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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine Free Lesson
November 2014

“Crazy Creek”

Arranged by Mickey Abraham

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Hello and welcome once again to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter. This month I’d like to offer my arrangement of the slightly obscure “Crazy Creek.” Just as the title suggests, the tune leans towards the crazy side. But, it’s not too crazy. It’s just crazy enough to be awesome!
“Crazy Creek” is an AABA style fiddle tune in the key of A. Wyatt Rice plays a mean rendition of this tune with a capo on the second fret. For this lesson I chose to arrange the melody without use of a capo. I feel the chords work better without the capo. The melody plays nicely out of the capo position but the chords actually wind up being more difficult.
Most fiddle tunes in the key of A use the chords A, D, and E (I, IV, and V). “Crazy Creek” employs a well placed C chord. One might consider this to be one of the crazy aspects of the tune. I love how the C chord builds tension leading down to the E chord which resolves perfectly to the A chord. The changes also come at very interesting times adding to the crazy nature of the tune. Next, the B section changes keys. It modulates from A major to F major (down a major third). The chords go from F to C a couple times before hinting at the A section’s tag when it goes from E to A. This section seems to naturally suggest to play the A section one more time. Make sure to click on the included e-lesson mp3 to hear the chords, melody, and form in action.
This is one of those tunes that is a complete package. It has creative chords, a quirky melody, and a cool groove. I will admit that the melody is not as lyrical as tunes such as “St. Anne’s Reel” or “Whiskey Before Breakfast” but that’s kind of the point.
I hope you enjoy working on this crazy tune and teaching to your picking friends—if they are crazy enough to handle it! As always, if you have any questions or comments on this e-lesson just drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net