Chris Eldridge

Lesson >

Nine Pound Hammer

Doc Watson Style Solo

Doc Watson is the King of Flatpicking. For all intents and purposes, he invented the style and when he picked we heard a beautiful and joyous sound. In addition to his innovations with a flatpick, Doc was a GREAT fingerpicker as well.





Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chris Eldridge
Tony Rice
Norman Blake
Doc Watson
Nine Pound Hammer

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Doc Watson Style Solo


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 0:27 Breakdown of Doc Watson Style Solo

Loop 16:00 Slow Practice Loop of Doc Watson Style Solo

Loop 16:40 Practice Loop of Doc Watson Style Solo

Loop 17:02 Closing Thoughts and Outro





Log in to leave a comment

Kip Marchetti
Kip Marchetti Jul 11, 2016

I think someday speed will come for me or at least increase ...  I guess it is expected on a lot of these songs but for the time being I'm pleased with the progress.


Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jul 19, 2016

Kip, well done! And it sounds like you got the "Doc-like" essence of those phrases in the way you're playing it. One thing: you're adding an extra beat on the C chord at around 0:15. Iron that out and you'll be good to go.

John Robinson
John Robinson Jul 07, 2016

Hi Chris,

    Once again, thanks for a great lesson. Always interesting to get inside the mind of Doc a little bit. Here is my attempt at it... I had some trouble with the backwards rolls, as I just haven't done a lot of that. I worked on the rolls a bunch on their own with a metronome, starting way down at 60bpm and really trying to stay loose (easier said than done).  Any other tips, especially as far as right hand technique, would be great. I think initially I was using just wrist motion to get the pick to each string, instead of using a bit of elbow to get the pick in a proper position to hit the string... Kind of hard to explain but hopefully that makes sense. I guess that's a bad habit I didn't realize I had picked up.

    Trying to keep the "swing" feeling at this speed was a little tough but I tried my best.

    Also please don't mind my lazy dog in the background. He does not care about Doc Watson.



Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jul 11, 2016

John, I think you've hit the nail on the head - the elbow can't be locked out of the equation. Especially in Doc Watson's technique the elbow was a huge part of the mechanism to get that particular sound. 

The practice paid off and you sound really good! Something to work on might be getting a little more dynamic contour in your lines. Particulay the last long descending line sounds a little straight. It's subtle, but see if you can make it all, but that last line in particular, dance a little more. 


Login popup sm Login popup banner

Member Log In

Forgot your password? Click here

New To Sonic Junction?

See Sign Up Info >

Popup close
Login popup sm

New To Sonic Junction?

Try 2 Lessons Free

Popup close