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intermediate   Saturday Night Shuffle


I learned this Merle Travis tune when I was twelve years old. Not enough can be said about Merle Travis.  He was a true genius and virtuoso, who not only wrote great instrumentals, but also classic songs like "Sixteen Tons" and "Dark as a Dungeon".  

    Saturday Night Shuffle is a very memorable tune that's stayed with me ever since I learned it, and I also think it taught me a lot about playing the guitar. For one thing, it introduced me to the wrap around F chord. That's when you wrap your left hand thumb around the neck and fret the 6th string on the first fret.  It's a nice way to introduce the F chord because you don't have to cover the 1st string first fret like you usually do with a F chord.  Most everybody, including myself, has trouble making the wrap around F chord in the beginning. Eventually you'll have to be able to cover both the first and second string first fret with your index finger to master the F chord. So this is a nice way to introduce this chord.

The other thing that will be introduced is the "triplet". Playing the triplet has it's own feel and sound. I suggest you listen to the recording a few times and identify the four times when the triplet occurs in this tune. You'll see a bracket with the number 3 above the staff on top of the three notes needed to play a triplet. Notice that the first two triplets are exactly the same.  Isolate and practice getting the triplets down, then back up and add the notes leading up to the triplet.  

Another part of the tune I enjoy playing is going from the D9 chord to the G chord with the D note(2nd string 3rd fret) on top.  This is a fun resolution that brings you into that great C7 to Fdim measure.  Don't be afraid to dig into this piece.



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MP3s....a fast and slow
version. Listen to the fast
version a few times to
get the feel of the tune.
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More tunes!

Girl From The North Country
Saturday Night Shuffle
One Way Gal
Tune Directory

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