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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: “Red Wing” (Basic)

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Here's a great old song Red Wing.
Sort of borrows from the western swing
Taught here at the basic level.
I'll play this at 85 beats a minute and
then we'll talk through it.
All right.
Really nice melody there.
One of the good things about a tune like
this for
flatpicking a lot of the tunes that we
deal deal with here,
deal with a lot of eighth notes, a lot of
just repeating.
Picking up and down, up and down, up and
At the basic version, the basic idea of
this melody,
there's a lot of space, lot of quarter
So it's a good opportunity for someone new
to this style to really think about really
think about things like tone, really think
about bigger sort of musical ideas,
rhythmic kind of things there's less to
sort of worry about within the tab itself.
So you know, I'll show you some
opportunities for
these kind of things like I'm talking
It starts with a little bit of this eighth
note kind of idea.
But a lot of it's on you know following
the note with the same note and
it's sort of, it's an opportunity to kind
of just get the pick moving.
So we got three pick up notes.
would be one phrase to kind of think about
to to isolate.
So we got you know,
keeping with our pick pattern, our pick up
notes are two, three, four, one.
Two, and three, and four and one, two and
So, all our number notes are downstrokes.
All the all the ands are up strokes.
Or down,
down, down, down, down, down, up, down,
Down, down, up, down, up, down, up, down,
down, up, down.
So that's the way that pattern kind of
works through that.
And then kind of a similar phrase.
So, once you get through that.
Now, we've got some, some moment to kinda
And, and as you practice this with a
metronome, practice this with a rhythm
track, just think about making these notes
stay as long as possible.
That's, that's one of the keys, you know,
so the underlying concepts and
real fundamentals of, of flatpicking.
Even though you hear a lot of notes in
you know, the rapid fire of these eighth
notes, eighth notes.
When you've got, when you've got a moment
here you can kinda relax,
just really try to let the guitar do what
it wants to do and sustain.
That's why, you know, again with,
with downstrokes on these numbered notes,
all we're, all we're,
all we see here are beats one, two, three,
and four.
There's no eighth notes here for, for
three bars.
So we can really just concentrate on the
staying in time, trusting that big
big arm more, there's more tone, the more
arm you can use and stay relaxed.
So that gets us up to bar nine.
And so, really I'm making all those down
strokes rest strokes.
So that's really maximizes the tone that I
can sorta pull out of the guitar.
And we're back into some eighth notes.
So it's a good little,
little move right there in bar nine.
You may just practice that.
notice so it's down up, down up, down,
So that sets up the downbeat of bar ten
which is kind of a repeat.
So and, now we're back into quarter note
pattern here.
So a tendency will probably be,
even though this is you know just playing
quarter notes.
We're not thinking so much about eighth
notes and this continual stream idea.
We've just, we've just got a melody that's
just it, it is what it is and so.
Still there's a tendency sometimes to kind
of rush that, to anticipate those beats.
But this is an opportunity as you practice
at the basic level to really think about
again, laying back, relaxing.
You know, finding, finding that pocket of
the metronome of the rhythm track and, and
really trusting that, so again.
You know,
and land on that big down beat, that open
G on bar 17.
And then we got two quarter notes that
pick up into the B section.
So what's going on there in the B section.
You've got a half note, which holds for
One, two, three, four, and.
So what happens, there's a dot on that
quarter note.
Which means we hold it a beat and a half.
So the next the next played note is the
last eighth note of the bar.
Which is the and of four.
Which again this is, there's not a lot
musically going on there but it, but
it challenges the pick pattern concept in
a, in a new way now by using that,
and as we've seen it as an up stroke
because it's, it's the and of four,
it's an and, so its an up stroke.
So that's what's going on there.
Down, down, down, down up down, down,
down, down.
Then two downs right there on beat one and
beat three.
And basically for the rest of this B
section a lot of that same kind of idea.
Just using the rhythm track, using this as
kind of a,
maybe a warm up piece to just sort of try
to get your, your rhythm established.
To try to get a sense of, of, you know,
got a settle sense to your playing using,
you know, just simple quarter note
melodies, like this.
These are all down strokes.
Down, down, up, down.
And, and another another tip for playing.
Like this simple, simpler melodies like
this where there's a lot of space.
Still let your arm kind of be rhythmic.
And even though you're not playing all
those notes, still,
still assume that they're there, you know,
in the rhythm.
see my hand, even though I'm not playing,
still kind of feeling that.
And that means that I'm committing to that
pocket, you know.
I'm not just playing a note and thinking,
trying to be cerebral about where that
next note is.
I really want to try to just try to just
You know, I want to engage myself as a
listener more than try to
create this this note.
And that, that's where we're sort of
building the foundations for trust.
And, and building, you know how trust sort
of effects technique and
the more we can trust then the, then the
deeper the fundamentals are and
the more we can use them later down the
So again you know you can see in this last
from bar 26.
The last fin-,
end of the final run through this B
down, up.
So it's a way to think about the pick
pattern again where you're
not playing every note, but we're still
trusting the pattern.
And so it a, a nice simple melody like
this on a, a great,
great old tune like Red Wing.
Presents a great opportunity to kinda
think about the pick pattern as more of,
as something we feel versus something that
we're actually gonna play every note.
So so good luck with Red Wing and I look
forward to seeing some videos,
some great video submissions for this
gonna go through the chord changes here of
Red Wing.
And think about the rhythm behind a tune
like this.
Covers a lot of the chords that we've
we've discovered here in the basic
Just sort of talk through a little bit
about it.
Just some things to be aware of.
It's pretty straight ahead.
A couple opportunities to do some, some
walking bass and I'll point that out.
So one, two, three, go.
within, once that rhythm is established
you can walk into the C.
And at bar six is the D.
And at A seven at bar eight.
And we can walk into the C.
May be a little tricky there.
Quick little chord change from an A.
A boom chuck on.
More, you can kind of transition
smoothly through that bar by kinda trying
to realize as much sustain as possible.
As your,
as your fretting hand becomes stronger,
that'll be easier.
And then walk into the C of the the B
You can walk into the G.
In a tune like this, any time you see
when you make a chord change and you've
got two bars, to kind of settle, and
then there's a new change two bars later,
you can always walk.
Just two bars right here,
walking to the C.
Choosing out,
just out of the G major scale.
Walk into the D.
So I'm pretty straight ahead, again,
just a a good song, a good one to learn at
the basic level.
Just a few things to kind of think about
as you play rhythm.
Prevents, again, it's sort of a good
warmup song.
So just enjoy it, all right.