Chris Eldridge

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Cherokee Shuffle

Introduction, Chords and Passing Chords

Hello Fellow Flatpickers!

We’ve got a new tune to start working on this week: Cherokee Shuffle. It comes from a great Alabama fiddler named Tommy Jackson. Mr. Jackson played a slightly more crooked version than I’m showing you. His form was AAB rather than the AABB from that I’m showing you, but if you ever jam this tune with another person it is almost guaranteed that they will play the AABB form. That said, if you’re so inclined you should listen to Tommy Jackson’s version. Some of the notes will be different but it will be clearly identifiable as the same tune. But I digress….

Cherokee Shuffle is in the key of A and the chords move pretty quickly, but they are super satisfying musically. It’s fun to play both the melody and to improvise over this song. I think the structure of the chords have a lot to do with that. In this lesson I’ll point a couple of passing chords that help move the tune along.






Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Cherokee Shuffle


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 2:14 Breakdown of Cherokee Shuffle

Loop 15:55 Closing Thoughts

Loop 16:55 Practice Loop of Rhythm





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Kip Marchetti
Kip Marchetti Jul 04, 2017

I've looked at this 100's of times. Studied it and learned most of it (I think) except the majority of what I assume is Chris improvising which is fun to try and play also. Fun for the entire family. Happy 4th of July everyone ... be safe.


James Macklin
James Macklin Jun 07, 2017

Hi Chris, I'll obviously be looking forward to properly working on the melody to this tune and all, but I just wanted you to meet my new friend! I recorded some rhythm and then played it back. I thought you might appreciate the axe! BTW the exclamation at the end is due to a) there not being any terrifying clunkers and b) i had taken about 5 or 6 passes at it and almost all of them had been interrupted by beeping alerts on my computer or phone calls!

Kip Marchetti
Kip Marchetti Jun 10, 2017

Great pickin' James but tell me about your new friend. What do you have there - looks and sounds sweet.


James Macklin
James Macklin Jun 10, 2017

Thanks so much Kip! It's kinda hard to tell from the vid but it's a Santa Cruz Tony Rice model. It's an absolutely killer guitar and I've been lusting after it for a while. Such an incredilbe sound and a dream to play. Words can't fully express how much I love it!

Kip Marchetti
Kip Marchetti Jun 13, 2017

Oh man - congratulations - it's a beauty and sounds great. Thanks for sharing.

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jun 20, 2017

James, you sound great! And so does your new guitar! It really has that robust, powerful midrange that the best SCTRs have. Congrats - I think you got a really good one!

Allen StJohn
Allen StJohn Jun 02, 2017

That guitar sounds absolutely heavenly. Tell us more, please, Chris.

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jun 05, 2017

Why thank you Allen! It's an old 1935 000-18. I love it!

James Macklin
James Macklin Jun 07, 2017

Gorgeous guitar. You're getting quite the collection of vintage Martins!

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