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August 2011 Free Flatpicking Lesson
Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

"Fly Me Around Pretty Little Miss"

Arranged for FGM by Mickey Abraham


    Hello And welcome once again to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter.  Before I get to the tune, I’d like to mention that I was recently interviewed by Dan Miller for a FGM podcast.  For those not familiar with our podcasts, they are audio interviews that are free to listen to on the iTunes store, or you can find them all at this URL: http://flatpick.libsyn.com/.  In fact, if you search “flatpicking” in the iTunes store, it will take you to a list of all FGM’s past podcasts (scroll down to the podcast section).  Lots of good stuff there!  You can of course download the podcasts to your computers or mobile devices to listen to intimate flatpicking interviews anywhere and anytime!
        Moving on, for this month’s free lesson, I have chosen an obscure yet intriguing old-time fiddle tune called “Fly Me Around Pretty Little Miss.”  I learned this tune from mountain dulcimer champion, Aaron O’Rourke.  Aaron learned it from a great fiddler named Aisha Ivey.  I really enjoy coming up with arrangements of fiddle tunes on guitar that I have no prior guitar reference for.  To me, this ensures a unique version of the melody.  No matter how hard I explore “Salt Creek” for example, I will always play ideas that are similar to many of the guitar version that I have heard over the years.  On the other hand, with “Fly Me Around,” I feel I have a fresh outlook on a cool new melody.
        This lesson is not meant to be full of hot licks and finger busters.  With this tune, I feel it is important to groove on the simplicity of the beautiful old-time melody.  If you are a beginner, this tune will be perfect to learn, practice, and add to to your list.  If you are more advanced player, these kinds simple of arrangements are perfect for learning a new tune fast, and then using your own vocabulary of “connectors” to enhance the tune or explore variations.  
     Another cool thing about this tune is that there are several chord options. These chords are a simplified version of what Aaron showed me.  He is very inspired by the guitar back-up of the amazing John Doyle.  In theory, every note of the “A” section is from a G major scale.  This means, that one could insert ANY chord over the old-time melody and it will work (if it is placed correctly and sounds cool).  Try resolving to C instead of G at the end of an A section or B section.  You can also try switching some of the G chords with Em and vice versa.  Try it and see what you like.
        I hope you enjoy learning this tune as much as I did.  It’s so simple, yet so melodically intriguing.  It’s perfect for a contra dance.  As always, if you have questions or comments on this e-lesson, or any great ideas you’d like to see featured here in the future just drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net  .

"Pretty Little Miss"

Pretty Little Miss