Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

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Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

Postby Jim Jarrell » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:05 pm

As a pure intermediate "bedroom player," I generally only play the main chorus of Chet style tunes. Those by Chet, Yandell, Dobbins, Kirtley, Knowles, Moseley, etc. Basically just the muted alternating bass on top of the main and initial melody section of a tune. As such, and due to playing solo with no backup, I virtually *never* play an entire tune from start to finish and never the single note lead sections.

Not playing tunes start to finish, and to "keep the flow" going, I try to combine tunes into medleys that flow together nicely both due to the approximate speed and key of the tune to the titles themselves. I also try to tie the tunes together with the muted bass by going from one tune to the first melody note of the second tune without missing a beat. Steady thumb throughout. As example, here are some of the tunes I play as a medley:

- "Baby's Coming Home" (or "Lover Come Back").."Back to Old Smoky Mountain" ...(to help with the)... "Copper Kettle"

- "Whispering"...."Three Little Words"

- "Going Home" (Yandell) and "Diggin' In" (Dobbins). (Appropriate in this era of COVID-19 !!)

- "Just Taking My Time" (Dobbins) in "Shanty Town" (Yandell)

So, I am wondering what other medleys Chet forum members may have come up with. And any thoughts on how to best tie the tunes together without missing a beat. Thanks.

Jim Jarrell
DeLand, FL
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Re: Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

Postby donusa1 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:52 pm

I find that three others are: "City of New Orleans, "Canadian Pacific", and "Freight Train."
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Re: Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

Postby Jim Jarrell » Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:59 pm

Don,

Thanks for the input. And I fully agree that "Canadian Pacific," "Freight Train" and "City of New Orleans" would make for a great medley. Luckily I play all three in some form or fashion.

But I play the first two in the Key of C and "City of New Orleans" in A which I think is how Chet did it on the "Super Picker's" lp. But I now see via google that Steve Goodman, who wrote it, and Arlo Guthrie, who had a hit with it, both did it in C so I reckon I can figure it out in C and will try.

The other trick will be and see if I can throw "Wabash Cannonball" and/or "Blue Railroad Train" into the mix. There'd definitely be some key changes required with those I think.

Note there haven't been a lot of inputs to my question so I guess nobody else plays many medleys. Oh well.... :)

Jim Jarrell
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Re: Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

Postby Steve Moran » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:39 pm

Jim,
I prepared backing tracks for tunes Chet played on the Chet Atkins Rare Performances 1955-1975 Video. I'm trying to post the medley backing track I did for the following tunes: Windy and Warm/Back Home In Indiana/Country Gentleman/Mr. Sandman/Wildwood Flow/Freight Train. Some tunes have a cymbal tap as a lead-in to Chets playing. Some have some background type instrument that shadows Chet's playing which ties tunes together in places. If I can figure out how to upload it you can try to learn Chet's part off of that video and play along with this. This was fun to make as well as learn Chet's part on to play along. This was done on my Boss digital recorded which is the better part of 20 years old which is maybe the reason it won't upload.

Chet's medleys are fun to play along with. Chet's album Work It Out is great listening to Chet go from one tune to another.

Thanks.
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Re: Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

Postby Jim Jarrell » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:06 am

Steve,

<I prepared backing tracks for tunes Chet played on the Chet Atkins Rare Performances 1955-1975 Video.

That's great. I have a lot of backing tracks in my iTunes library. Primarily ones I got from Matt Cowe at his website here:

https://mattcowe.bandcamp.com/

But I have to admit that, again, being a "bedroom player" I lack the patience and resolve (re. "talent") to work out a complete Chet tune from start to finish with a backing track. Ergo, why I tend to play just the lead in solo/muted bass melody lines to tunes and try and tie them together in medleys. I do however use an Alesis SR-15 digital drum machine which helps. I keep a written log of the settings to match tunes being played be they by Chet, Yandell, Dobbins, Kirtley, Knowles, etc.

Chet's medleys are fun to play along with. Chet's album Work It Out is great listening to Chet go from one tune to another.

Never heard of that lp. Quick google shows its pretty rare. And while there are a lot of Chet lps now in the iTunes store, that one isn't. I see it was released in '83 and was his 50th lp as noted here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_It_O ... kins_C.G.P.

I see there's 4 cassette tapes versions available on Amazon and some lp's on Ebay but no CD and/or mp3 download options that I could find.

Jim Jarrell
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Re: Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

Postby Steve Moran » Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:41 pm

Jim,
I understand about the patience and limited time available to learn tunes on the guitar.

Yes, as far as it being an LP and cassette for the Work It Out album. I've gotten it twice on cassette. Shame it's not made in a CD version at this point. I suppose there are places that can convert a cassette to a CD.

Thanks.
Steve
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Re: Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

Postby Jim Jarrell » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:39 am

Steve,

Regarding Chet's "Work It Out With Chet Atkins" lp from '83, I wonder how widespread the lp actually was. I don't ever recall seeing a copy of it at one of the CAAS exhibit hall sales tables over the years. Nor is the lp to be found on youtube as so many are these days. And I have a bunch of Chet's lp's that I was able to "back channel" download years ago into mp3s from that website in Russia done by "Freddie."

In fact, I found this on the forum in the FAQ's to Paul Yandell section:

Is There An On-Line Site Of Chet’s Tunes? (And Who Is “Freddie”?)

Freddie is a young guy in Russia who has a website that provides streaming audio of many of Chet’s albums.

A great resource.

http://freddie.spb.ru/music/instrumental/chet_atkins/


The above website is no longer up and, I think, has been down for years. And it would be interesting to know who "Freddie" actually was and what happened to him (??).

But while his site once had a *huge* number of old Chet lp's going back to his first ones, I'm positive it didn't have the "Work It Out" lp or I would have downloaded it.

Cheers,
Jim

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Re: Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

Postby Ray Bohlken » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:03 pm

The OHIO Fingerstyle guitar club has a link to some Band In A Box files of backup files for Chet,
Jerry, and Merle songs. Go to and the http://ofgc.net select the Band in a box support link and then download the songs. You can create digital music files using BIAB files such as MP3 files. I hooe this helps.
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Re: Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

Postby Jim Jarrell » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:36 am

Ray,

Thanks much for the info about the Band in the Box backing tracks and link. I don't have Band in the Box and, via google, I see you use it as a program on your computer. That's fine, but I have to admit that, as a "mature" 73 yr old, while I'm "pretty good" at using a pc I virtually never do when playing the guitar.

As example, instead of looking at youtube videos to learn a tune, or looking at tabs online, I prefer to download the tabs and print them out. And then I turn video's into mp3s that I listen to on an iPod connected to a speaker along with the printed tabs when learning new tunes. I think its called "old school."

Jim

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Re: Chet style tunes that are good in a medley format?

Postby Ray Bohlken » Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:43 pm

Jim, I think "old school" is great. I'm that way myself. I mainly used BIAB for Ventures type songs and old time things like that. It had a "styles" feature that made the backing track sound like the Ventures or whoever.. There are a lot of free files around like the ones I linked to and you could use BIAB to modify them to what ever key you wanted, plus whatever instruments you wanted in your "backup" band. It was kind of fun for me. I learned Chet and other songs like you did mostly by ear from my LPs and later from using Tab Edit View and .tef files but for my "band" songs I used BIAB. I tell peope I've been playing over 50 years in my rise to mediocrity. :D .
Take care,
Ray
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