A group I have been playing with does a bunch of old hymns in BlueGrass or what I’ll call old country style. I decided I needed to have simple little breaks in mind for them. The first one I sat down to work on was for the verse of “Where we never grow old” as done by Johnny Cash. In about 10 or 15 minutes I had a melodic little break that I thought went with the song ok. I started adding some licks to it, but real quick it was getting to where I might not remember it later and I’d have to practice it to keep it in good shape. So I pared it back down to about where it sits (in the last few days I removed one other lick). To be honest, I like playing this simple little break quite a bit. It’s nice to have a simple break that I don’t have to work on a great deal and I can just enjoy making music. Sometimes I forget that I don’t have to do something difficult to enjoy making music. I thought some others out there might enjoy it as well.
I thought it’s suitable for intermediate players as it sits. Beginners might need to simplify a section or two, but it’s pretty straightforward (if anyone needs help with that, just let me know). Of course, advanced players can add as many notes as they wish.
A couple of notes. I am not great with Tabledit, my apologies in advance. Maybe I’ll learn some Tabledit tricks in the process. The note length value is off a bit on some of the hammerons and such, but I wanted to display the notes I am playing for the melody. You can get the phrasing from the attached MP3. For the lick at the end of measure 14, it is a muted rake for the first three notes. I used the rasgueado effect in tabledit as it sounded closer than any other I found, and it did give some indication it wasn’t normally picked. Of course if someone wants to break out their flamenco chops, go for it. For the double stops in measures 5 and 13 you slide your index finger around on the B string. The index finger does the hammer on for the last beat of the preceding measure, and then just slides around to play the melody. Also, in general, I am lightly strumming the chord structure that I am pulling the notes out of. I didn’t try to tab that except when there were long breaks (I thought it would just be confusing). In general, let the notes ring as much you can. For example at the very end you wind up making a neat A9 chord just by picking out the notes of the melody. Sorry that I couldn’t describe all that well in the tablature itself.
Here’s the song by Mr. Cash: