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Flamenco Guitar Transcriptions
Chill Out

This version of a popular Christmas tune features a walking bass under the melody. Although it's based on "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen," I got the idea from an episode of Mr. Bean. As indicated at the start, the 4/4 meter is felt in swing time. The bass walks along at a steady quarter-note rhythm and the melody does, too, but between the beats. If you've never tried playing a walking bass line under a melody, you'll probably find this quite challenging. Although the fretting-hand fingering in the first measure is difficult, the rest is a lot easier, and, insofar as the striking hand, you can play the whole thing with just the thumb, index and middle fingers. For the icing on the cake, you can use your ring or little finger to tap on the guitar body on beats two and four (think snare-drum accompaniment). Remember to keep your fretting thumb on the neck and to play rest strokes with your striking-hand thumb (after playing a note, it comes to rest on the next string). Measures 5-8 are just a repetition of 1-4, so add your own stuff there. The numbers in the standard notation refer to the fretting-hand fingering, and "glissando" means to slide your finger along the fretboard. Roll out that final chord with your thumb (notice how you can take advantage of the fretting-hand fingering that immediately precedes it). Happy holidays!

(click here to listen)
Chill Out
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