advanced Eighth of January G6 tuning DGDGBE
Most people know this as the song "Battle Of New Orleans" sung by Johnny Horton. In reality it's
an old fiddle dance tune that was written as an instrumental by someone who was in that battle on that
date in 1815. Jimmy Driftwood wrote the words to it, and Johnny Horton had a big hit with it in 1959.
I recorded this beautiful tune on my "Black Key Blues" cd and over the years many people have
asked me to teach it to them. I always suggest they start with this student version first, before trying
to tackle my full blown version with all it's variations. I do have a tab & music book available for
the recorded version, but once again I suggest you start with this arrangement. It's challenging but
also very doable.
There are two parts to the tune. An "A" part and a "B" part and labeled thusly.
I suggest you learn the two "A" sections first. They are the same, except for being in two different
octaves. An important fingering happens on the (3rd measure) of line 1 (3rd beat). Your left hand middle
finger slides from the 10th fret to the 8th fret on the second string. Once there, keep your middle
finger on the 8th fret. Then make a half bar or (capo) with your index finger covering the first four
strings on the 7th (VII) fret. Keep that half bar position and the middle finger (8th fret) there until
the last note of the line. The last measure of line one starts with a pinch and roll. Master the two
"A" sections before moving on
When your ready for the "B" section, map out the bass line first.
Notice the C IX & CVII (full bars on the 9th and 7th fret) and the left hand fingering involved.
Only after this left hand fingering is understood and comfortable should you add the melody line.
Don't be put off by left hand fingering notes above the staff. They're there to help you. Any
time you see notes in tab or music regarding the fingering, take time to look at them. They'll help
make the piece less awkward, and shorten the time learning it.
Notice the third measure of line
2 and 3, and the fourth Measure of line 6 are almost identical. Notice the parallel left hand fingering
involved with these passages. On line 6 (1st measure) break down the passage in two parts by playing
the first four melody notes with their appropriate fingering, and then the last four melody notes, then
add the bass notes.
I play this piece very delicately. I think this is the kind of piece you'll
always keep in you repertoire. Good luck.
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