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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

Free Lesson - August 2018

Flop Eared Mule

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 I present to you a straight forward rendition of the classic old time tune “Flop Eared Mule.”

“Flop Eared Mule” is commonly used as a contra dance tune and has enjoyed popularity in bluegrass jam sessions for many years. Although the form is your traditional AABB structure “Flop Eared Mule” is unique in that it changes keys in the B section. The tune begins in the key of G and then switches to D. This gives the tune a forward momentum that makes it hard to stop playing. Many bluegrass players add a D7 chord at the end of the B section to help transition the sound smoothly back to G. On the last measure of the second B section you would play two beats of D followed by two beats of D7.

“Flop Eared Mule” has also enjoyed popularity in pop culture as it can be heard on television, in movies, and even while strolling Frontier Land at Disney World! I hope you enjoy learning this flatpicking classic and adding to your list of tunes. As always should you have any questions or comments on this e-lesson just drop me a line at michabrahm@comcast.net


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