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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

Free Lesson - September 2017

"Shalom Aleichem"

Arranged by Mickey Abraham

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Hello and welcome to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter. This month’s tune is a traditional Hebrew melody called “Shalom Aleichem.” I grew up hearing this song in temple and then later heard it on a wonderful record called “Songs of our Fathers” by the great David Grisman and Andy Statman.

For this lesson I’ve included two versions of the tune. The second version puts the melody up one octave and incorporates some challenging double stops. The first version stays in the open position and is easier to master.

“Shalom Aleichem” is great for breaking up your fiddle tunes and bluegrass songs. It’s also a stunning slow melody that is not a waltz! To me, the most interesting part of the tune is how it switches from minor to major for the second half. Make sure to click on the included lesson mp3 to hear the effect this has on the listener.

When playing back-up for “Shalom Aleichem” I tend to not use a bluegrass strumming pattern. In order to match the tone of the melody I tend to play sparse down strums and arpeggiated chords. Try leaving lots of space where the melody has space and let the chords breathe.

I know you’ll enjoy working on “Shalom Aleichem” and playing for your family and friends. As always should you have any questions or comments on the e-lesson just drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net