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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: “High Heel Shoe” (Intermediate)

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I want to show you High Heel Shoe now.
It's a great little obscure fiddle tune
that I grew up with.
Not a lot of people play this or know this
song, so
I'm excited to bring this to the academy.
I'm starting here with the intermediate
version just because it's,
it's such a handful to play.
It's a very notey thing and I feel like
this is a basic melody version.
Here I'm going to show you and
get a little more intricate in the
advanced section.
But I feel like where it's good placement
here in
the curriculum is starting in the
intermediate level.
So, I'll play it here at 98 beats a
All right there's, there's one time
through with High Heeled Shoe.
You can see in the tab there's a repeat.
Sometimes this is played one, one time
Sometimes, you know, for solo purposes,
maybe twice.
Usually one time through is all,
if you ever hear this in a jam session
then you'd probably hear this once.
But anyway,
we mentioned earlier that it's, you know,
quite a note-y little thing.
So it jumps immediately into this position
here working out of the,
our of our our three shape concept working
out of the F shape in the key of G.
We kind of get there immediately after
these pick up notes.
You know.
a lot of pivot with open strings here that
may be something to practice right there.
When I was first learning this song I
remember spending a lot of time
just with that first phrase.
Which gets you to that first
change at the D chord.
All right.
There it is.
then it basically repeats that same line.
Has this little short B section.
Where it sort of drops down in a version.
Now we're back into.
Sort of still start with this
F shape in the, in the key of G.
And then back to our open position.
We're gonna use our pinky there.
So one more time from the top.
And the
the B
So, one of the things
about performing this song,
playing this song, making it
sound musical again we're
really thinking in that A part,
there's so many it's so notey.
In order to kinda keep that under control
and to keep it not, you know,
not sounding frantic, I really am just
kinda relaxing and
trying to think about the bigger rhythmic
picture that's going on.
And, really trusting,
again, my forearm just to kinda keep that,
that momentum going.
you can even, you know, emphasize those
beats, we talk a lot about that.
That's basically
the rhythm that's going on.
And, that's, that's what you need to trust
as you're, as you, as you learn and work
with these notes.
You're really only dealing with the first
and second string, but you're switching
back and forth, you know, at little odd
little intervals within that groove.
But essentially that's what's going on and
that's what you need to trust to kind of
get yourself through that.
And the other thing about the B section
which is neat is we got some more
open strings that we can use for sustain
and ring.
And we're going to let all that.
Even that tempo.
You know,
it, it adds a level of just a depth and
musicality to have that sustained.
Anytime you see in a tab
an open string followed by a descending
line away from that string, you can,
you can usually let that continue to
sustain across that descending line
All right, so
that gets us to the, the C section.
Which another little, little quirky little
That actual down beat of that phrase,
the end, the end beat I guess is sort of
at beat three of that bar.
So it kinda feel like the timing shifts a
little bit and when you're playing rhythm.
You can hear that on the rhythm track,
where it kinda skips, it feels like it
skips a beat.
But it stays right in the rhythm.
Which is good for
a lot of the stuff we talk about here with
trusting our pick pattern.
And just trusting that, that solid stream
That stream of eighth notes, the stream
of, of what our picking arm is doing.
ways to transition from from the open
position to the more closed position.
Can use some open strings.
What I've got written there you can slide.
So, we want to get to this position here.
Which, again,
is sort of our A position in the key of C.
Or, the, the, working around a C chord.
we're finishing off the we're gonna
transition back to the open position.
Okay, and it repeats that.
Which then sets up, are we done basically
with one full time through.
If you wanna if you're playing along with
a metronome, I put the repeat there.
I mean, this, this is one of those tunes,
again, it's just, as a, as almost,
as a work piece.
And what it can do to, you know,
to really sort of pool a lot of just good
flat-picking skill together.
Just, you know, just repeat it.
Just get on, get in a loop and just, and
just kind of go.
You know, and, and back around.
It's it's a really fun tune to play and
it's again it's a,
glad to be able to bring it.
You know, to the world to teach this.
I don't know if this, this song's ever
been actually taught before.
As far as I know it kinda,
again lives in obscurity in the mountains
of western North Carolina.
I don't, I'm not sure that I've every
heard it ever heard anybody play it
that you know, either didn't hear me play
it or, or or
didn't hear a recording of it so from
that, from that region so.
Hope you enjoy this tune I've really
enjoyed playing it over the years and
again I'm, I'm happy to bring it to you.