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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine
Free Monthly Lesson

June 2015

Grey Eagle

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’s lesson features an intermediate version of the popular fiddle tune “Grey Eagle.”
“Grey Eagle” is a tune that has many versions floating around. It is often played in a Texas swing style. To some, this tune includes many intricate sections that are variations on the first theme. Although I have been exposed to these longer more intricate versions I wanted to present the tune as a simple AABB fiddle tune. This way, when you hear a good fiddle player play this song you will be able to recognize it as variations instead of one long piece.
One aspect of flatpicking that constantly amazes me is how much music a flatpicker can get out of the guitar’s open position. Other genres like blues and jazz utilize closed guitar positions, while flatpicking requires a mastery of open scales and licks. This arrangement of “Grey Eagle” is a wonderful example of picking a melody while using all the open strings available. Pay close attention to your right hand as it is doing most of the work. Make sure to click on the included e-lesson mp3 to hear the chords and melody in acton.
I hope you enjoy working on this straight forward rendition of “Grey Eagle.” I’m confident your fiddle and banjo buddies will love picking on it. As always, should you have any questions or comments on this e-lesson just drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net