Chris Eldridge

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Gold Rush

Soloing Up The Neck

We're re-issuing one of Chris's most popular lessons with new sheet music, re-mastered video and updated loop points. From Chris: 

The second solo in Gold Rush employs a classic Tony Rice up-the-neck position. We'll learn a slick way to transition from open position to the 7th fret using an open string as a "pivot point." We'll also learn a few more classic open-position Tony Rice-isms.




Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:58 Breakdown of Soloing Up the Neck

Loop 5:52 A Section Solo (First Part)


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 6:14 Solo Breakdown

Loop 14:44 Closing Thoughts







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Dan Robbins
Dan Robbins Feb 09, 2021

Thanks for the great commentary, Chris! "There's an extra G and a D that you're leaving out" -- that totally decoded the timing of the up-the-neck lick for me. (Or so I think, you tell me. ;-)

I cranked the speed down here to a leisurely 70bpm. I felt like I needed to take it real slow if I was going to get through a complete take. I'm playing along to a backing track I got online ( rather than the metronome -- less pressure that way. The backing track's in A, hence the capo.

I recorded the two sections that you flagged (that hammer-on exercise was also really helpful, thank you), then I played a verse I'm working out from a Kenny Baker version (, and finally the A and B section from weeks 1 & 2.

I apologize in advance for the sharp D string. Ouch.

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Feb 09, 2021

Sounds great Dan! I loved hearing the Kenny Baker verse too! It can be so cool to bring notes and phrasing from other instruments back to the guitar. And you're really pulling a nice sound. Well done. 

The next thing I would work on is finding a nice consistent flow in your right hand between up and downstrokes. I'd be curious if you shifted the guitar just a tiny bit to your left relative to your whole body - like maybe an inch - which might allow the angle of your right forearm to be a tiny bit more horizontal. Usually with a forearm orientation that is *slightly* more horizontal than vertical, up and down strokes flow more naturally. To be clear, you're actually making a lovely, musical sound, but this would be the next place I would look for improvement. 



Robert Grunau
Robert Grunau Feb 16, 2021

That was great Dan!

Dan Robbins
Dan Robbins Feb 16, 2021

Thanks, Robert!

Dan Robbins
Dan Robbins Jan 04, 2021

Hi Chris,

Ok, first video post; first time video-recording myself, actually, and I'm stunned by how hard it was. In the end I gave up on getting all the way through it in one pass, so the three verses are separate clips back to back. Verse 3 got pretty sloppy as it went on, but I left it in.

I see I've got to work on relaxing. Part of it is finding a comfortable position -- standing, sitting, I just carry a lot of tension. Also, I've (unintentionally) started planting where I used to use more of a floating fist, and I can hear my fingers tapping the soundboard. I think I started doing this as part of learning rest strokes ("You Don't Know My Mind").

I'll be really interested to hear your comments. Gold Rush is a great tune and I've loved the progression of difficulty from lesson to lesson. And getting a window into Tony Rice harmony is just fantastic (especially this week!).

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Feb 04, 2021

Dan Robbins
Dan Robbins Dec 29, 2020

Yeah, Denny, I had wanted to do a video of me playing this and make it my first post on SJ, but this is SO sad. Fretboard Journal has a link in their Tony obit to video from the Strawberry Bluegrass Festival in 1986. At 3:25 he launches into a cookin' Gold Rush very much like what Chris is showing us (and then some):


Denny Fried
Denny Fried Dec 29, 2020

Dan, thanks for that link - that's an excellent piece on Tony, and as for the Gold Rush clip - "and then some" is right.

If you'd care to, email me at I'd like to compare notes with you on your approach to this song.


Denny Fried
Denny Fried Dec 27, 2020

As I've been working on this Tony Rice arrangement, for some reason just yesterday I started thinking about how lousy it would feel not to have Tony in this world any longer. Little did I know that that was already the reality. Tony is the only celebrity whose death could make me feel the way I do today. I'm glad that there's not another.

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