Chris Eldridge

Lesson >

Angeline the Baker

Playing on One String

Hello Everyone!

This week we’re going to working on playing on one string and one string only. This is a great exercise because it’s a lot easier to memorize and correlate the sounds of different notes to their location if you’re only dealing with one string.

I’m deliberately leaving out any mention of chord tones or theory from this lesson. I want you to intuitively learn this melody and where the notes fall and then I want to to start taking chances. Depart from what you know. Play the melody, but just a little differently. Embrace messing up and surprising yourself. If you do this you will be improvising. At it’s essence improvising is really that simple.

It requires courage to do something if you feel that you may not be doing it “right”, or you may not know everything there is to know about it how it works. Embracing this fear is the most important part of the path. We’ll talk about intellectual context via theory and chord tones later, but this step off of the cliff where you are relying on nothing but your intuition (which is your best and smartest teacher!) is the most important step.






Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Angeline The Baker


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 2:11 Breakdown of Single String Melody

Loop 12:18 Closing Thoughts and Outro





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Denny Fried
Denny Fried Sep 01, 2018

Hi Chris,

On this single-string version with the drone, is it almost all downstrokes or are you getting some upstrokes in there

on the fill-in notes? It's hard to tell on the video. And if there are upstrokes, are you getting the drone note too?


Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Sep 20, 2018

Hi Denny,

Yes, it is almost all downstrokes, but I do play upstrokes when the syncopation calls for it. For instance, at 0:08 and 0:09 when I'm playing that quick high note (F#) I'm using an upstroke. And yes, I'm striking through the 3rd string into the 4th string on those upstrokes to get the drone. 

Kip Marchetti
Kip Marchetti Aug 31, 2018

unteachable yet learnable ... improvising over a vibe ... now you're talking my language ...

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Sep 20, 2018

I know it sounds crazy, but it's true! Some of this stuff, especially the part where you can make the leap into real improvising, has to be learned by intuition. The fun starts when you begin putting the intellectual, teachable knowledge together with the intuitive knowledge.

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