The song of the week is the old classic moonshine song 'Mountain Dew', the song that the soft drink of the same name was named after.
Mountain Dew has the same chord progression as I'll Fly Away, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, and many other songs in the bluegrass and old time repertoire:
I sing Mountain Dew in the key of A.
Mountain Dew contains the same melody notes as Long Journey Home, so the sheet music to tab conversion chart attached here is the same as the one that I provided when Long Journey Home was the song of the week.
Like 'Shady Grove', last week's song of the week, 'Mountain Dew' is often played at a fast tempo. Here are some tips that might help you to play faster:
For rhythm guitar: focus on the bass notes, think of the strums as though they were a mere afterthought. Keep the strums between the bass notes relatively quiet; between bass notes, the strums should be a single, rapidly executed, and compact downstroke with the pick aiming for no more than just the 1st, 2nd and 3rd strings. The pick should not need to change the angle at which it hits the strings between strums and bass notes, and there should be no more than the bare minimum amount of motion from the hand and arm needed for playing rhythm.
For banjo: don't get locked into doing the same right hand picking pattern over and over again; repetitive motions are difficult to maintain even for a short time at fast tempos. Leave some of the less important notes out of the rolls: various mixtures of quarter notes and 8th notes are not only easier to play at fast tempos that a steady stream of 8th notes, but also tend to sound better.
For bass: when playing along with records, make sure that you are able to play on top of the beat, rather than behind it. Can you push the beat just a little bit without speeding up or falling out of time with the record? Test yourself on this with moderate tempo songs before attempting to play along with fast songs on a record.
For guitar and mandolin breaks: for fast songs, tend to play fewer notes per measure than what you would do for moderate tempo songs; the faster the song is, the less need there is for so many notes in order for your breaks to be satisfying to the ear.
For fiddle: when you wish to include measures consisting mostly of 8th notes in your breaks, you might try to find places where it is convenient to play 3 or 4 notes back to back with a single bow stroke, rather than using a separate bow stroke for each note.
For all instruments: when practicing with a metronome, set the metronome just a couple of beats faster than the fastest tempo that you feel comfortable playing at, and make yourself keep up to it. Isolate and loop any spots that you find yourself tending to slow down on or stumble over (starting at a slower tempo than what you had the metronome set to, building back up to that speed), or find ways to simplify what you are playing in those spots. Once the metronome speed feels comfortable to play at, set it yet another couple of beats faster, and repeat the same process.
Here are some youtube links to listen to.
Flatt and Scruggs with Merle Travis - live at Carnegie Hall (key of A): banjo and fiddle breaks
Stanley Brothers (key of Bb, tuned a bit sharp): guitar breaks
Stringbean (key of A): clawhammer banjo and dobro breaks
...and, if you have never seen or heard Grandpa Jones play and sing Mountain Dew, you might wish to check this link out for its entertainment value:
11/25/2019 11:23:34 am
When you click on the Mountain Dew guitar tab, the tab for In the Pines comes up. Could you fix it on the site and/or email me the tab? Thank you - Rick
12/8/2019 09:21:59 am
Yeah, Rick is right. In the Pines comes up under the Guitar Tabs. I'd take a copy e-mailed too please.
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