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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

Free Flatpicking Lesson

Autgust 2016

“Don’t Get Around Much”

arranged by Mickey Abraham


Hello and welcome once again to Flatpicking Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter. This month I have chosen a song you probably know well, have probably never played on guitar, and one that will end up being one of your favorite songs to play. “Don’t Get Around Much” is a true classic -- recorded by everyone from Willy Nelson and Joe Pass to Nat King Cole and Sam Cooke.

I’d like to thank my friend and amazing saxophonist Nyan Feder for making me learn this tune for a recent gig. I haven’t been able to stop playing it since. I had a blast coming up with this simple and effective flatpicking version and feel you will enjoy learning it.

The song’s AABA form is the same as many flatpicking standards such as “Lonesome Fiddle Blues” or “Panhandle Rag.” If you have picking friends who are into improvising over great chord progressions they will no doubt fall in love with this tune. The melody is so perfectly catchy I’m surprised “Don’t Get Around Much” does not enjoy the popularity of say tunes like “Lady Be Good” or even “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

There is a wonderful tradition of turning jazz and swing standards into bluegrass tunes. Folks like Don Reno, Bobby Hicks, and even Tony Rice himself have recorded their own renditions of jazz standards.

I hope you enjoy adding “Don’t Get Around Much” to your list of awesome jam tunes. Don’t forget to click on the included lesson mp3 to hear the melody and chords in action. As always, should you have any questions or comments on this e-lesson just drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net.