Chris Eldridge

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Gold Rush

Melody - B Part

This week we will continue learning Gold Rush with the B-part. With a tune like this that is dense with notes, slowing it down to a manageable speed is the name of the game. Also, it's important to "get off the page" as quickly as possible and memorize (and be able to sing!) the melody. This will make learning to actually play it on the guitar go much faster!




Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Tony Rice
Gold Rush
Bill Monroe
Chris Eldridge

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Gold Rush AABB

Loop 0:51 Pentatonic and Major Scale Sources for B Part

Loop 3:21 Breakdown of Gold Rush B Part

Loop 11:00 Practice Loop of B Part


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 11:40 Closing Thoughts





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Torgeir Jorem
Torgeir Jorem Jun 13, 2018

Here is my second attempt on gold rush, now with b-part. A bit sloppy at times, but right hand feels better after advices from my last video. Thanks for putting up great lessons all the time! Torgeir 

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jun 20, 2018

Sounding great! Great flow to your playing here! 

Darren Apr 08, 2016

Hey Chris I was doing some work on Soldiers joy again, see how my left thumb is hooked around the neck in the video below, could this be causing tension in my left hand and causing things not to swing as well? Are these all "your answers are in the questions young Jedi" questions. :)

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Apr 11, 2016

The thumb over the neck in first position is totally normal. I don't think that would be causing any problems. Up the neck is another story however!

Darren Apr 07, 2016

 Need to get this under the fingers a little better. I'm still trying to work on that swingy feel you were telling me about from the Soldiers Joy Lesson ie Tony Rice, Doc Watson etc, I'm having trouble making it smooth and swingy without hammer ons and pull offs,  any exercises or specific songs in my tempo range you could suggest to play along with?

I listen to those guys also Tim Stafford and Kenny Smith and this guy named Chris Eldridge ( that guy can pick), and I can hear the difference just having trouble matching that feel. The slower tempos feel pretty good but as soon as it gets quick it starts to get choppy. I know practice practice practice. :)

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Apr 11, 2016

This might sound counterintuitive, but try playing it for 10 or 15 mins where you completely grant yourself a free pass to mess up and be sloppy. And with your new free pass really focus on the swing. Seriously, when you're doing this, don't worry if you miss notes, or aren't fretting things cleanly, or if you miss a string or hit an extra string with your right hand - just try to feel what it feels like to be relaxed and find that swinging place. I suspect you'll find it pretty quickly. Once you do, try to remember what it feels like. Take a mental snapshot. If you can practice staying relaxed and make that the priority, eventually your brain, body and nervous system will refine your movements behind the scenes, without your conciously forcing it to happen and the precision will return. It's weird and feels counterintuitive, but that surrendering of control is one of the strongest tools for getting better.

John Dunn
John Dunn Jan 23, 2016

 Look forward to feedback Chris! 


Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jan 23, 2016

Hey John,

Nicely done. 2 things:

1. The melody isn't quite right from 0:07 - 0:10. Refering to the notation/tab: what's happening is that the open D note on the 4th beat of the first full bar should be an eighth note, creating a tiny pause in the melody. You're playing through that note as a 16th which is pushing everything behind it forward a 16th note. Just playing that one note as an 8th should straighten it all out.

2. Your right hand looks to be carrying a decent amount of tension. As it pertains to relaxing/looseness, I want you to start finding that up/down flow in your right hand in a less regimented way. Try to relax your whole right hand and right arm. If you are feeling (or seeing) any tension, try to let it go. Give yourself permission to be sloppy in your execution when you're doing this. You might even try speeding it up a bit, but with the understanding that for right now it's totally OK if you're not playing everything cleanly. It bears mentioning: your pick directions shouldn't change. We just want to start unclamping your arm and hand a bit. Keep up the good work!

Keenan Hammack
Keenan Hammack Jan 03, 2016

Thanks so much for doing all of these lessons! As always I would love suggestions! Thanks.

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jan 04, 2016

Hi Keenan, it's my pleasure. Did you upload a video for the B-part? If so I'm not seeing it...

Allen StJohn
Allen StJohn Dec 14, 2015

Great lessons. I've got a big picture question for you. Or more like a word.

Sustain. It's been said that the difference betweeen intermediate players and advanced players is just that. Sustain.

That said, I've seen very little about how to actually *achieve* sustain. And especially how to incorporate it into flatpicking fiddle tunes, when the tempo is pretty fast and the melody is a string of sixteenth notes.

Clearly you're doing it, Chris. Care to share how we can do it too?

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Dec 16, 2015


That's a good question. And a really big question - big enough that it warrants it's own lesson. I'll do one addressing it soon.

In the meantime there are 2 things that I think can really help:

1. Really imagine how you want to sound. Put the guitar down, close your eyes and really listen and imagine how you would like to sound. People talk about how tone exists in people's hands. I really think that's a misguided way of looking at it. It exists in people's minds. So really imagine, clearly, what you want to sound like. You need to be able to hear it! If you have a clear picture in your mind, beyond "I want to play clean and with good sustain," your unconcious self will get to work and it will get better.

2. Slow down. Feel what it feels like to play with sustain at a tempo where you can achieve it. You don't need to stay slow forever and only speed up when you've mastered it. It's good to go back and forth. But it can be good to have that slow, mindful experience of making sound on the guitar. You'll learn from this and it will get better.


Allen StJohn
Allen StJohn Dec 17, 2015

Thanks so much, Chris. I didn't acutally expect an answer right away so much as I just wanted to raise the question.
But these two tips are really smart and useful.
The one word that stood out for me: "Mindful."
Slowly and mindfully play I will.

Jeff Caldwell
Jeff Caldwell Dec 12, 2015

Love it, Chris--will you ever mix that hammered B with an open B on a different pass for variety's sake or do you settle on a way that you favor and stick with it?

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Dec 12, 2015

Jeff, I'll do either one although I'm likely to favor the hammered one because to my ear it sounds stronger. But there are no rules! For example, I can imagine playing a solo with ringing open strings almost as an theme unto itself. In that case I would probably play that B open when returning to the melody. For me it's all about context. If at any time you prefer the B to be played open, by all means have at it!

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