Chris Eldridge

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Wildwood Flower

Basic Melody

Chris Eldridge Lesson >

Wildwood Flower > Basic Melody

Wildwood Flower is one of the greatest flatpicking tunes in that it is very easy, but it is just such a beautiful melody and simple song that it never gets old (to me, anyway). This week we're going to look and learn at the song in it's most basic incarnation.





Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chris Eldridge
Wildwood Flower
Carter Family
Lester Flatt
Earl Scruggs

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Wildwood Flower Melody


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 1:47 What You Will Learn This Week

Loop 3:17 Breakdown of Wildwood Flower Melody

Loop 13:35 Closing Thoughts





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Mike Mar 10, 2019

I need insight with this on how to move forward as I've given it plenty of practice-time and well it's not where I want it to be.

Torgeir Jorem
Torgeir Jorem Mar 16, 2019

Check out carter-style, where you strum lightly on the brightest (maybe two, three our four of them, I'm not sure what is the ''right way'), between the melody/flatpicking. Seems like a good way' for you since you got the melody good! Left hand doing exactly the same.


Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Apr 01, 2019

Hi Mike,

I notice 2 things immediately:

1) your right arm is oriented more vertically than horizontally.

With that sort or orientation your wrist is barely able to contribute to a pick stroke because what would normally be an up-down movement of your wrist is now functionally more side to side relative to the strings. Try dropping your arm a little lower around the side of the guitar so that your forearm can be more horizontal. Check the video of me playing it at the top of the lesson for an example of what I mean. 

2) There is very little movement in your wrist. 

This makes sense to me because of the orientation of your forearm that I noted above. I think that once you adjust the angle with which your right arm is addressing the guitar a lot of things will get better. I will make a video describing all of this later in the day when I have a guitar accessible. 

We’ll get to the bottom of it!

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Apr 01, 2019

Rémy Dec 10, 2017

Hi Chris,

thanks for that lesson.

Does it happen to you to alternate Up/Down strokes when playing double stops on a faster tune ?

I say that because I saw a lesson on YT for "the man of constant sorrow" and the guy was playing up/down strokes on fast double stops on the intro. A bit hard to play for me for the moment.

Thank you for you answer :)


Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Dec 10, 2017

Hi Rémy,

Yes, I definitely would do that, depending on the tempo and if I were playing 16th notes. 



Rémy Dec 10, 2017

Thanks a lot Chris :)

Kip Marchetti
Kip Marchetti Apr 27, 2016

Thank you Chris ... I see what you mean about the 2 extra beats. I can fix that. Yes it is a really fun song to play and addictive ... I plan on playing this for the rest of my days. I'm looking forward to your future Wildwood Flower lesson(s). Ps ... I saw you throw what appeared to be an Em7 .. Am combination or something like it in at one point in your intro ... I obviously didn't nail that but threw it in too ... I honestly expected you to say ... Uhhhhmm No. Hopefully, in a future lesson you eplain exactly what you did there. Thanks again.

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Apr 27, 2016

Yes, good observation. C - E7 - Am - C7 - F. We'll get into that in a few weeks!

Kip Marchetti
Kip Marchetti Apr 26, 2016

I'll throw this one on here ... I probably wouldn't have until you said, "you never have to be totally exact with anything ... it's music". Might be the sweetest words I've ever heard ... so far ... even though you probably didn't mean it.  I'd like to play the song like you did in your intro but you throw a lot of curves and variations out there so I'll put this Lesson 1 short version of mine up ... not toally exact. 


Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Apr 27, 2016

Kip, ha! Wildwood Flower is a great tune to play, isn't it? And your not totally exact version is lovely!  There's just one thing that I need to correct: in the B part you are adding 2 extra beats on the 1 chord after you return from the 4 (See 0:24 and 0:53). You'll want to straighten that out if you ever plan on playing this with anyone else. Otherwise, sounding good. 😎

Mark Wm Smith
Mark Wm Smith May 05, 2016

Thanks for your comment on my post, Kip. I appreciate it. Nice job, here, as well. One of the hardest parts of playing, in my humble opinion, is relaxing and letting the music flow. After I get a tune "down" I spend most of my time trying to let the fingers do the talking, not thinking much about precision-- otherwise, it can fall apart pretty quickly. Keep up the great work!


Bryan Mabe
Bryan Mabe Apr 24, 2016

Can you tell us about that Guitar? Brazilian? 1 3/4" nut is what that one looks like? Thanks, I can't tell what it is based on the logo at the headstock?

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Apr 24, 2016

Hey Bryan, that guitar was made by a great luthier from Osaka, Japan named Hiroshi Suda. It was my main live Punch Brothers guitar for the last few years. I have a K&K Pure Mini pickup installed in it. The back and sides are made of Honduran rosewood, and the nut is 1 3/4". The neck is massive on this guitar (which I like). It sounds really good, plays great, and is has been a really reliable tool.

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