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ol Exacltranscriptions by the 24 tunesand breaks guitari$.Complete tegendary on analvsis andinstruction picking unique Claience's technique, syncopation, style.



musical Plusa complete biographv, discographv,.and, belore-puolrsneo manynever photos. In standard notation andtablature. Barenberg. BV Russ OakPublications/$4.95

M7 -871642 qC591 1978


by RussBarenberg

Oak Publicationi Ne*Yort. London. Tokvo. Svdnev' Colosne

4 Introduction 5 Musical Biography 9 Musical Style II Notation and Temt f2 IntroductoryInstruction 12 Syncopation l3 Pick Direction and the Rieht Hand Crosspicking 16 18 Alalyzing a Phrase 20 TheMusic 20 A Life of Sorrow 22 MountainDew 24 No Title Yet Blues 25 Rugle Call Rag 27 Farewell Blues 30 Joh Henry 32 Sally Goodin(1964) 35 SallyGoodin(1973) 36 Billy i the Lowground 40 Listen to the Mockingbird 43 Nine PounilEammer 48 I'maPilgim 5l BarefootNetlie 52 SheikofAruby 54 New River Truin 56 Soldier's,Ioy 58 Joy The NewSoldier's 60 JuliusFinkbtuei Rag 62 AlabamoJubilee 64 If You'rcEver GonnaLoveMe 66 DarkHollow 68 Backup 68 I'm a Ptlgim '71 Discography

to havefallenright out of whoseplayingseems a musician Oncein a whlle you run across people. Whitewasone of those the clearblue sky. Clarence in a as a lead instruanent wasamongthe fiIst to usethe guitar extensively Clarence the he absorbed and transcende'd approach, band.Wjth an incrediblyrcfreshing bluegEss flatpicking pre<xi.ljng of bluegra.s style. In the fifties. what little lead guitar playingthat was done waslairly stmightforward that and phmses by steadyruns,with melodies rhythmically.lt wasusuallycharacterized recordd did not differ significantlyfrom thoseheardon the mandolinor fiddle. Don Reno some flatpickingsolosand GeorgeShuffler frequentlyplayedguitar brcak v/ith the emeryed with his distinctjveand inflrrential Around 1961,Doc Watson StanleyBrothers. AlthoughDoc'splayingwasalways style of flatpickingon fiddle tunesand country songs. lioks,and musicallvdelightfulto boot, his phrasing full of dazzling technicallyamazing, or unusual. wasnevertoo complicated in the earlysixties,introducedmuch his own way ofplaying bluegrass evolving Clarence, guitar and to the music in general He greaterrhythmic and melodic flexibility to the musicaleffectsthat fit the guitar like a gloveand wjth them addeda new discovered any ofits strengthor drive.His freshperspectives without sacrificing to bluegruss dimension picke$ and established the guitar as a possibilities lbr future openedup a wealth of preeminent one of today's Tony Rice, workableand effectivesolo instrumentin bluegrass. " as "the greatest describes Clarence guitarplayers, unrcservedly bluegnss instructiontnd background, along with transcliptions, complete This book contains important bluegrass you most some ofClarence's to appreciate that wil! help commentary guitarplaying.

Bom in Mainein 1944,Clarcnce was surrounded by music ftom the beginning. His heritage wasmainly FrenchCanadian and in his father'sfamily of seventeen childrenthere wasno shortage ofmusicians.Edc White Sr. washimslfa pretty fair fiddler and playedthe tenor banjo, harmonicaand guitar as well. Clarence's mother often enjoyedCountry Westem records and radio programs and Roland(six year older than Clarence) waspicking the mandolinfrom the time his Littlebrother wasold enoughto remember_ It's no wonder that by the time Clarence wassix yearsold he wasstrummingthe ukuleleand withn a yeals play coupleof could simpleguitaraccompaniment to his father aid brother.Even beforehe wasbig enoughto get his armsaroundthe guitar,he would strum the strings while Rolandnoted it for him at the other end. The family left Mainefor Califomiain 1954,but not beforethe youngmite brothe6, includingmiddlebrotherEdc on tenor banjo,had t ed their hand at perfoming. playing standardcountry numberslike "Raglime Arlnie," "Golden Slippers,"..RubberDolly,' and "Under the DoubleEagle,"they had madeseveral local Grange Hall and talent show appearances. Soonafter arrivingin Claifomiathey entred a talent showon radio srarlon KXLA, Pasadena. Their renditionswon the fledglinggroup (then callingthemselves The Country Boys)a spot on television and got them involvedin the local country musicscene. At that point Clarence wasjust playingvery simplecountry backupwith no runs. Then in 1955 Rolandgot ahold of his first bluegrass record,a singleof Bill Monroe doing "Pike County Breakdown."That musicreally grabbed thet attentionand lrom then on the Whitesbcame bluegrass addicts. Clarence began to pick up the detailsand subtleties of bluegmss-style backup.Rolandrecalls him noticing the c run on Monrce'srecording of "Love Letter in the Sand."He wasoff and running. "Uncle Pen" and on MacWiseman's The brothe.splayedand listenedto asmuch bluegrass aspossible and in 1958,whenBilly joined Ray Latham up with them on the 5-string banjo,they had a chance to staf working out realbluegrass materialasa group.The Country Boys,with Edc now on bass, played local radio programs, Country shows whatever they could get and by 1959-1960were appearing at the Ash Grovein Los Angeles. Clarcnce cultivatedand solidifiedhis ythm guitarplayingin thoseyeals. Throughoutthat periodhe wasexposed to flatpickedleadguitar.He wasexc'tedby Don guitarbreakson "Country Boy Rook and Roll." He and Rolandhad recoralings Reno's of the StanleyBrctherswith GeorgeShuffler and every Saturdaynight they watchedJoe Maphis(who, amongother things,wasa lightningfast flatpicker)on television. In fact, Joe and his wife RoseLeebecame pretty good friendsof the family and werea welcoor souroe ofencouragement to the boys in thefumusical endeavo$. Oddly enough, thoughClarence neverliked to fingerpick,he wasvery impressd guitarplayingat that with Earl Scruggs' time. Scruggs often playedbluesybreaks on gospel songs with a rolling three-finger style much like his banjoplaying.As Rolandputs it: "Earl Scruggs wasthe one thing that really tumed us on to someguitarplaying.Clarcnce liked the syncopation got . . . he that Scruggs thoughtit wasrcal nice." Clarence himselfdidn't stafi playingleadsuntil arcund 1959,but all alonghe'd kept his earsopento a lot of music.Bill Monroewasone ofhjs favorites. He wasexcitedby Jesse McReynolds'scrosspicking on the mandolin, and he liked Merle Tmvis's intncare fingerpicking. He alwaysenjoyedrock and roll almostasmuch asbluegrass and,desprre Roland'spleato spendtheir moneyon bluegass records, Clarence and Eic woulalgo our and buy the latestreleass by FatsDomino,ElvisPresley and ChuckBerry. But the music both Clarenc and Rolandadmiredmost wasprobablythat ofthe Flatt and Scruggs band. They werepolished but retaineda deepfeelingfor the music.Rolandrecalls:.'Claronce

trood thoughllhatFarlscrug g ' a n d Un t le J o s h I s Cru g greal s..d o b ro p la y e rlh ad thil eg reatest|ee|lng u5 To logelher' well *i'|.tt'l thougrl He ofanybod] music lbr t""t"t"' 'ft"v 'n"' " Tiis is a prettv matureobt:11:]t-:-Y: Lrs out . . . Joshhad a lot ofrnfluenceon in light rapport ipprecia;d that kind of mllsical that Clarencc to make-and it's interesting nolmd leamedto play togetherby oi r-ro*rlr"ffrt" Though listeningand experimenting. "nA wascompletelyself_taught*h Clarence \tere his lirsl'colo\ slyle vc leard hislalercomplex it r^ ii i"rl t" it,tine oncel ou

l:;i,;';;";i";;i;;;:lt::: ij',"]^,1*;:1i:iX[;,.,;:;,"Ji"::;:1 :;;;";";"vRoc'' Rorr"r and

ii'i;lij'iil;;'',,;.1;;;; [:,'j;'ij'ilI'#J:i'"l.li b! Don Reno inlluenced probably \i!hllehr"u'lu tolot *"" _Roland
notefor notelrom tecords iim for long that style di'ln t satrsty, and JoeMaPhis, remembe$that at a praotice

cr,,".l: ix"",r""o lii""a llji;i::\:::;,:,llj":I,',11i::l;"Ji;i:: "h:l was he itwenton' as that

ii';;,*,. i,r'int ::X"iH#trffiff * * lli"llili that's what kind comeup iiihsomething on his own, and
awarethat he had to eventuatty

toso.,intoJffi'fi,:?ri:l;" I reft ttmelii.,i""."l'",.".i tne sitinhis woul.r .larence that durir recalis

wife Arlene Roiand's to tistenandhe'd play her a tune iust like e;in sometim"-s stre,a play hours. for and play room is the way I want to do it," and would this Noi tre-a Tlen record. it wason some "ay,. nc u just workedout He wasst'lllltlltl:,.T"t"' with the new roeas his own version

iiJ"li,ii*i,"" ;";:' il:l,Si '"-:"ry::1iit'::'#;:i;1"i,lT,T:'J:l;: slff

Around that time he evenheard a tew

tx"Jffi:: 5T flT: li::n*,xTiq i*:r{J.:1";*:":::T"x:l"o,;:

to growDoc the;that his own originalstylc began to say, Watsonat the Ash Grove.Needless mer r,.o:,:i:s-:^"":'ano heard first In early 1962Clarence i,' ttre arm. This a musit:]:1:::1: gave him :.;.;";iir,.t undoubtedly 1t plavmg ano Doc's by thdlled he was t"n"t for yearsand neverdid (ThoushI shouldpoint out ttrat tre''r ueJrifimiti"t Uttt ttt"t"

.:{ff i:,:Hi!Hl;"HJ:*'o ::l}l;qi-;; til*Jil;t=ffi fr Hlil:t-;txf

begunto lbcuson his olvn arrangements' ft"a iit"ift""." "f*a'ly of person "He'd be the last one to say was normally a qurel' resefle'l sort Clarence was bass) (now.with Rcgr,Bltshon *hen Rotan,lwasgon", the sroup to plav break a to il-t"t n" tu" teadv ".;i;i;;r;;;;;""., short a soloist,so Clarcnt" "o"*" to "nil"iirt"-ino* In I h e b a n d g u ila l\ i l h p t ' y ' n gt u t L mo rcle a d mostanl thing Thrl y e a rr t o t ' : r n t t ra irc J

J.' il';;?;i;;;" i'':D:::1,:"::,lt'i: ;|.':#T::T:,-Tiit'Jliil$llJ:.l the bv and existence' k*;;.i;h;;""'s

ilJ':';:i I i]'lH:'lJ l'fiiJ lil i:f il;i];".: ii""T lil ;s* "lm.";* extremerv
was or le hjspravins ase At thetender ""iT:t'fit"i :l:llfftJJjr" it in Dimensions New 'u.l heai it on the-albLrm ioo and musi"uuy
sophisticated fc'tures the "an ""un""nl' .J/lli.r' .".o.a"a in is;3 in Los AngelesThe recofd ** lJanioand Bluegrass, the Ash mt i'ittrnun' tttorn-Ctut"n-"e1rad at i^in"f banjo playingoi Edc W"*"t*, "* are breaks group' The Tariers Four of Clarcnce's Grovewhenthey play"o tne'e wttn rneii


*I.':""i:"1:{:"j-;* di.tinc,.. introduced'a he fffiX:;J,X'"f:::';X*:";"':lT:,1'; McReyr Jesse through to crosspicking But

gttitu' o""xtl'-t crosspick"a svncoDated, earlystyle pt"l:ut'ott ofClarence's "i"u'-trrt

Blues"' as-"Farewell such in solos used ittl;:l;eloped tvpeor crosspickins

comefromthebanjoandrylit:l mavhave thatthe rcalinspiration it seems


a"r.. ilfi:iJ"Jiffi;n;ii.*tt"r'"'"a i slerk ::1.v::it-:3,::i-:f..1* 'tvl:: 'rhe or wthi* ei""''

I c't 11':lk"-'1": of thelilst slxrccords one rhat was banjo. 111"111:""ii:: get aroundio workingup a breakfor the Ne Dimeniio'lr
did asgreat."So whenClarenoe

;:jlr":;:; ':i*;i:'i,'"*?ii i"li:l:::',,:::::::'P ''''ng \!henhelteard-scrugss''banjove?ior'j:-:h( [1"'"".::Ji;ji';::Li."",i"',."Jt.out bvlist'lll'.i::1;,;:'.-*-':,: that r'(rmed R.';;. rHe ;l,i":Tri.*:;ffi ;::;;;;,; tl,9i*::1
;:"":;'il tt;r, ili;;;}'i.o-t*i
;ffiil;it; il;*ltt"

t' - lotorthe onthc':h:':n''::t11 sturr 1:t* ' of him just 'nr' matter a was there it ,ou""t, "It *" allback "

thingsout." working '' that woxld iloudsh ovcr thythmic sense of thc syncopated ih".i .ofoi of.o .l-rowsigns foundatjonofhis style lt would be mcanmgless u*s a;d becomethe tn"."-i .-tf..f ..This camefrcm " ot syncopation is wherehis sense ,^1.;"r r,, .o."iri" influenceand say, pcoplc like shuffler' ^ of it from nna tuttLv pjckedup traces ;il [;; ;:itk; "l;nuno But whenvou get down to it' the m n etc Berry' u*le Josh,Doc, Chuck ii..r.", i".t*l playingmuslc' t" f,is own imaginationThis washis own way of .."f4 .rr... "'if,rir"." upon rccording Coloncls Kcntucky ".fv tft. groupchangeil their nameto the v"his stav in the following whcn Rolandrcjoinedthem ss'Ar"erica ,n"tr'i-t.irii.l., onlv comes$'rtir "ir"i.;ork more intenselv'Giver the stimulation-that ;;;;;;,;;iltwith more his ideas He startedexperimenting ri""al p"tii.t"t.t, Cl-ence quickly extenlied usc of syncopltcd effects The and more extensive complexrhythmic phrasing 'olonels Boston. Detroit and in Denver, lnti 1963tt,"t in.ludealappearances werc (eallv Therc working poppin" startcLl ". ""J,".,;",i.rn reallv -",i'" , *noletr;peverything ttttt,rt.,t't his guitar plavjng He wasworking thcsethingsouta Gg on, especiallv i.i .i."'-',rti;" " lot right at that tine." jazzjerphrasing and more elabofate v,'"" thincs...incluilinglis syncopation, "r..tlesc Kentuckv The s\\'ins: '4ppa1achiatt t."i'"J'ii'.' it.. t "iil .." f* r"*o onthealbum blew album that but limited' was in 1964' Its circulation tf*t tecorclcd irl)rilr.'*nt"l plaling is The best' his is at guitaristwithin earshot Cl'rrence .;;t;bi;;rass ;;;; print in staved onlv ,tl unriistakablyhis own Unforlunately'the record *r*tl* ( (bLonels Counttv Jbnne v'fhc "-.rirnt, in 1973as 7'' e Kentu'kr i"' t"r.. ti *"" rcissucd on il It is inv'luable for your hends get "'i""ti' youl to best ,"rll. ,r"i trt *rf" oiscontinuedTry just a real treat to listento tun"" in the book that JIc takcn frcm it' and it's t"o-ing tt,. Pound "l* tbnd of playingon tuncs like "John Hcnry" and'.Nlne t'"."".1"'*ri flow endlcss ".0"","1y h. wa. gru"nroon tu-strelchout and let loosehjs seemingly Harnmer,"where o|m usicalideas'Intherecoldng s t u d lo h e a n d Ro le n d a c t u a llyfor t ra d c d b re a k s o n t h e s e job cllt them down to size the.record' A neatsplicing i", fO f S it.". '' their repertorc They expanded - *.." -itutesl u.tivc oncsfor the Kentucky colonelsilror" y"".. matedallike-"The sh-eikof.Arabv.''and t. i;;l;l; r".. tmditionallv non'blucgrass neverlet Joy " Clarcnce like with unusualarrangements "The New Soldier's experimented mselfa togetherand then would Ue'd havea tune basicallv hi.'pi"","* u**". :ii-::1-hi to rdca new go a over and rr. pf"yed jt After a set he'd oiten slt down iiiil" he once and xmazing ""at-,i." ."ii it down. His right hand work wasparticularly i, ."i .Jn..irl would "be gave. him trouble ".a ihinking aboutit- If something iliJ ri"l""a ,rr" rr" *as ahvays it described aifferent wav of Joing it with his dght hand " clarcnce i*'."'.* ltti "]iiu" way I can" simpiy: ''---i'S;s"fjust do ii the easiest playing By then he was on his bluegrass ;; ,n" 1u.,tear that he workcd intenselv plavfullv sttetchhis syncopations a..* *,* n.",it f"i .ut pickinganil would sometimes of the band To keep things rest to himself and the io tft. ntft i"gr"" as a challenge RogerBushputs it' "and then try to gcl irt"r".ting. ft.:O "painl himselfinto a comer"' as the corner"' i,"t"itu r'" .ia" rt' but now and then he'd trap himselfin iri. -"U.-tf.i""",.fu, rercbedits playing bluegrass living a make to ,n. fiustration of trying

in 1966-Rolandsaysthat asfar asClarnce was boiling point and the groupdisbanded "He hadn't lost intercstin bluegassat all. Hejust had to maksomemoney." concemed, During that last year the Colonels frequently deviated from a stdct bluegrassformat and playeda fair amountofelect c guitar with the band.James Burton, guitadstfor Clarence on the electricguitarand ElvisPresley, sawhim and liked him. He encoumged Clarcnce playingrhythm guitar for Ricky Nelson. landedhim his first studio recordingsession, of session work in the irresistible talent soonprovidedhim with a busy schedule Clarence's pop and eventually Los Angeles He became moaeinvolvedin the and rock musicscene area. years. hookedup with The Byrds,with whom he worked for several It's not surprising that he was as much a trailblazeron the electricas he was on the He approached it asa new instrument,discoveingeffectsthat broughtlife to the acoustic. electricgujtaraswell asto the new musiche wasplayiflg.One ofhis contributionswasa mechanical stringbendingdevicethat allowedhim to play pedalsteeltype licks on a regular a popularitem amongcountry-rockguitarists. six-string electdcguitar.lt soonbecame enjoyeda happy and satisfying bluegrass The Whitebrcthers(with Eric back on bass) player very banjo from Country talented reunionin 19?3.Along with Alan Munde,th Gazette,they toured England,Holland and Sweden.Th music came together with remarkable ease and the band membersfelt a strongmutual respectand appreciationplaying the bluegrass. I he redlly enjoye.d because Rolandsays,"Clarencewas surprised just period really it. that for a of time, and he was into think it wasthe first time he'd done he didn't think he could do it again."Clearly,he to him because I think it wasa challenge this tour. Oarence's could do it. The WhiteBrothers:Lire in Sweden1973, documents playingis not radicallydiffercnt from his work ofthe sixties,but it hasa distinctivellavor by his yearsofexperiencewith The Byrdsand others. and seems to havebeenbroadened (See"Sally Goodin," "If You're EverGonnaLove Me" and "Dark Hollow," the last taken RichardGreene, DavidGrisman, Bill an albumwhich features Clarence, ftom Muleskinner, Keith, and PeterRowan.) washit by a car and in Europewereamonghis last.Clarence Tragically, the performances gig Califomia.The in Palmdale, killed on July 15, 1973while loadingequipmentafter a world lost a truly gifted musician. Clarence digested a lot of music and cameup with his own music on the guitar. As Rolandsays,"It wasthe feel Non-guitadsts inspiredhim asmuch asother guitarplayers. certainlyhad his own feel for music,and to him." Clarence for musicthat madea difference He wasddvento play in an originaland innovahe cultivatedit with a fertile imagination. both Rolandand Clarence to hearpeoplesaythat they werc "ahead tive way. But it angered We of their time." "That's not what it was. weren'ttrying to breakany rccordsor any new frcntierc, we just playedmusic,just good music,music we liked. Our ideasweren't all oiginal, you know. What we heardand leamedfrom other peoplewejust interpretedio ofanybody . . . we werejust doing what we our own way. Weweren't trying to be ahead best we knew how." liked to do, the way For Rolaad,playingwith his brother waslike playingwith no one else:"We enjoyed what we did. We had respect for eachothet. . . . He was always filling in- He was always qedit for the ongrRolandmodestlygivesClarence right there.It wasreally something." He sound: was way ahead ofme. would sit down and work things nality ofthe band's "He playing guitar for the KentuckyColonels. His madethe Kenout. He wasthe main reason That wasa very big part of the show.People would hearhis guitarplaying tucky Colonels. and wouldn't want to hearanythingelse."

Clerenco'ssens of rhythm is tho main ingrcdient in his unmistakable sound. His playing is loadedwith syncopationand rhythmic variety in a way that has seldomif everbeen on a bluegrass equalled instrument. Syncopatioris a rhythmic devicein which the off-beats areaccented. Sincethe accent gives normally falls on the beats,syncopation a refreshing, unexpected sound.Clarence developed a mastedulsense of syncopationand alwaysusedit tastefully,to strengthen you with stuttering the rhythmic pulse.His musicsurges with anticipated beatsand startles hesitations. With greatfreedomand subtletyin his dght handhe wasableto manipulate the rhythm, to accentany note he chose, to leave spaces ifhe wantedand to build interesting phrases flow of notesthat tendsto dominatethe nther than simply follow the relentless bluegrass rhythm. (Takea look at his breakto "I'm a Pilgrim"!) lf Clarence seemed rcse d on stage, it wasprobablybecause he funnelledall his energy and vitality straightinto the musio.Usinga very controlleddght hand motion, he played precisely and directly with no wasted effort. Yet in a world of all too many monotoned bluegrass flatpickers,he standsout as an extremelydynamic player.While asserting an he intensifies excitingcommand of rhythm and accent, the musical impact with expressive useofdynamics.Clarence wasa soulful guitarplayer.His playinghasa clear,brilliant sound and often threatens to explodewith energy. With constantmodulationof intensityand emphasis, his playinghasan impellingkind of excitement freshand improvisatory at all times.Althoughhe doesa fair amount that sounds plannedin advance of real improvising, many ofhis solosarc carcfullyworkedout. Whether or not, his ideasareas cohesive and well directedasthey are exciting.His solosgnerally grow from the melody with astonishing inventiveness. It's lesscommonto hearhim tum to the kind of improvisation which fits the chod pmgression but bearsno other relation to the tune- Rolandsays that whenClarence worked out soloshe startedwith the melody and then "just went in thereand piokedit." This melodicodentation,with real attention to the tune at hand, was"the way we larned to play-" Therehasalwaysbeena strongelementofthe bluesin bluegrass music.Clarence used bluesynotesextensively, but the way he usedthem sounded different than anythingthat had yet beendone.His bluesylicks often havea strongfeelingof rock and roll or R&8.Combinedwith his own slipperyphrasing and rhythmic sparkle, the resultciurbe thrilling. (Checkout the solosto "Nine Pound Hammer," "l'm a Pilg m" and "Dark Hollow.") Rolandrccallsan observation Clarence oncemadeafter listeningto one of Bill Monroes blues-based mandolintunes: "You know, I don't know who copiedwho, whetherBill MonroecopiedChuckBerry or ChuckBe l, copiedBill Monrce,but it sounds like they might haveevenworkedtogether." Clarence is well known for his crosspicking. This flatpickingtechniquewas originally developed on the mandolinby Jess McReyoolds. It produces a rolling effect not unlike that of Scnrggs-style banjo.On the guitarit takesthe fom of a pickingpattem across mree strings. The pattem is not alwaysfixed and rcgular,but is variedto fit a particularmelody. Oarencewasone ofthe fint to adaptthe technique to the guitar,and he went a long way in possibilities. exploring its He used crosspicking in two basic ways. In his arrangement of "Listen to the Mockingbird,"for instance, it supplements the importantmelodicideas and fills out the sormd.Its effect is primarily textural.In the brcaksfrom "FarewellBlues" and "Billy in the Lowground,"he usescrosspicking as a melodic vehicle.Thesepassages are cleverly workedout so that a movingline emerges from within the crosspicking. Occasionally, they evengivethe impression of two movingparts.Crosspicking is a difficult right hand

technique, playedwith a freeenoughwrist and sufficjentcontrol to accentany but Clarence note in the pattem and bring out the melodyand rhythm he wanted.By letting the notes ring ashe crosspicks he cteates somebeautifuloverlapping sonorities and a .,stringy,, effect well suitedto the guitar.Evenwhenhe is not crosspick;ng, he often playsa note and leaves it hanging to hamonize with the notesthat follow, asin "Listen to the Mockingbird.,' With thesekindsofdiscovedes, Clarence really fotutd the guitar'spotential. Another distinctiveelementofhis style is his useof 1a4eintervalleaps. By ..jumping" across the stringswith the flatpick, tle gives you the feelingthat he'splayingin two different registers at once.Sometimes the resulting impression partswhich are is one oftwo sepamte playingoffeach other or mo]ring in hamony. Othertimesit involves a droningeffect on a bass st ng ("New Soldier's Joy," "AlabamaJubilee,""The SheikofAraby,,) or an embellishment in the treblestrings("IfYou're EverGonnalrve Me',) while the Dartin the remainrng regisrer emerges asthe primarym(lodicIine. So you canseethat in his leadplaying,Clarence takesadvantage of the guitar'scapacity to be a multivoiced, harmonicinstrument.He frequentlyuses doublestopsand ..rolled,, gracenote chords.(seep.24 ) Occasionally, evenwith his remarkably versatile technique, his ideas are c.ampedby the limitatioftt of a flatpick and he addsthe useof the second and sometimes the third fingersof his right hand to help out. (This occursmainly in his post-electric guitarsolos.See"Dark Hollow.") In Clarence's crosspicking, lalge jntervalleapsand frequent useof slides, bendsand doublestops,you find the melodiccounterpart ofhis rhythmic tendencyto movebeyond the straighter and much more obvious"runs" style ofbluegrass flatpicking.In achieving goals, his musical h produces effectsthat soundgoodon the guitarby taking advantage of its morc naturalpossibilities. He works witft the instrumentso that nothingsounds forcedor contdved.It sounds as thoughit wasmeantfor the guitar. Clarence brought asmuch to his backupwork ashe did to his solos.In fact. it washis greatrhythm guitarplayingthat captiratedTony Rice(now the proud ownerof Clatence's old Herringbone D-28) whenhe wasgrowingup in Californiaand first heardClarence play. Sincethe guitaris centralto the bluegrass rhythm, Clarcnce openedup new poss;bil;ties for the overallsoundola bluegrass band.The Kentucky Colonels reallyhad a uniquefeel asa band largelydue to his innovations. He adornedhis basicallyrock-solidbackupwltn syncopated bass runs,off-beataocents and syncopated strummingpattems.(Someexamples canbe found on p.70) His interestin other kindsof musicgave him a wider knowledge of chordsthan most bluegrass players had in the early sixties.Now and then, when no one was looking,he'd sneakone of hisjazzierchordsinto the bluegrass. In The Kentucky Colonels, Clarence and Rolandmadegood use of their instinctive sensitiyity to eachothersplaying.WhileRolandworild solo in his wondedully fluid style, Clarence wasableto stray from the bassnote-strum type ofbackup and play melodicitly behindhis brother.He wasright there with fills between the phrases, but alsoplayedalong behindthe breakitself. Thoughrarely in strict harmony,the partsneverclashed. Clarence,s linesmelodicallycomplemented Roland'swork, and he playedwith suchlively accents that eventhough playing lead-typelicks, he remainedrhythmically supportive.(See..I'm a Pilgrim," p- 69) This kind ofbackup playingwasnew to bluegrass. With his uniquerhythmic sense, strongphmsing and knack for makingthe most of the guitaron its own terms,Clarence gavethe instrumentan activeand powerfulsolo volcern blueglass. In this respect, he did for the guitar what Earl Scruggs did for the banjo and what Bill Monroeand Jesse McReynolds did for the mandolin.He found a way to make the guitar work asa leadinstrumentin a bluegrass band by givingit an impact and strength surtedto the instrument.Now the guitar could participate on equalfooting with the banio.mandolin and fiddle without remaining bound to the simplioitywhich previously seemed necessary for its effectiveness.


Notation andTerms
The transcdptions are presented in standard musicnotation and in tablature. The six linesof the tablaturestaffrepresent the six stringsof a guitar (low E on tne bottom). Numbers on the linesindicatewhich fret is to be playedon eachst.ing.Numben abovethe tablaturestaff showthe left hand fingering. Tablaturcuses the same rhythmic notation astegularwdtten musicwith one exceprlon. A halfnote in tablatureis written with no stem. It appears simply asa numberon the staff. Down stroke Up stroke Accentor addedemphasis on a note

Hammer-on Pull-off

,l 24


Slidein which the first note is held asan eighthnote beforeyou makethe slide. Gracenote slide:start the slideat the fret indicatedby the gracenote, but don't hold that note. Slide immediatelyto the main note. Similarly for hammet-ons. Bendor "choke" the note. Parentheses arounda note meanthat it is a weaknote and shouldbe played softly. Thesenotes can be heardon the recordingbut are significantly weaker than and subordinate to the surrounding notes.Sometimes grcupsof noteswill appear parentheses. in These indications, alongwith the useof accentmarks,represent what unfortunatelycanonly be a partially successful attemptto conveythe subtleties of Clarence,s dynamics in written notation. Eighth note tdplet: the beat (by that I meanquarternote) is dividedinto three equalparts.Playthe threenotesevenlyin the space ofone quarter

B 2


lt l

Qua.ternote t plet: a halfnote is dividedinto three equalparts.play the thrce notesevenlyin the spaoe of onc halfnote_


Syncopation is a disturbance in the nomal flow of the fiythmic pulse_ The accentis shiftedto what is normally a weakerbeator part of a beat. A syncopated ve$ion of the simplebass run: G Fet.


J'il-' t

' r tt+

+ tl

would go like this in Clarence's style: G

J rJrF t




In the following transcriptions of his solos,the syncopateal note usuallystartson an otibeat (second eighthnote ofa beat) and is held overor /r?d throughthe beginning of the next beat,so that the note startsslightlyearlieror later than expected. The fust tour measures of the brcak to "Dark Hollow" are completelysyncopated. Notice all the tied notes:

n (vn v

.v u" D


is simply an accenton a note in a normallysubordi the syncopation However, sometimes first two breaksto nate rhythmic positiot. Tied notesneed not be involved.Clarence's peppered on the second and fourth with accents are "Nine PoundHammer,"for example, notes(normally as on single off-beat eighth beats) as well weaker in a rneasure beats presents riglt handproblems that are discussed in the following sectionon Syncopation Pick Direction,and givenfu her attentionthrolrghoutthe book.

Pick Direction and the Right Hand

A flatpicker's ght hatd is a very pe$onalthing, and there'sno way of knowing lbr sure to me that asa foundation right hand motion. It seerns all the intimatedetailsof Clarence's on a in flatpicking,which is to play a down_stroke he followedthe most commonprocedure on off-beat. note that begins an on a an up-strcke on a beat, and note that begins of eighthnotesis playedwith a steadily series an uninterrupted Followingthis system, down-upmotion ofthe pick: alternating


(n V -V

n v -V


(from "Mountain Dew")

This is not to saythat you alwaysaltematedown-upno matter what the rhythm of the with the notes.On the contlary, the motion of your dght handis directly synchronized and up on an off-beat' move down on a beat rhythm. Your naturalinclinationshouldbe to Hereis a simpleillustration:

(n nvn

Flv n nVn)


Clarence's break call for mo.e complicated manifestations of this pickingschenemar somctimes involveplayingconsecutive up_strokes: 1 Consecutive up-strokcs resulting frcm a slide,hammer_on or pull_off:

l+.J (- V nV

'<.L, v rr


Hete the hammer-on takesthe placeof a down_stroke, and the followins note getsan upstroke sinccit fallson an off_beat_ 2, Consecutive up-strokes rcsultingfrom syncopations (sincesyncopated notesare playedon ofl,beats):

(-v v Fv

n v nV n)

( "Billy in the Lowground' Part 82)

- 1-





nV ) -

(from "Farewell Blues') *It woutd be feasible to play this note with eitheran up_stroke or a down-stroke. t4

Take a look at "John Henry" to seehow this systemworks in an actual break.pick directions are completelymappedout foi that solo.Otherwise, wherehe seems to adhere to this approach, directionswill only be indicatedasa reminderin tdcky situations where thcy will appear in parcntheses. However,Clarence's right hand wasin charge of the rhythm not vice versa and he definitelymadeexceptions to the prccedurc described abovein orderto producesomeof his rhythmic effectsand to execute someofthe more complexphrases. In cases whrehe seems to deviatefrom the rule, pick directionwill always be indicatedwith no parentheses. The mostimportant exceptions aae: l. Fl for addedemphasis o. geater fluidity on certainoff-beats. This phrase is from Part A3 of "Sally Goodin":




(V -V

n n)

In this passage from Part Bl of"Billy in the Lowground,"the syncopated note in (the one that getschoked)can be playedwith eithera downthe second measure or an up-stroke:


(!^ v !v

V f i)

2 . Fl for somepick-upnotes,particularlyat a slowertempo. (A pick-upnote is a

singleeighthnote on an off beat that leads into a stronger note on a beat.)

3 . All down-strokes for groupsofeighth notesin certainslowerrhythms.(See"A

Life of Sorrow" and "I'm a Pilgdm") 4. n for a groupof "rclled" gace notes(seep.24) 5. Eighth note tdplets (directions will be givenin the tablaturc)

Sometimes, asin the example from "Billy in the Lowground,"two possible choices arc shownfor certainnotes.The indicationin parentheses follows the normal nrle_ Thc one aboveit is a possible alternative in a situationwhereit might be done eitherway. I think my suggestions for pick dircctionmakegood musical and technicalsense. But if something elsefeelsmorc natutal for your own right-hand style in a particularpassage, feel free to useit. Just makeswe that you'llbe ableto execute it whenyou play the breaKup ro yourselfthat the soundyou,reproducing speed. What'smore important,convince is true to Clarence's sense of phrasing! I'll discuss the dght-handaspects of crosspioking in the next section.

Clarence's crosspicking usuallyinvolvesa downward"ro11"across three strings,from lowestto highestin pitch. Hereis an example pattem: of a crosspicking D



Differcnt pickershavedifferent right-handapprcaches to crosspicking, and I,m not absolutely surehow Clarence did his. For instance, somewould play the examplewith a pickingpattemoftwo downs andan up: D

| .r-v-nvnv


I find did it this way, at leastsomeof the time Personally, Clarence chance Therc'sa gooal altemating to an way to get a strongsoundand afl evenrhythm is to stick that the easiest This methodallowsyou more flexibility pattem in spiteof all th stringcrossings down-up asthey anse,particularlywhenyou're improvisingl to adjusiio new pickingsituations may havebeenone of them)' so in with me (Clarence know therc arc playerswho dlsagree pick directionsfollowingboth methods' I've included sections, many of the cmsspicking the importantthingsare,first, that you listen to the you choose to crosspick, However that you get a good soundand a feeling sound,and second, musicani realizehow it sholtlal ofcontrcl whnYou PlaYit. before,in actualsolosthe pattemsarc not rigidly fixed, but areadjusted As I mentioned 3'4of "Listen to the Mockingbid," In measures to adaptto specificmelodicsituations. pause in the melody: a during filler is usedastextural crosspicking

(n F



!Y v




I would usethe down-uppick direction ofthe tempo and emphasis, For this one,because melodic Clarence's activelyconveys of "FarewellBlues,"crosspicking In the first phrase idea:

\{.J IJ-J-J



[3rv l!
Fft-t H






TffErt Fffm


for your right hand and will requirean active,yet well-guided is a challenge Crosspicking of wrist and arm motion. As for the left hand,don't think of it as playinga succession soundfor which Try for a free-ringing eighthnoteslike you would in a run or scale. separate positions and hand the left show you hold tire notesso that they overlap.The diagxams them, whento change


Analyzinga Phrase
You're undoubiedlyawlre ofhow difficult it canbe to teachor leam music like this throughwdtten notation. lt's especially tricky considering how much subtletyand nuance Clarence broughtto his playing. To get a feel for the kind ofapproachthat canbr;ng a tmnscription to life, let,stake _ look at the fint line of "John Henry":


Vn n V

Be aware olClarence's basic melodic idea:

Notice that, in essence, his phrase is a syncopated version of the previous example:


you hir actual melodionote givs aroundthe syncopated crosspicking Finally, ornamental phrase:

etc. a)



note in measure hold the second above, the effect outlined in the third example To achieve beats Hold the fourth I asyou play the followingnote, for a total ofone and one_half you play the next two notes' note as tnelodic an important as emerge note which shoulal oneanda half bezls. dgain Iolaling Thenotesinparentheses(indicatingthattheyarenotplayedtoostlongly)inmeasules more oi a rhythmic than melodicfunction.Eachshouldbe playedto producea 24 serve getsmorc sort of "hopping" effect leadingdown to the following note, whish then emphasis. 3-4 notesin measures t.tta a morc off-beatfeelingto the syncopated ip ,t.ot"s ""n Count carefullyand watch the timing here! Unfortunately,I don't haveroom to go into this kind of detail throughoutthe book l you'll needto hasgivenyou an ideaof the sort of mentalapprcach hopethis explanation your aid! biggest be wlll recordings to the listening makethe soiossoundright. of course'


With a coupleofexceptions,the breaks arepresented in chronological order,according to whenthey wercrccorded. So you needn'tsta at the beginning and work straightthrough, because they arenot arranged in orderofdifficulty. The musicis written as if there were no capo being used.For example, in .Farewoll Blues"the fret indications in tablatureand the notesin standard musicnotation describe the soloin open C positionwith no capo.On the remrd, Clarence actuallyplaysthe brcak in the key of Eb (capoon the third fret). If you want, put the capoon the fret indicatedfor eachtune to matchClarence's real key, Good luck!

The White Brcthr (The New Knrucky Colonels), t9?3. L to R: Jack liick3, Rolan{i Whire, E.ic \ryhfte, Claren@ White. John t(aDdalis

ALifeof Sorrow
Ljyin' in the Past(1961)

Accordingto the recordnotes,this is the first soloClarence everplayodon stage with the group.Ifso, he must havebeenholdingout on the public for sometime. Evenifhe doesn't display an advancedsenseof syncopationhere, there is considerable rhythmic varjety, and a beautilully suretouch with the right hand.The mandolin-like tremolo in measures I and 5 (repeated sixteenthnote doublestops)is reminiscent ofsome of Don Reno'sguitarplaying. The rhythm of this old StanleyBrothers tune asdoneby The Kentucky Colonels is a more ploddingkind of X meterin which all four beatsof the moasure are felt more slrongry than in typical j bluegass time. Wifiin this rhythm thereare subtledifferences in pairsof eighth notes ( lf ). Someare playedv.ith consecutive (ft n)for a-squarer, down-strokes more insistentfeel (measures3-4). Otherchavemore ofa lilt ( Lf rendstoward ffr"r" areplayed.witha down-uppick motion (n V )to get a bouncierr-hythm(measurel 7'and9). Be sureto tune the low E stdngdown to D. -]).


End) A Lifeof Srrnow $oumey's

Tune low E stdngdown to D Capoon 4th fret.
Ralph Stanley CarterStanley

(! n v.t



\.) \rt \.) t.) \.)

\'.,P + J


n n n .N , l?

ni-|rn,nnn (v i nvl



n( c nv nv et c .

n nn n n v li v

n v n vn

n0.:.(D ]


(X - v " n" vltv

11 n

r lV


Copyright 1952 by Pcer Intoatiotul


Al Rishts Rsned'


NN Dincnsionsin Banjo md sluerras

The next four tunesaretaken from New Dr.m ensions in Banioand B/&egldss. The albumis still in print and contains someofhis bestplaying.It is alsoavailable, with a coupleofextra tunes,asthe soundttack tecord frcm the movie "Delivercnce_" This one is a fast, exciting break.In measure9, notice the consecutive up-struKs resultingfrom the pull-off which startson an off beattseealsop. l4). Shortenthe two high G notes in measure13 with a little left hand damping.They shouldbe piercingand accented, but short. The passage in measures 9-1I is very impmvisatory. Listen to th recordto set a better \ense of \ hJl I'm attempting to represenL hcreon naper,

Tne Kenluckycolont!.I ro R: Leroy vdcl'.lnc whire. Rolandvhite, BiIy Rry Latnam,Cl,Jenewrxre



Scott Wiseman L. Luncford Bascomb


vn )


e_i r



v n

n nv)






Music, Inc Tannn copylisntO 1945 by ?missior Used AU RishlsResened.

Nes Dinensio6 in Banjo andBluearass

Somevery snazzy crcsspicking here.In measure 3 watch out for the up_sttokes usedto play the syncopated note and the note which follows (seep. 14). In meaiure I I he uses "rolled" grace notes.The grace notes,alongwith the main note, arc playedin one swecplng down-stroke so that the melodicnote ringsstronglyand clearlyon the beat.

No Title YetBlues
capoon 2nd fret



J ti

n (n i ?X?l YN



nav nnv




Am .u 1

j. (n

Jt. v nv nv



l. -t
rr a ul





-+ e

-+ e
l.l Fl+ n-


r) 1970 CaluaProductions. Alt RishrsResned. Usedby pernission.

*Pick the openC stringasyou hamme. the sccond fret of the D stdns.


Dm l5



n v n \i n v

Nl. lV F I ' I V

n v nv n v n








v n


New Dimensions in Bojo and Blueras

bluegrass breakdownbreaks At this This is one of his morc intercstingmile_a-minute rhythmically, although in measures 9-10the than usual mmplicatd ternpohe'sa little less syncopation is p.etty uncanny.Be particularlycarefulwith the timing and pick direction 8here.The recording itself will giveyou a better ideaofhow to play the strumsin measure


J. Pefli B. Meye E. Schoeb



a .y'

a) t>v


( VF


( V i I l)
renewed Copyrishr O 1923 byMiIs Musi.,In.,,Copyrishr 1950, Used by Pernission, A Rishts Resened,


New Dinmsions in Bdjo and Bluesras

favorite.It's an intricatelyworkedout breakwith the most effectjvc This is my personal I've everheardon the guitar.Rolandmadeno bonesabout his fondness useof crosspicking for it: "Oh, I usedto just threatenhim, if he didn't do that, I \rasgonnabrcak his guitar-I (measures 1-2,56 and sections in the crosspicking lovedthe way he did that." Remember, l7-23), hold the left-handpositionsto build a layeredtexture of soundAlthoughthe solo is complex,it's gracefuland not at all awkwardto play. It js well guila' on an acoustic designed for playing

Blues Farewell
capo on 3rd fret
E. Sclroebel P.Mares L. Rappolo



fi i!rvrl

n n


vn n) -

rr +t_l


Yt n"v)

l tt

CopyrishtO I 923 ty Mils Music,Inc. Copyrisht rcncwed1950. Used by ?emnsion. A[ Rights ReFryed.

* Pick the G stringasthe openD is sounded by th pulloff.


F invirv (n n v n v n v

nVn n"n V |.1

N V F l V NV N

nnv nn


nn\/nn nvnvn

vn. vnJ

n rrv i

nnvn n vnv (n |r -

t1 V n VFl V n n Vn V V- V

r -i n



nv FV

n v

n F Vn F vn . n Vr ' 1 ) lr v -V

n a Vnnv (|1 r.1 nv nv


V nnV n

n n

n n Vn n Vn V

V. V.l

seventhfret of the D strin *Similar to the above; pick the G stnflg (sixth frct) as you arrive at the with the slide.


25 A(?)


E b (7 )






fi..r lE

J ..'v .\-'.


* The last two linesof tablatureare two sepamte endings: of to the key of E on the guitar' (Actual key of G because l) As on the iecord, moalulating the capo position.) might haveplaycd it had there beenno key changc 2) An cndingin C asClarence


,onn Henry
playsthis one pretty fast with a strcng,ddving pulse.The breakis ext.emely Clarcnce characterjstic ofhis style.Seep. 18 for further commentary.


phn Henry
capoon 2nd fret


\vn a

n nv nv -


i .l VJ


e - r n


- 1ll

(v v


11 n

nv nv

N V' -V


|1nva|.t (nVnV|r



- nv



(n v

v n


V n V

Vn -




V. V)

(etc.) V


r1v v








playedthe fimt part of this tune' hereto seethe differcnt waysClarence It's interesting pretty but hasa f-ewtasty twlsts(1964) lt's straight, closely. the melody follows PartAr prcsents vadation of the basicmelody. a Aa (1973) is slightly more improvisatoryand A3 and A5, he probesthe depthsof the tune with much more exploratory Finally,in .4.2, and somereally greatlicks. Stjll, the melodyis clearlythe inspiration improvisation throughout thesebreak. At the end of Part A1, You'Il find touchesof syncopation and becomes the first note of Pafi the last note ofthe sectionis tied into the next measure l0-l l ). Br aswell! (Measures on on off_beats which areusedlbr addedemphasis Part A3 : Notice the down-strokes stops. someofthe slidingdouble 9 ), and enjoy yourselfon Part in Part 82 (measure Be rcady for someheavysyncopation A5 it's terrific guitarplaying!

Soily Goodin(tw)
capo on 2nd fret

PartA I




a ( |1V







+ tl



v11v n




. F l. >
* Rolled gracenotes:sebP'24


Someothervariations on PartA (1964)

Part A2 G





(n v

vn )

PartA3 G Q I


f |








nV V vn)

capoon 2nd fret Part ,{4
Traditional G

f,r_ (n v n v vn

v v)



( n n Y " Y -v




(-v nv




F] V V-

-\ NV



'\J -V

\-' V-

+ nV

(n nv


vn nv)

Billy in thelowground
other You'Il find it in several I is very characteristic. The triplct figurc you seein measure brcaksaswell. 1l-12, you'll seehow in measures 3-4 with that jn measures the phrase If you oompare passage the fourth beat The flrst accents wasableto cont.ol andvary his emphasis. Clarence vividly the "and" lollowing the fourth beat.Thesepassages the second, of the measure, ofphrasing. sense displayhis distinctive Hold and melodic crosspicking. Part B l usesa delightful combinationof syncopation (measuresl9-22 sound. free-ringing down the notesin the crosspicking ) for that "stringy,"

Billy rn the Lowground

capo on 2nd fret Tradirional


vn F






v v)

( n v ? v nv )

PartB I


vn v







a) l


n nvn v rJVn

n "n







,N V N11V (|1 NV NV


. VNV V -V -

e V . V - V V n)


* Don't bend too much. Just chokeit slightly.

(alternate Part B)
Part 82 C

(n V


( 3i)

T. l,__J-_











Listento theMockingbird
Played at a medium-slow tempo, this is a beautilul and delicate version ol the tune- Aim fbr a pretty, clear and ringing sound. For example, the fi$t note of measure2 is written as an eighth, but let it ring to hannonize with the open B string which follows. Likewise, hold the ncxt note (second fret of the G string) xs you piay the one after it (fint frct ofthc high E string). Clarenceis playing a harmony to himself here.

Listento the Mockngbird

capoon 2nd fret




F] V

|1 V

N V N V- V)

(nv n v

v nv)




* f.,I

releasingvour left hand prcssure' : fade oll the note by sliding down the string while slightly get a sort of "sighing" effect' A clearlv articulatedslideis not hear'l. Instead,you should






'\ t t /
(n tv


d 'w'
v vn -)

Nine Pound Hammer

This cut contains some of the most impressivebluegnss guitar playing on reco.d. Clarcnceplays five separatebreaks, a1lwith a sp.rntaneou"feel. Nev...t.uying too fu. fiorn the melody' he manages to turn out one mouth-watering phrase after anotherl The musrc ilows wiih an energeticef'fervescence that only in thc finest musiciansgoestranA in ,ruu with such convincing ideas. Hisfi$tfourbreaksarepresentedhere.Makinguseofalotofniccblucsylicks,rrey demonstratejust how much can be done when a g.eat imagination is turn"j foo.. o" , 'inrpJcbluigfrssrunp. l \e u5edr..enl mJrks more c\trn\ircly In llresi lr.rn\crjption.,nan allcmpt ro cnr\(! lhc Und ofpulce rhat Cldfincr actir\e\_

Roland,itc, md Cldence White


Nine PotrndHammer
lst Break: The accentedslidc in measureI is one ofClarence,s trademarks. Ile echoes and reinlbrces the lilst note of the measure(open G) by sliding into thc samenote on the D string. These slides also found in measurcs5 and 6 are highly charge{:l and should sound like mlnor explosrons.

capoon 2nd fret






(n rrv


(vvn )



(n V lr V v -

2nd Break: in measures 9-10 the 8_l l. In measures Sometricky right handanticshere.especially l;ke rhythmic parentheses hand damping and sound more muffled with left notesin are areheardprominently.There'sa lot of rock and roll in clicksthan real notes.The hammers this passage!






| !,


_ ,w




UF --




' .'

VN >'

,.' } ,


y,q + .Y.+"



3rd Break: This solo startsoffwith intenseenergythat buildsto a iienzicd outburstolbluesy norcs in the tburth and fiflh measures.

(N V

V -







o- ]o f)^ "

4th Break: Clarcncebegins ts he does in the first break, but notice how freely he gets into sornc!rung different. One vcry distinctive touch concs in measures 9-12 . Hc starts with a phrasc built arcund descending sixths, and ends up playing a whole passagein two voices, ch.lracteristicallyskipping acrossstrings t'rom trcble to bjrss.

ria -al._;i



l5 G



' j'frt:





This is probably the most complicated of Clarence's recorded solos. Given the clbow room aflbrded by a slower tempo, his command of complex rhythms is working overtime. Throughout this tune there is an underlying rhythnr of ejghth-note tdplets- In the inlerest ;f sjmplilying the notation, *nat's written as J ii actLrallyplaycd as i"-p = ' ln the middle of the break he lets fly some rapid llre notes which are besi describedon (measures 19'2O,22 24 and 28-29) tltc paper as rcgular sixteenth notes. In these passagcs beat is divided into four parts rather than thrce. The opposition of this new division to the prevailing triplet feel, and the speedat which these notes are eftbrtlessly recled off, combine to prcduce an efTectthat will sruely make your jaw drop. At this tempo the pick direction follows no simplc rule. The ones I've indicated seemto me. after many ear-iatiguing hou$, to best rcproduce his sound l think it's a pretty accuratc rcconstruction ofthe way he pickcd the notes, but jf you ind that something else better suits your own right hand, you needn't feel bound hand. foot and pick to my I hope you ha\c a chanie ro herr tht recordirgl -ugrcsrions.

Im o Prlgrim
capoon 2nd fret


l t Fl




n - v n-





\_- .l{l t ll'VN V

+ J.+ 't'
|r V -


n V nV





11 -




t5 D



n nV F

n v Fl

i.1V nV

n -

V Fl

V nv



n l1

v n l' ln



3 -.J-



N V V -r ? V |>'3 -V -

-Y ' .-' W biSu " : 't .v ti v v l .1 t r v v n


. #ig. Vn V

jt- .

. .'>-.
l .'] I't

nn11nn| ]


\/ n

v 1 1 l.1 v - n vl r v


_ t-J -, n| l V nV

V nV n


v -

n vn v



-)/) - .ilU.
n v av n v


-J '-

n V-V|.1n


L ivin inrh e? asl(1964)

Shot from guns,out and out flatpicking.Playthis twice as last asis humanlypossible and Clarcnce will still beatyou to the finishline. capoon 2nd fret

J \.lh'J





Sheikof Arabv
Li!i. in lhe Past(19641

li was a real shocker to hear this tune played by a bluegrassband back in 1964 and Clarence'sstrange guitar playing makes the performance evcn more surprising. With an impossibly active right hand, he plays a kind of accompaniment to himself while the melody emergeson top. Listen to the record: try to get a senseofwhich notes fotm lne melody, and play so that those notes are prominent. His second and third bfeaks on l-lle record are even crazier.

Sherk of Araby
capo on 2nd fuet

H. Sm T. Snyd F. Whee

n -

nv n

1 1 n n v- v

- f -ri - <tt

V. v ny







Copyrirhr O 1921by Mills Music,lnc.,Copyri8hl renewed Usedsith Pernjssion. Ali RishtsReserved.





t7lf r7lt (r) jat'l'tt''V





n n+v n

(vn n v nv

n n nv av

(J) O ('l v 1 1 V n / . r V n vJ


\r) \.)
(F n Vn


r+ -



Y^. V. Y

f^^ f-^ v r)

A7 (+)


n. v


(r1 n Y^^ nv





nv nv n)

The (entucky Coloneb 1965-1966

New River tain

You might heara little Doc Watson in the first breakand a touch ofJoe Maphisin the second! capo on 4th fret



nv nv nv n

vn v


I Y^^ yr_.t

- e < --' '






!-LJ t o - .JJ
I 'lF





(nv 0




V Fl

Vn ) -v


t' n


( n v nv



Soldier's foy
On this old fiddle tune, Clarence is about asstraightforward ashe gets.He shows here that he can run with the bestof them in this more standard style of flatpicking.Cornpare this to his morc typically unusual arrangement on ..TheNew Soldier,s Joy.,,

Soldier's Joy
capoon 2nd fret




aa- J

- .tl.


* _-l



The Kentucty Colon6b at N.wpo.t, 1964. L to R: RoL.d lvhite, Bfiy Ray Larlm,

Ct tdce Vlire, Rosq Busn

TheNew Soldier's foY

TrrcXeniucky Colonets196566

getsa strikingeffect by tuningthe A stringdown to G and "New" is ight! Clarence fret puts it in the actualkey of A) The solois playingthe tune jn G (a capoon the second back by the droningofopen strings(G-D-G)and a rangyright hand that glides characierized whcnever let it ring so mdn drone, ihosest ngs.The low G stringis the and fofih across in measores 8-10and21-23)' yoo hit it (for examplc, solo by Clarence's ofPart A, the bandhighlights a.rangement In the KentuckyColonels's up into a B then opens Part measure of every first beat on the simplystrumminga C chord more nomally flowingrhythm.

The New Soldier's /oY

A stringtuneddown to G capoon 2nd fret Part A G


( Fv nv n nv




t 'rJl






\4 :.


t 1- 11

. ?_iJ

t_- .


-J ,

-+ -+ t ta i


( nv v

v n)

v v



+ a (n v




| ]! + r

I n) ( nv



v v vnv)



fulius Finkbine'sRag
Livin in ihc Pasl(196s)

(Answer Seeif you can guessthe real title to this one Hint: it's an old Texas fiddle tune below-) Taken from a live recoftling maaleat the peak of the Colonels'sactivity' this break will for put your dght hand thrcugh some anxious moments. I'vc gjven a couple of suggestions passage in measures the fi$t line. but I'll leaveyou to your own devicesin the syncopated tune. later in the cking section crosspj 9- I 0 . and in thc Be surc to play the sixteenth-note pull-off (as in measure4) very quickly so that the following no; falls squarely on the off-beat This kind of little flurry had become setond naturc to Clarence, 5 6 : Clarenceskips acrossthe strings to play the low G note as a drone while thc Measures melody continues on the G and D strings. Starting on the fourth beat ofmeasure 5' hold ()1the next down the low 6 and the F abovc it with your left hand until the fourth bcat measurc.He gets a similar effect in measure27 Measures17-22: Again, holl the left hand positions so that the notes in the crosspicking patterns linger a while. M.asures 23-24: This phrase is a real cutey. Thc descending,then ascendingline on the B string(8th fret,7th,6th,7th,8th) shouldbe emphasized. capo on 2nd fret

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Clarence bringshis usualarrayof syncopated rhythmsto this ragtimeychordprogression. But what makesthis solo particularlyrecognjzable is his useof the droningbasssrnng (measures 1-3and 7-8) ashe playsthe melodyon higherstrings. (Seealso,.JuliusFinkbine's Rag," "The New Soldier's Joy" and "The Sheikof Araby.,,)He combines this effccr wrth a somewhat unrBuai pattemjn measures crcsspicking l7-i9_

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If You'reEverGonnaLoveMe
by Leroy Mack,former dobro playerwith This is a very nice breakto a songco-authored pretty The and melodic and leadsto a very nifty Colonels. beginning is the Kentucky phrase in measure 5Hold eachof them for a full two 11'12the accented notespredolninate. In measures beats. The highernotessefle asembellishment. 13 arevery fast and arehard to play cleanly.This wholc measure The tdplets in measure quick on a and limberight hand. reallydepends


If You'rc EverGonnaLoveMe
BuckGraves l.eroy Mack






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Dark Hollow
Another heavily syncopated solo fueled with improvisatory, jazzy phrasing (as tn mcasures 6 7 and l0-11). Play the doublc stops in measures 6_7 by plucking up with the second and third fingers of your tght hand. Pick thc lowcr. singtenotcs witl.r down_strokes of th" fl";il.'ii".",r"" used this techniquc occasionally in hjs bluegrussand more frequcntfy in fris.iectric gu,tar work. Don't sloat roo much about getting that plr** a.\v" tf,."J, fr;;;;;';;i"".., lightcrling last tdplct to dcal with in the nex. measurel " This tune is playcd at a moderate tenpo, so the piok djrection is quite flexible ir spors. .,

ut :::1,:i' some 1.u.'"11t. playng of the n,'oreheavily accentcd syncopatcd notes ", "u with ao*n"irot"r.'r" tl. fir.t line, with its iong stringoforlbcat notes,you may want to'sc a down-stroke or two. l,ve rnade some suggcstions,_but at this point yolr should feer free to 1bl1.* .r*, v.r.'i"rti."._ bc surc that what you pray is rhythnricelry correct and that it makcs ..nr. ,, io|:'"., .,nprru.i,

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I'm a Pilgrim
Clarencc often took thc liberty of providingmeloclic fills and background rexturc behind the singcr or the other soioists.Ilcrc he highiights rhe spacesin the mclody and complements Roland's breaknicely.Try playingthis part eitheralongwith thc recor.l,jf yoLr're lucky enough1l:) havcit, or while somcone elsesi gs or playsthe iune. This is a trilnscription ol-Clarcncc's backup to Roland'ssccondbfcak.


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Clarence\ regular bluegrass backup was alwaysstrong and steady. At the sametime, it was usually tinged with syncopation. He used some unique stnrmming pattems analhad his own way of playing bassruns. What follows here is not a transcription from a particular tune, but a backup afl.angement to a typiral bluegrass chord prcgressionusj;e many of Ciarence\ favodte backup licks. ln pmctice, he wouldn't use this much svncoDationin one chorus-it would genenlly be intempened with more straighrforward b;cku;. Here it is presentedall at once to give you the most in the spaceavailable.The two basic effecrs you should notice are syncopatedbassruns (measures 2 and l2) and syncopatednotes in rne strumming pattems (measures 9, 10, 11 and l3) G

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Bluegrass Guitar: The Kentucky Colonels New Sounds al Biue!<rass lmefica Appal.dchianSwing: I'he Kentuck! Colo els reissuedasi Thc Ke tucky Cokrtcls (funne !- The (:ountry Ba):s) The KentuLky Cabncts,1965-1966 Lirin in the Past CaLrtels II The White Brothe^ The White Bnthe\ (The New Kentu(ky Colonel\) Tut Taylor l:-Sttins Dobro Dobro Country Eric Weissberg, Marhsall Brickman & Conrpany New Dinentbus in Banjo atld Bfuegra\s This record is alsoavajlablc, with extl? curs,as rnc soLrnLltrack to the movie,,Delivcrance." entitled: Du?line Banio! Country Cazette Don't (;ire Up Your Du.yJab Kentu(b

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rsBN0-8256-0222 X