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Free Monthly Newsletter Lesson - September 2013

“Up A Lazy River”
Arranged for Flatpicking Guitar Magazine by Mickey Abraham

Download PDF | Download MP3

Hello and welcome once again to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter. I feel I have yet another amazing tune to share with all you e-flatpickers out there! “Up A Lazy River” is an old song made popular by Hoagy Carmichael and Sidney Arodin back in 1930. Here is a excerpt from the first verse:

Up a lazy river
By the old mill run
Lazy river
In the noonday sun.
Linger awhile
In the shade of a tree
Throw away your troubles
Dream with me.
Up a lazy river
Where the robin’s song
Wakes the mornin’ we roll along
May be blue skies above
Everyone’s in love
Up a lazy river
How happy we’ll be
Up a lazy river with me.

For this lesson I have notated my version of the tune’s wonderful melody. One can easily hear the laid back and lazy sound to the melody as it trots over the chords. If you have picking buddies that are into soloing over tunes like “Sweet Georgia Brown” they will welcome this “new” gem with open arms as the chord progression is very similar. In fact, the chords are not the unique part of the song. Many tunes utilize this famous progression. One interesting difference is that in this song the last three chords repeat. This is due to the lyrics. If you’re picking friends are into improvising over swing tunes like this then they will have to remember to keep soloing over those last three chords as it makes the song have an irregular number of measures. When you hear the actual melody it does feel this way.

I am confident that you will find “Up A Lazy River” easy to learn, fun to play, and melodically captivating. Remember to click on the included mp3 to hear the tune. I Hope you enjoy learning this wonderful melody. As always, if you have any questions or comments on this e-lesson just drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net