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Lonesome John

Sunday, April 29, 2018

After taking an absolute age to learn Shady Grove, Lonesome John(Clinch Mountain Backstep) is falling off the tablature, and after one day I managed to bag the A part tab free this morning.

Part of me inevitably wonders if the 'freedom' of finally playing Shady Grove loose of the tab has somehow inwardly spurred me on. The tunes are of similar difficulty (ie easy) but both with newish techniques. Shady Grove had ASPO's that I had only encountered in Cluck Old Hen, whilst Lonesome John (also featuring ASPO's) adds some galax lick(ish) bottom two string arpeggio frails with the thumb playing the next on-beat.  

The truth I think is quite simple though. There was a tricky(for me) couple of bars at the end of Shady Grove A part which I didn't isolate early and sort out.  Only after days did I get so exasperated with still having to read the tab did I push on with a 'final effort' getting me outside my comfort zone.  Lonesome John simply doesn't have a (tricky for me) part like that so I don't have to pick myself up to make that sort of extra effort.

This is a failure to be learned from.  Especially since I wrote in my blog to make an effort to get Shady off tab quickly then blatantly ignored myself. Isolate and sort out difficult areas early...........


BTW.  What I mean by tricky does not mean technically difficult.  Technically difficult bits are obvious to me and easy to isolate and work on.

What I mean by tricky is difficult to learn. With this particular part my fingers quite simply wanted to go elsewhere. Now, I'm not sure if this is previous 'muscle memory', or maybe I've got a slightly different sound in my head from the tab. Maybe it's left hand/right hand co-ordination. What always happens with such an area though is once I 'nail it' and finally manage it a few times tab free it then becomes easy.


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Playing Since: 2017
Experience Level: Just Startin'

AndyW has made 55 recent additions to Banjo Hangout 

Gender: Male
My Instruments:
Gretsch Dixie Special Openback
Saga 'beater' banjo
Squier51electric guitar
Freshman acoustic guitar
Lee Oskar harmonica

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From the UK and new to American Old-Time. Just listening to as much clawhammer as I can without annoying the missus.

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Created 7/4/2017
Last Visit 7/30/2021

Teaching myself clawhammer from a mix of 'Clawhammer From Scratch' and 'Rocket Science Banjo'. Play guitar to a low intermediate level. Have played many instruments to a comfort zone level of just able to play enough to keep myself happy. Determined banjo will be learned more methodically to try and attain a higher level of playing.

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