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Black Mountain Rag – Doc Watson

Doc WatsonBlack Mountain Rag was the first fiddle tune that Doc Watson put to flat picking guitar back in the 50′s.

This piece is not particularly difficult, however it does require speed and precision. It is played with a capo on the 2nd fret, which makes it considerably easier to play.

There is an eight bar section marked “chicken picken”. This requires that as you play the down strokes you allow the edge of your thumb to brush the strings after the pick, thus creating a harmonic effect.

Listen to Doc Watson play Black Mountain Rag on Youtube

Tuxguitar tab: Black Mountain Rag – Doc Watson

Posted in My Music.


In Christ There Is No East Or West – Leo Kottke

Leo KottkeTaken from his 1972 album Greenhouse I learned this piece from memory some time in the late 80′s, thus its by no means a note for note transcription.

This is a relatively easy piece to play, however it sounds fantastic on either six or twelve string guitar.

Anything marked as a down stroke should be arpeggiated. Bass and treble notes grabbed on the seventh fret should be slid down to the third fret – there is no way to notate this in Tuxguitar without it sounding like a strangled cat. For the slow section you should play with taste and vary the tempo. The second section should be accelerated as you are transitioning the repeat.

Download the tab: In Christ There Is No East Or West

Posted in My Music.


Gambler’s Yodel – Doc Watson

Doc WatsonThis is one of those “Some fella stole my girl” songs from the amazing Doc Watson.

Download the Tuxguitar tab here: Gambler’s Yodel

Gambler’s Yodel – Doc Watson

Pretty mama’s gone, she went away from me
Lord I think she’s gone to sunny Tennessee
Oh lord that woman she gonna be the death of me
Oooh hooo yayee heee she’ll be the death of me

When my baby went she left me in the rain
Talk about your trouble, talk about your pain
Had to listen to the whistle on that lonesome train
Yeee heee yayee heee Lord on that lonesome train

Well the lightning flashed and the thunder it did roll
The lightning flashed and the thunder it did roll
Just like this trouble that’s rolling through my soul
Yeee heee yayee heee have mercy on my soul

There comes a time when a gambler’s luck is gone
And when it comes he better leave them dice alone
Some dirty rounder took my woman and my money and gone
Yeee heee yayee heee he took my woman and gone

Posted in My Music.


Vestapol – Wendy Holman

Wendy Holman was my first and only guitar teacher way back in the 70′s. Wendy gave me some pretty tough assignments which served to lift my playing to the next level. Wendy Holman

I recall going to Wendy’s house eager to show off a new tune I had learned, Vestapol. Wendy took this tune and vamped it up, laid it down on a cassette tape for me to take home and learn by ear. This transcription is by no means a transcription of Wendy’s playing, but rather a transcription of my own (warts and all) as learned from Wendy’s playing, thus she deserves all the credit.

Please visit Wendy’s website Fingerstyle Productions

Vestapol is a “train song” that has been around forever. It’s exact origins are not known, however Stefan Grossman claims that it was originally played by ladies in Boston parlours. This is quite a simple piece to play, but its fun and you can vamp to your heart’s content. Listen to the bell clang, the train whistle blow and the wheels jumping on the joints…..

Download the Tuxguitar tab for Vestapol

Posted in My Music.


Nickel Blues – Johnny Winter

Johnny WinterTaken from Johnny Winter’s “White, Hot and Blue” album and accompanied on piano by his brother Edgar Winter.

Johnny flat picks this on a guitar with super dead bass strings, however this piece sounds just fine with regular strings and unaccompanied. You can always use palm muting if you want.

This is not a note for note transcription, but rather how I play it after a great many years. I have inserted the chords just so you know the inversions you are playing around, not that you should attempt to grab them.

Download the Tuxguitar tab here: Nickel Blues – Johnny Winter

You can hear the original on Youtube

Nickel Blues – Johnny Winter

(Oh yeah, go ahead now)

Sometime I feel so evil it hurt my mind to think
(Yeah that’s bad man)
Sometime I get so evil, you know it hurt my mind to think
(Ha ha)
Sometime I get so weary you know it hurt my feet to stink
(That’s bad news too)

You know I get to wonderin’, people should I go or stay
Well get to wonderin’, should I go or should I stay
Sometimes I feel it don’t matter anyway
(Yeah you know what I’m talkin’ about)

Seems like there ain’t no reason for me feelin’ so damn blue
Can’t get no satisfaction, I don’t care what I do
Seem like there ain’t no reason for me feelin’ so damn blue
(Yes that’s true now)
I can’t get no satisfaction, baby, I don’t care what I do
(Yeah, I don’t care, man, let me hear some)

(Go ahead, Ed)

I believe I’ll pack my suitcase, throw a nickel in the air
(I’m gonna throw it high too, man, just like me)
I believe I’ll pack my suitcase, throw a nickel in the air
(Yeah)
And it come down tails I’m gonna get mine out of here
(Yes it’s about time to move on, man)

(Gotta watch them tails)
(Yeah)

Posted in My Music.


Moonlight In Your Eyes – Matti Ressler

Matti With Martin D41This was the first song that I ever wrote, when I was about nineteen. I was playing a lot of ragtime at that time and while this is not ragtime, the style is from that era. Amazingly, it only took me about twenty minutes to write, music and lyrics.

Download the tab here: Moolight In Your Eyes

Moonlight In Your Eyes – Matti Ressler

Sweetheart… the girl of my dreams
If you could look into my heart… you’d know what it means
I’d like you to know…. if it doesn’t show
That I’m in love with you

Walkin’…. you home in the night
I wished that I could kiss you… and hold you tight
What could it be? When you smiled at me…
And there was moonlight in your eyes

Feeling… the way that I do
I find myself just dreamin’…. about me and you
I hope there can be… more than just these memories
Of moonlight in your eyes

Sweetheart…. the girl of my dreams
If you could look into my heart… you’d know what it means
I’d like you to know…. if it doesn’t show
That I’m in love with you
I’m in love with you…..
I am so in …….. love

Posted in My Music.


Sitting On Top Of The World – Doc Watson

Doc WatsonThis is one of those fabulous open tuning (D) tunes with which you can vamp to your heart’s content. I learned this from the playing of Doc Watson, however don’t expect it to be a note for note transcription of one of his recordings (I simply do not do that).

I have transcribed the intro, two solos and four verses as I play them. For down strokes marked in the tablature as a strum I use the top of my fingernail of the third finger of my picking hand and just kinda give the strings a flick downwards.

Download the Tuxguitar tab here: Sitting On Top Of The World

Sitting On Top Of The World – Doc Watson

Was in the spring… one sunny day
My Sweetheart she left me… Lord she went away
Now she’s gone…. I don’t worry
I’m sitting on top of the world

I went down to the station…. down to the yard
Gonna catch me a freight train… I been workin’ too hard
Now she’s gone…. I don’t worry
I’m sitting on top of the world

Well she called me up… down in El Paso
Said “Come back daddy…. ooh I need you so”
Now she’s gone…. I don’t worry
I’m sitting on top of the world

You don’t like my peaches… don’t you shake my tree
Get out of my orchard… leave them peaches be
Now she’s gone…. I don’t worry
I’m sitting on top of the world

Don’t you come here runnin’… holding out your hand
Gonna get me a woman… like you got your man
Now she’s gone…. I don’t worry
I’m sitting on top of the world

Well the ol’ Mississippi…. she’s deep and wide
And the girl I’m a lovin’…. she’s on the other side
Now she’s gone…. I don’t worry
I’m sitting on top of the world

Was in the spring… one sunny day
My Sweetheart she left me… Lord she went away
Now she’s gone…. I don’t worry
I’m sitting on top of the world

Posted in My Music.


The Fisherman – Leo Kottke

Soon after I purchased my first guitar, an Ibanez 12 string, I found myself with Leo Kottke’s 6 & 12 String Guitar album. I spent a great many hours listening to this album, but of course I couldn’t play anything on it as I had only just begun learning guitar. Leo Kottke
Many years later I recalled this tune from the album, one of my favourites. My playing had greatly improved by then and I learned to play this entirely from memory as I no longer had the album. My memory failing me somewhat, the second section is slightly different to how Leo plays it. I had a listen to his version recently and decided that I preferred my own and thus that is what I have transcribed.

This piece is not particularly difficult technically, however it sounds fantastic. You should learn to play it quite slowly at first to train your muscle memory and later work on bringing it up to speed.

Download the Tuxguitar tab here: The Fisherman

Posted in My Music.


Both Sides Now – Randy Scruggs

This is taken from an arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now by Randy Scruggs on the amazing “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” triple album.
Randy Scruggs
This is in open G tuning. Most notes falling on the beat should be arpeggiated (yes, you can arpeggiate a single bass and single melody note together!).

I actually won the “Best Instrumental” award for playing this at the Gloucester Country Music Festival in the mid 90′s.

Download the Tuxguitar tab: Both Sides Now

Posted in My Music.


Just A Dream – Dutch Tilders

Dutch Tilders This is a piece I learned many years ago from the playing of the legendary Dutch Tilders. I first heard Dutch playing live at Canberra’s “Sunday In The Park” in the mid 70′s, along with the fabulous Robyn Archer.

Originally by Big Bill Broonzy, this song beautifully captures the vicissitudes of life.

Download the tux guitar tab here: Just A Dream

Just A Dream – Dutch Tilders

It was just a dream… yes what a dream I had on my mind
It was just a dream… yes what a dream I had on my mind
But when I woke up…. not a thing there could I find

Well I dreamt that I was in heaven, having me a real good time
And I was just so lovely, there was nothing to worry my mind
But that was just a dream…. yes what a dream I had on my mind
Cos when I woke up… not an angel could I find

I dreamt I was rich and famous, ridin’ around in a limousine
And I was chauffeur driven by the prettiest little thing you ever seen
But that was just a dream…. yes what a dream I had on my mind
Cos when I woke up… catchin’ a train one more time

I dreamt I was playing poker, I played the police too
I dreamt I won me so much money that I just didn’t know what to do
But that was just a dream…. yes what a dream I had on my mind
Cos when I woke up… not a penny could I find

I dreamt I was at this party, having me a real good time
I had a little girl in each arm and they were both feeding me beer and wine
But that was just a dream…. yes what a dream I had on my mind
Cos when I woke up… not a drink there could I find

And I dreamt that I got married, started me a family
I dreamt that I had ten children and they all looked just like me
But that was just a dream…. yes what a dream I had on my mind
Cos when I woke up… not a child there looked like mine…….

Posted in My Music.