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August 2012 Free Flatpicking Lesson
from 
Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

"Last of Harris"

Arranged for FGM by Mickey Abraham

    
      
        Hello and welcome once again to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter.  This month I’d like to present you with this really cool old-time tune called “Last of Harris.”  I learned this tune from dulcimer whiz, Aaron O’Rourke and we plan to use it on our next duo recording. For this lesson I have included two versions of the tune. Both versions are straight forward and are designed to be able to pick up the tune’s beautiful melody quickly.
        The old-time style of playing predates the bluegrass music of the 1940s. In the old-time tradition, the fiddle, banjo, and mandolin all play the melody at the same time while the guitar plays back-up.  One aspect where the bluegrass tradition differs is that in bluegrass all the instruments take turns playing solos.  “Last of Harris” can be interpreted in both styles as one could use the tune’s chord structure and melody as a springboard for modern bluegrass improvisation.
        One interesting aspect of this tune is that the B section is shorter than the A section.  The A section does have the usual eight measures that most fiddle tunes have, but then the B section consists of only four measures.  Each section is of course repeated.  Some of your friends might find it tricky to jam on due to the B section being so short.  Lastly, the unusual form would make “Last of Harris” a confusing tune to contra dance to!  
        I hope you enjoy learning this slightly obscure old-time tune and adding to your always growing list.  If you have any questions or comments on this e-lesson or cool ideas for future e-lesson you’d like to see here, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net.

"Last of Harris"

Last of Harris

Last of Harris

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