Chris Eldridge

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Nashville Blues


Norman's Melody

This week we're going to learn how Norman Blake plays the melody on Nashville Blues. As we learned last week, Nashville Blues has 3 big phrases. The first phrase is pretty close to the melody, but it's played with a little bit of impressionism. That is to say, it's hard to pin point every single note but easy to capture the overall melody. With each subsequent phrase Norman gets further from the sung melody but, paradoxically what he is playing becomes clearer from a note for note standpoint.

Take your time, strive for tone and pick it solid!

Chris

 

 

 

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Bluegrass
Norman Blake
Nashville Blues
Chris Eldridge

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Nasville Blues Melody

 

Download the Sheet Music PDF

 

Loop 0:17 Norman Blake's Artistic Approach

Loop 1:50 Breakdown of Melody

Loop 17:17 Slow Practce Loop

Loop 17:42 Closing Thoughts

 

 

 

Comments

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Darren
Darren Sep 29, 2016

 how's this?

Darren
Darren Sep 29, 2016

 any better?

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Sep 29, 2016

Totally! Now, we're into subjective stylistic coaching at this point, but for the last little bit of Norman feel try aiming for 80% of the new approach and 20% of the old. Norman's feel could be considered a "straight-swing." 

Darren
Darren Sep 27, 2016

 Hey Chris. Loving the songs! Great lesson.

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Sep 28, 2016

Hey Darren, sounds good! One suggestion - Norman has kind of a straightness to his swing. Maybe try playing it again, and stay as physically loose, but try focusing on keeping the feel a bit straighter. 

Cheers,

Chris

John Dunn
John Dunn Mar 20, 2016

Great lesson Chris! thanks in advance for feedback. Will be at the show w/ Julian on Tuesday in Richmond, can't wait!  

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Mar 27, 2016

John, good job! There's one problem at the beginning where you're adding one extra 16th note before the first E note.

You're using slurs for almost the entire last phrase. Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with that, but slurs are often best deployed as a way to accent a line. To that end, try getting it so you can pick all of the notes in the last line without any slurs. Then when you can do that try mixing them in to see the subtle way that they can color the phrase.

John Dunn
John Dunn Sep 05, 2016

Hey Chris I don't seem to be able to reply to your comment, and I know this is much delayed but thanks for the feedback! Working on the 'slurless' ending definitely helped getting into the first and second solos. thanks! 

James McCann
James McCann Mar 17, 2016

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Mar 27, 2016

Hey James, if it feels better for you to keep your fingers out, by all means go for it! I actually put my fingers out sometimes too depending on how I'm feeling. The only rule is that if you notice that something that you are doing is causing tension, then don't do it! Find another way. So if for you, tucking your ring finger and pinky under cause you tension then set them free.

Re playing, you are pulling a robust powerful tone which is great. It all sounds and looks good until the last phrase which jumps ahead a touch (maybe a 16th early?) and also loses the groove a bit. Watch your video again and notice how your whole being tenses up for that last phrase. Your right arm and hand tense up, but also your face tenses up quite a bit which tells me that that part is something that you're not as comfortable with. So try playing it very slowly 10 times (preferably along with my video at 50%), making sure that you know the part. While you are doing this, be mindful of any tension in your body and mind. If you tense up, just acknowledge it and keep going. Eventually if you keep acknowledging it, the tension somehow becomes disarmed. Gradually bring it back up to speed.

 
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