sort, sort of all
pentatonic scale base scale based.
So anyway-
And continuing on.
now we've got two down strokes in a row,
with the quarter notes.
All right?
what we're starting to do here, is really
starting to phrase with a flat pick.
And hopefully phrase fairly freely.
And don't say that too fast, too many
times in a row, it's hard to say.
really spelling out the melody here and,
and what makes that effective is that you
know, if your technique is building and
growing, you'll be able to when you're a,
a stronger flat picker is able to make
those, those melody notes you know,
really, really stand out, and, and, and it
turns into a strong kinda way to play.
we hold that for two beats, plus an eighth
So, one, two, three.
See, one, two, three and-
And there's that,
that again of the two ups in a row.
So here's the B section one more time.
So work on that.
There's a lot of things to sort of I'm
showing you about pick strokes and,
and But those are the main things to focus
on here and
be good to see how that's all coming
I'll play it all one more time through and
you can hear it one more time and
play along if you feel like it.
Here's one more time at 65 beats a minute.
Give Me Back My 15 Cents.
>> And One, two, three.
In these basic level, lessons with these
we're just going over some, some concepts
about the rhythm and, and
i'm giving you some, some tips about, you
know, hopefully,
you know, just, just picking up on these,
on these kind of things.
And, I really want you to start building
your ear and
awareness when you see me showing you
these things.
As opposed to, to really just spelling out
And and with give me back my 15 cents, you
are basically,
we are in the key of c, and, you know,
it's one, four, five, c, f, g.
And, it picks up from the first bar.
You can walk into the F.
Walk into the F again.
Because it goes straight
from the F to the G.
That's, that's a good quick transition to
work on.
And, one more time through.
Here's the B part.
Watch the F, same thing.
So, there's just some,
some tips about playing through the chords
here on Give Me Back my 15 Cents.