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November 2011 Free Flatpicking Lesson
from 
Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

"Ragtime Annie"

Arranged for FGM by Mickey Abraham
       

   
     
    Hello and welcome once agin to the free flatpicking lesson portion of our monthly newsletter.  This month I have returned with a classic fiddle tune called “Ragtime Annie.” I have always been attracted to this tune for its catchy melody, swingy groove, and simple structure. I first heard “Ragtime Annie” going to Tallahassee jam sessions years ago.  The great Florida fiddler, Max Tillman would always call this tune.
       My lesson version is designed to sound hip but not be too hard to master.  I also wanted to give you something to work on over the holiday break.  I tried to throw in some cool right hand ideas to enhance the arrangement and not make it too easy.
        For the backup I suggest using C position with a capo at the second fret.  The A section consists of only two chords (C and G).  Then, during B section, you will encounter C, F, and G.  The B section also has two different endings.  You will notice how the second ending has a more complicated set of chords -- instead of playing G to C at the end, you will play F, C, G, C.  Listing to the lesson mp3 to see if you can hear the B section’s second ending in action.  Some folks like to play the “rag” turnaround here which has even more chords (F, F#dim, C, A, D, G, C).  I have nothing against that set of chords and use them all the time, but for “Ragtime Annie” I typically use just C, F, and G, keeping the tune in the I, IV, V vein.
     This melody arrangement is a combination of many versions I have heard over the years.  My goal was to stay true to the tune’s melody,  keep it interesting, and bring out some of the characteristics of your typical flatpicking sound.  I especially like the cross-picking ideas you will encounter in the B section.  “Ragtime Annie” can certainly be express with less notes, but I was really digging the vibe of the “melody notes” inside the rolling chords.  Although it sounds complex at times, you should note that this arrangement is completely playable.  I did not fill it up with extraneous hot licks or up the neck maneuvers.  If you work carefully in open position you will have no problem succeeding with this one.
       I hope you enjoy adding the classic “Ragtime Annie” to your list of tunes.  You shouldn’t have any trouble getting folks at your jam to play it -- I predict you will hear someone say, “I love that tune, and have not played it in forever...”  As always, if you have any questions or comments on this e-lesson or any great ideas you’d like to see here in the future, just drop me a line michabraham@comcast.net .

"Ragtime Annie"


Ragtime

Ragtime



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