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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

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November 2016

Maydell’s Reel

arranged by Jon Stickley


Hello and welcome once again to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter. This month I present to you a cool old-time fiddle tune called “Maydell’s Reel.” This tune exhibits all the characteristics of a wonderful fiddle tune -- a memorable melody, AABB form, and simplicity.

What makes “Maydell’s Reel” unique is that it is played out of open E position. Not many traditional tunes are in the key of E. Although the melody flows in a familiar way, some of the fingerings might seem new. When you experience how beautifully the melody plays out of the open E position you’ll wonder why we don’t have more tunes in the great guitar key of E.

I’d like to thank my friend Jon Stickley for teaching me “Maydell’s Reel” and suggesting to use it for this month’s e-lesson. Jon is one of the best flatpicking guitarists I’ve ever heard and his band the Jon Stickley Trio plays some of the hippest modern arrangements of bluegrass tunes you’ll ever hear! I highly recommend checking out their new album “Triangular.” Go to jonstickley.com for all information about his music. Along with fiddler Lyndsay Pruett and drummer Patrick Armitage, Jon Stickley pushes the boundaries of where flatpicking has come from, where the art form currently is, and where it is headed in the future.

I hope you enjoy working on “Maydell’s Reel” and adding to your list of obscure flatpicking fiddle tunes. As always, should you have any questions or comments on this month’s e-lesson just drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net.