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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

Free Monthly Lesson - September 2019

“East Tennessee Blues”

Arranged by Mickey Abraham

Download PDF | Download mp3

Hello and welcome once again to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter. “East Tennessee Blues” is an absolute favorite in the world of flatpicking guitar. This lesson arrangement includes a simple rendition of the tune’s melody and an alternate version to be used as a solo. “East Tennessee Blues” is very simple to play and sounds incredible.

While the chords for both the A section and B section are the same, the melody for each section is distinct. The A section fits very nicely on the guitar fingerboard. I can see why guitar payers love to play it. When I first heard “East Tennessee Blues” I found the B section melody to be more ambiguous. After listening to countless renditions over the years I’ve been able to understand how the melody works on guitar. The B section melody is made up of longer notes and phrases. The flatpicking language is played mostly in picked eighth notes while the B section melody is made up of longer melodic phrases. This has always made it harder for me to come up with a B section that sounds hip. I’m confident you will find this lesson arrangement melodic and playable.

If you already play “East Tennessee Blues” you will still find some interesting licks and ideas in the second pass. I tried to use traditional flatpicking language throughout the solo. This way you can take some of the ideas and apply them to other standard that have similar chord changes. “East Tennessee Blues” is a great tune to jam on and create solos.

I hope you enjoy working on this arrangement of “East Tennessee Blues”. Make sure to click on the included mp3 to hear the chords and melody in action. Should you have any comments or questions on this lesson drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net