Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Postby ajbremer » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:19 am

Just wondering, what is considered to be the most difficult tune of Chet's to learn, one that most every major Chet picker agrees is difficult and one that not everyone can play?
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Re: Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Postby Hendrik » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:13 am

It's for everyone different I guess, but for me it's Recuerdos de la Alhambra and Stars and Stripes Forever. I think I'm finally tackling the tremolo technique, it's pretty hard, but doable. However, playing this style constantly, like with Recuerdos, is tough... Stars and Stripes is too much at once, and I thought Yankee Doodle Dixie was already too much.
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Re: Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Postby PhilHunt » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:16 am

In my Opinion "Mayan Dance", I have attempted it and just said...."to heck with it"...and gave up. And the second one being "Choro Da Saudade".
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Re: Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Postby headgremlin » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:13 pm

I don't play guitar but I remember Chet mentioning that "Blue Angel" is a song of a thousand notes and looks like it wouldn't be that easy to master. But, as I say, I don't play guitar, just love Chet's music.
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Re: Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Postby Richard Hudson » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:27 pm

I think it depends on who you talk to. Different folks have different abilities. Recuerdos would be difficult for anyone that hasn't mastered the tremolo technique. Blue Angel would be tough if you are not able to stay focused, simply because of the volume of notes. Chet always seemed to be able to play the most difficult pieces with ease. Of course, most of us didn't see the dedication and practice time he put in learning those pieces and the techniques required to play them. Hearing him play those difficult pieces and licks was always a big WOW factor for me, but what I have always enjoyed about Chet Atkins is his heart and the emotion he always put into his music. It was always more than just an impossible bunch of notes.
Richard Hudson
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Re: Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Postby Norm » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:35 pm

Considering that so few people (very, very few) get his arrangements spot on to begin with I think that's a moot question.

A good case in point is his first run at Malagena (Finger-Style album)
Much is made of Roy Clark's dramatic approach but there is something about the absolute fluidity of Chet's arrangement that is unmatched.

Things like that...
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples:
That should do it.
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Re: Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Postby Bob key » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:35 pm

Richard ,How wright you are,Thats what did it for me,if you listen every note has feeling and almost a message,this is what is missing in a lot of players today,they can play a million notes but wheres the feeing. Ive played the old travis tune tuck me to sleep in my old tucky home for years always in merles style cause I never thought anybody else recorded it,till a couple of weeks ago I found Chet did it and boy I wanna tell you about a feeling for every note I just love it.Its not a difficult tune to play as far as notes go,but try and get the feeling he gets with those notes,To say that Chet was the greatest guitar player is the understatement of the year,he was as Jerryb said Etheral.

Thanks Bob
Bob key
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Re: Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Postby George Beasley » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:11 pm

The Chet arrangement I am working on at the time seems to always be his hardest one to learn!

Of course, I am doing it wrong. If you ever watch a video of Chet playing, it seems to be the most natural the thing in the world, with very little movement of any of his fingers. My hands, however, look like a fish trying to jump out of the boat back into the river. I think it had something to do with his socks, or expensive gear, or studio don't get too hung up on it.
George Beasley
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Re: Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Postby ajbremer » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:07 pm

I agree with all ya'll.

It's mainly the feel that is the hardest, the silence between the notes, the staccatos, the chorded open strings, the Bigsby dives, so much dynamic!

I have to work really hard just to figure where the notes are first (that's why I like tab). When I can memorize that then I can be a lot free'er to work on the feel. Some of Chet's tunes are more diverse than others, they have more dynamics - those give you a lot more homework to do! I am just a beginner compared to most of you, I hardly have any Chet tunes 'down' - but I sure love keep trying every day.

I do believe that the hard part is to get the feel into the notes the way Chet did. Every once in awhile I can get a note or two to sound just like Chet's - that's enough for me - that makes me feel good.
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Re: Chet' hardest tune to learn?

Postby cettyboy » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:30 pm

He made it look easy...........
But, I'd have to say, everyone of them!
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