Chris Eldridge

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Is It Too Late Now?

Performance and Rhythm

We've talked a bit about "swing" and "the funk" in bluegrass, but this week we're diving into a song that has it in spades: Flatt and Scruggs', "Is It Too Late Now." Flatt and Scruggs were an incredible band. Led by Lester Flatt's soulful, fun vocal delivery and boss guitar playing, and Earl Scruggs' titanic inventiveness and virtuosity, they were the first bluegrass band that really had a tight, distinctive band-sound. Listen to this track for the deep groove and hop that Lester's guitar provides. And of course, take a complete pass (or 30) listening to Earl's backup. He's constantly playing cool, unexpected, perfect accompaniment. So good.






Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chris Eldridge
Lester Flatt
Earl Scruggs
Is It Too Late Now?

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Is It Too Late Now?


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 3:02 Breakdown of Rhythm

Loop 9:48 Closing Thoughts





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Zach Aug 28, 2018

Hey Chris! Here's my stab at "Is it Too Late Now." I went ahead and learned your intro, as well as the 2 breaks you included in the video. I feel pretty confident in terms of getting the notes right and keeping my pick direction correct, but still struggle a bit when it comes to maintaining groove and swing when I'm acompanying myself while singing. Also curious if you have any feedback in temrs of tone/mechanics/groove. I do feel like my fretting hand is working a little too hard, if that makes sense, and I could be more efficient there.

Bryn Cunningham
Bryn Cunningham Aug 31, 2018

Dang, Zach, that was fantastic! Sep 09, 2018

That was great Zach, I really liked it.  Great singing and playing.


Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Sep 20, 2018

Zach, you sound absolutely great! Well done! Guitar playing sounded great throughout and special mention for your singing, which is killer. Just a couple of thoughts on rhythm guitar: 

I get the feeling listening down that you are trying to hold the tempo to a consistent BPM, particularly when you're singing. It feels a little tight somehow. It's ok to let the music breathe a little bit. You are good enough that you can surrender some of that need to control. If the tempo moves a bit, I think it'll be ok and the performance, which was already quite good, will probably gain a more open, relaxed vibe. Relatedly, don't feel like you need to be hemmed into a rhythm guitar "part". There are different things you could do at any given time. What you are doing is nice, but again, try surrendering a touch of control.

Secondly, you might try being a little more dynamic throughout, but particularly in your accents between vocal phrases. Don't be afraid to really lean into the guitar to make those moments pop. Also, at the beginning and ends of solos, you can make them stand out a bit more with a slightly more extroverted dynamic. It would be easy to go overboard with this so use your own good judgement. 

Zach Sep 21, 2018

Chris, thanks so much for the feedback. I totally get what you're saying, and it's SUPER helpful to think about. I really hadn't even been thinking about dyanmics, and that's a great thing for me to start working on. Really appreciate it!

Kip Marchetti
Kip Marchetti Oct 05, 2016

Another beauty I've never heard before .... I've lived such a sheltered life LOL. 

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