Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

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Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

Postby ajbremer » Mon May 27, 2013 11:15 am

What a neat Jerry Reed tune to learn. I've messed around with the beginning of it for some time now and have finally made it all the way through. Now I have to memorize it and clean it up.

The tune goes from cut-time to 3/4 time and those chords in the 3/4 time section are really some dandies!
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Re: Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

Postby John Knowles » Mon May 27, 2013 4:04 pm

As you are working on that middle section, look for common fingers as you move from one shape to the next. When you hang on to a common finger, it's easier to find the next shape. Also, don't hang on to any extra fingers. Think less of chords and more of moving through shapes. Enjoy, John
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Re: Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

Postby ajbremer » Mon May 27, 2013 4:26 pm

That's such great information John, thank you.

"Moving through shapes" sounds like a good method, I shall think along them lines...and at no time will any of my fingers leave my hands!

I'll go through the tune again (I'm following tab in order to learn it) and for every bar I will think, "...common finger, common finger".
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Re: Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

Postby John Knowles » Mon May 27, 2013 11:40 pm

Or as they would say in The Karate Kid, "Move like the spider, not the frog."
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Re: Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

Postby BillB » Tue May 28, 2013 7:48 am

That is a wonderful song. I've always thought it would be a nice song for weddings, and John McClellan told me that it works for funerals as well. I may have to start working on it as well and use John Knowles suggestions of moving through the shapes in a spider-like way rather than my usual clumsy ox style.

Thanks for the quick lesson there, John!

Bill B.
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Re: Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

Postby alexjones » Tue May 28, 2013 10:27 am

That is a very beautiful song and it has significant meaning to me. My wife actually walked down the aisle to that song on our wedding day. Unfortunately she didn't want me playing it at that time - she said I wouldn't be paying much attention to her, haha. That middle section is a tough one to nail cleanly - for me at least. I learned how to play this song when I took a private guitar lesson course at college. All in one semester I learned travis picking and "The Early Dawn". For never doing fingerstyle guitar before - that was a big chunk of material to learn. I sure would like to go back and listen to my final exam playing which was to play this song in front of a few professors!
Alex
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Re: Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

Postby emjaybee94 » Tue May 28, 2013 1:58 pm

I consider that tune, along with Steeplechase Lane, the best that Jerry ever wrote. I learned to play it many years ago, but only really learned the middle sequence of chords parrot fashion. Consequently, if I lose it in the middle section, I haven't a clue as to what comes next; quite embarrassing if it happens on stage! It's one of those tunes you have to practice at least once a week or else it's easily forgotten. I found the right hand picking pattern a lot easier than I thought it would be.
Regards
Mike
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Re: Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

Postby emjaybee94 » Tue May 28, 2013 2:01 pm

As an afterthought; I once played La Madrugada in front of Jorge Morel .... now, that was scary!
Regards
Mike
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Re: Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

Postby ajbremer » Tue May 28, 2013 9:11 pm

For sure Mike, the left hand is the hard part to "The Early Dawn".

You said, "...practice once a week or it's easily forgotten." Forget that, I've got to practice the thing every day to get it! Also, I'm not sure I know what you mean by 'parrot fashion'? Do you mean, by copying what others have done? If it wasn't for tab I wouldn't have the slightest idea of how to figure it out. Thanks for all your comments Mike!
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Re: Learning "La Madrugada" or "The Early Dawn"...

Postby emjaybee94 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:51 pm

By Parrot fashion I mean that I learned it more or less without fully understanding what the chord forms were. I don't think I use those shapes in many other tunes so it's quite a challenge to play them other than in the sequence in which Jerry wrote the tune. As I said, if I lose it in mid stream I haven't got a clue as to what the next chord should be. I hope that explains it. Having said that, it's a great tune and well worth all the effort to get it right.
Regards
Mike
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