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beginning "Spike Driver Blues"

 
This has been a favorite song of many blues enthusiasts.  I first heard it from John Hurt, who wrote it , and secondly by Doc Watson.  It's been well documented in books, the ones that come to mind are,"Fingerpicking Styles for Guitar" by Happy Traum and "The Songs of Doc Watson".  Both are printed by Oak publications, and I think are excellent books.    When I got that syncopated train sound down, I drove everyone around me crazy for about two years because it's all I played!!  The song is really just one chord and its variations.  The G, G7, G7/D.
  Notice that the bass line is alternating 6, 4 throughout the whole first line and then changes to 6, 4, 5, 4 in the first measure of the 2nd line.  My left hand pinky does most of the melody, working its way across the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd strings, third fret.   Watch out for the bass line on line one, measures 3 and 4.  The middle finger of the left hand moves over to the 4th string 2nd fret, this is indicated by the 2 above the staff.  Practice the second measure before this syncopated section starts.  Go from measure 2 to 3  20 times or so. Remember, work slowly, listen to the MP3's, and work on making smooth transitions between the different sections. Then try and finish off that last measure on line one.  Hint:  The last two beats of line 1 are "pinch and roll".  Also, measure 1 and 2 of line one and measure 3 and 4 of line three are identical.  
  There is an alternative second ending that I stole from another song coming up in a later session, called "Baby Please Don't Go".  To this day, I think it's one of the coolest blues licks and endings ever.  Hopefully you'll start seeing similarities in a lot of these tunes and songs.



TABULATURE
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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 to work on this session!
Green Green Rocky Road  (intermediate)
Colored Aristocracy   (advanced)
Tune Directory

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