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Friday, February 27, 2015

Free Texas Backup Chord Diagram for Sally Johnson

Listen to this Sally Johnson recording from Texas. It features Ervin Solomon on fiddle and Joe Hughes on guitar. Click below the image of Ervin below and you will be directed to a site where you can hear the recording.

Ervin Solomon

For an in - depth study on this part, I refer you to old time guitar master, John Schwab. In his book, Old-Time Backup Guitar: Learn From the Masters,
 he considers this recording, including slowed down samples (3 different speeds) and tablature showing you exactly what was played on the recording. I highly recommend it! In fact, if you click the image below, you can order it right now.

Here is a freebie! This is a simple chord diagram I have prepared to get you started. It is not a substitute for the above book, nor is it a substitute from lessons! Download and use this freebie, then bring your questions to me. This example is a terrific study on the role of backup guitar. Beginners need to know this approach and experienced vets would do well to keep this exercise fresh in their toolbox. Download this free chord diagram and learn it!

Sally Johnson Simple Backup Chord Diagram Free Download

Thanks to the following sources:
Fiddlers Frolics -
John Schwab -

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Listen to the Earliest Example of Fiddle Backup Ever Recorded

Did you realize that the earliest example of fiddle backup in existence is also the earliest example of Texas style backup in existence? In fact, It is widely speculated that this recording spawned what we know today as country music. I recommend purchasing these recordings for your own library. Download the MP3 Eck Robertson: Old-Time Texas Fiddler. This earliest example of fiddling in existence today should be standard in any collector's library.

's get into the music. Listen to this YouTube video of the moment. Please note, I recommend purchasing the album for yourself, but take a moment and listen. 

Note the backup... Just Eck and his fiddle grooving sans backup. A true fiddler carrying the melody, harmony and groove all by himself. Impeccable. 

Now listen to another track recorded during
 that session

Two fiddlers, Eck Robertson and Henry Gilliland, often playing octave melodies, sometimes harmonizing, sometimes counterpoint. The groove is terrific. The backup is non-existent...or is it... How could a guitarist or other backup player improve upon this? Leave your thoughts below. 

Thanks to the following sources:
Texas State Historical Association
53jaybop Youtube Channel
Banjerholler Youtube Channel