This video is bonus content related to the May 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.
A while back, I came across a book of traditional bluegrass and old-timey fiddle tunes, which intrigued and inspired me.
I had always enjoyed the sound of those upbeat, “honest” folk melodies, with their sprightly contours and swinging eighth-note rhythms, despite their harmonic simplicity—the vast majority of the tunes are based on “one-four-five”-type major-key chord progressions.
As the book was written for violinists (the violin and fiddle are the same instrument), the tunes were notated in standard sheet music, without tablature. Being a sightreader, however, I was able to cop the notes, and I began studying some of the tunes and attempting to adapt them to the guitar, pick-style, just as a bluegrass acoustic guitarist or mandolin player would.
This month, I’d like to show you how I’ve arranged one of these fiddle tune for guitar and demonstrate a neat trick I came up with to make the guitar sound like a mandolin.