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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

Free Email Newsletter Lesson - March 2016


by Vasen

arranged for Flatpicking Guitar Magazine by Mickey Abraham


Hello and welcome once again to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter. This month’s tune as a hip melody entitled “Appalachen” composed by the great band Vasen. I learned this tune from my friend and great mandolin player, Josh Pinkham. Josh was in town doing a house concert this past week and I asked him for a cool fiddle tune to use for my monthly lesson. When he played this melody for me I knew it would be perfect.

Although “Appalachen” is a simple AABB structured fiddle tune it takes some interesting melodic twists and turns along the way. At times it almost feels like it’s in an odd time signature. When I finished notating the tune it was interesting to see how the melody looked when laid out into eight measure sections. It was, in fact, totally straight!

Unlike many of my past lessons I decided to include ornamentation in the arrangement. Mastering the quick pull-offs, hammer-ons, and slides will be the trickiest part of learning “Appalachen.” One could play this tune without all the ornamentation and it would sound fine but I think you’ll agree that this melody is driven by the all the cool pulls, hammers, and slides. Make sure to click on the included lesson mp3 to hear how the ornamentations make the tune.

I’d like to thank Josh Pinkham for teaching me “Appalachen” and I’m certain you will find it as intriguing as me. As always, if you have any questions or comments on this e-lesson just drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net