Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Postby Doug Working » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:05 pm

Sure are a lot of guys out there covering Chet's arrangements. Especially in Y'tube land. I hope to be one of them if I can ever get my tech issues solved.

But have you observerved that there are arrangements that Chet did that nobody has ever covered? My theory is that's because they are so God awful difficult to play! Not a far stretch to guess Chet was the only guy who could do them justice. For instance, "Zorba The Greek." That's got to be a bear to pull off!

I remember seeing him do it televised (with my jaw dropped) when I was a young boy. Starts out excruciatingly slow, and works up speed to a speeding freight train of an arrangement.

Or "Minute Waltz." That's got to be crazy hard.

Not to say there are not guitarists out there with the chops to cover Chet's most virtuoso stuff, but they must be few and far between. And you just don't see them covered on Y'tube with Chet's easier stuff. (As if anything Chet ever played was easy.)

Food for thought.
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Re: Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Postby Hendrik » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:07 pm

I think there are a lot of arrangements that are not being covered, especially from the early years. I am really into the 'radio years' of Chet, so the 40's and 50's. I need to figure out all these songs by ear and most of them are of pretty crappy quality. Songs like Darling Nelly Gray, When It's Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Guitar Blues and Pickin' the Blues. Besides Larry Odham I don't know anyone else who plays these old tunes. I even don't hear people playing Canned Heat and that's relatively straightforward as Cannonball Rag. I always admire when pickers aren't going for the traditional stuff like Windy and Warm, Baby's Coming Home and I'll See You in My Dreams.

Other songs (I think) I've never heard being covered are La Golondrina, Ay, Ay, Ay, Centipede Boogie, Waram Patat and most of the tunes from In Suid-Afrika and Discover Japan. I could name dozens more.

Ps. I think I saw Gareth Pearson play Minute Waltz once.
Last edited by Hendrik on Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Postby Doug Working » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:57 pm

Did he do the arrangement justice?
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Re: Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Postby Hendrik » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:45 am

He did. It was a video from about 12 years ago. He was testing NK Forster guitars. The video is removed, since I cannot find it any more.
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Re: Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Postby jay » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:35 pm

Hendrik...

I always admire when pickers aren't going for the non-traditional stuff like Windy and Warm, Baby's Coming Home and I'll See You in My Dreams.


Aw...three of my favorite songs. I am unfriending you on Facebook. :D Hope all is well.
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Re: Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Postby Doug Working » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:50 pm

Hendrik wrote:I think there are a lot of arrangements that are not being covered, especially from the early years. I am really into the 'radio years' of Chet, so the 40's and 50's. I need to figure out all these songs by ear and most of them are of pretty crappy quality. Songs like Darling Nelly Gray, When It's Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Guitar Blues and Pickin' the Blues. Besides Larry Odham I don't know anyone else who plays these old tunes. I even don't hear people playing Canned Heat and that's relatively straightforward as Cannonball Rag. I always admire when pickers aren't going for the traditional stuff like Windy and Warm, Baby's Coming Home and I'll See You in My Dreams.

Other songs (I think) I've never heard being covered are La Golondrina, Ay, Ay, Ay, Centipede Boogie, Waram Patat and most of the tunes from In Suid-Afrika and Discover Japan. I could name dozens more.

Ps. I think I saw Gareth Pearson play Minute Waltz once.


Those are all great ol' Chet tunes you mentioned! I love 'em all. Maybe someday I'll try to work on 'em. May be a long time, though. I've got a full plate with the ones I'm working on right now.

""Were You There When You Criucifed My Lord" gets real tough on the last part. There is one chord that goes all the way up to the 19'th fret. Dang, that's rough! It's killing my fngers.

But no pain, no gain. And Chet made it sound so beautiful. No sign of strain as he plays the chord progression. It's deceptively hard. Hard not only to execute, but to make sound smooth.
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Re: Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Postby Hendrik » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:44 am

jay wrote:Hendrik...

I always admire when pickers aren't going for the non-traditional stuff like Windy and Warm, Baby's Coming Home and I'll See You in My Dreams.


Aw...three of my favorite songs. I am unfriending you on Facebook. :D Hope all is well.


Love you too Jay!
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Re: Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Postby Ray Bohlken » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:01 am

John McClellan put out a new tab/notation book on Facebook - Chet Atkins The Radio Years - a few weeks back and it has Swing Low Sweet Chariot on it as well as Hybrid Corn and many others. It came with a CD of Chet's playing the songs, too. The recordings of most of them are definitely low-fi, but the playing is great and so is the book - lots of photos of Chet that I hadn't seen before..
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Re: Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Postby Doug Working » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:29 pm

All smiles here! Always wonderful to hear of newly transcribed Chet tunes.

For all of us who love to do our best to "try to play like Chet," (that's all of us,) these are surely the glory days; the golden days. For a few bucks, we can get to see exactly how Chet's fingers did what they did, concerning any lick he played, thanks to the skills of these great transcribers.

What's amazing to me is how, once you learn a little bit of let's say a phrasing Chet used, you can hear in your mind "Ahhhh! I heard him use that particular lick in other tunes, too. I never knew how he did it, but now I do, and it's under my belt, so when I hear it in the next tune I'm trying to figure out, It'll be there for me.

So these guys who do transcribing save us a lot of work! I really appreciate them for their dedication to make Chet's music accessible to even the least talented among us, like yours truly.
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Re: Chet Arrangements That No One Covers

Postby DagerRande » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:51 pm

Doug, once you get the details of those arrangements in your mind, you have added more "tools" to your toolbox and
then you can incorporate those in your own arrangements!
Rande Dager

We are all capable of doing more than we think we can!
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