Six Unique Fiddle Tune Arrangements for Solo Flatpicked Guitar

Eric Skye

Lessons with a Master Guitarist

85-Minute Download Lesson with TAB
  • Code:DLSKYFA21
  • Skill Level:Intermediate (4)

Fiddle tunes are typically played at fast tempos by instruments associated with bluegrass, old-time or country dance music. In the hands of a master guitarist like Eric Skye, though, these tunes become something very different. He eases up the tempo, pulling emotion from the melodies with rich bass notes, ringing harmonies and  chordal melodies. His approach stresses musicianship and beautiful tone as opposed to speed and flash.

Playing his signature model Santa Cruz, Eric starts the lesson with Whiskey Before Breakfast, sharing ideas on how to elicit sumptuous tones from the acoustic guitar. He spends extra time on the first song, beautifully setting up the tunes that follow: lesser-known pieces like Sergeant Early’s Dream and his own construct, The Locktender’s Reel; plus the better-known Chinquapin Hunting and Cold Frosty Morning. He rounds out the lesson with the well-travelled Billy in the Lowground, putting his signature style on this perennial favorite.

Some of the ornaments Eric interweaves in his lesson include a very effective offbeat slur with ringing bass note, a Scottish fiddler’s note flurry called a “birl,” dynamics, phantom beats, autoharp harmonics, and other useful techniques that can easily be integrated into other pieces. 

This is a highly playable lesson for the aspiring guitarist who wants to dig into fiddle tunes for the first time, or for experienced pickers who are looking for a new approach to their instrument. 


Phil Taylor 1 year, 8 months ago

Having played fingerstyle guitar for quite a number of years I have used Eric's fiddle tunes lessons for what really are my first tentative steps to using a flat pick and I have to say this product is excellent. The 'nothing fancy, just once through at a moderate tempo' principle really brings out the beauty of these fiddle tunes and there is plenty of scope to add little things here and there of your own.

Eric's teachings along with the excellent Homespun download product has honestly been a really enjoyable experience so much so I have done videos of the first two tunes with links below:-

I really recommend these lessons.

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Happy Traum 1 year, 6 months ago

Thanks for posting these, Phil. They are lovely versions of Eric Skye's arrangements. Very nicely played! We're all so pleased that you are enjoying the lessons and, obviously, getting a lot out of them. Keep it up!

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Bob Hodges 11 months, 2 weeks ago

This is a super fun course and it offers a fantastic way to get started into melody driven arrangements if you have the most basic flatpicking skill foundation. Eric's teaching style is very effective and clear and you don't have to play the arrangements fast to make them sound good. I also found Eric's teaching style allows you to simplify each arrangement if there is a technical detail especially with the left hand that is not feasible for you. Lots of bang for the buck.

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Perry 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you Eric Skye for reminding us how beautiful these old fiddle tunes are. Eric summarizes the pillars of flatpicking in one convenient place. Each arrangement has a little unique touch; a chord stab, a ringing note, a rhythmic variation that can be incorporated into other fiddle tunes. Tone production is championed here and reminds us how satisfying a well played melody on a nice sounding instrument can be.

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Simon Alexander 2 months, 1 week ago

This is a fantastic lesson series. The arrangements are extremely musical and really capture the beauty of the acoustic guitar. I'm very much looking forward to working through all six arrangements which seem very accessible to the intermediate guitarist and enjoyable to play. It would be great to see Eric release more lessons here.

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