Tony Rice: Melody In Focus

Here’s a video by Tony Rice featuring a breakdown of how he plays the Red Haired Boy, a traditional song that anyone who has flatpicked usually knows how to play.

What’s cool about this vid is getting the chance to watch very closely what Tony is doing both left and right hand.

Now flatpicking has evolved … even in the last 15 years.

There’s so many younger talented guitarists that have taken what Tony has done and expounded on it. Players that come to mind are Bryan Sutton, Cody Kilby, Clay Hess, David Grier… Hey the list is still growing and I probably left out a good 80%.

You will notice that Tony’s rendition of Red Haired Boy is primarily melody based with an “every once in a while” hot lick that of course he made up. Honestly, I hear more guitarists doing the licks of Tony rather than taking from what I think Tony’s main focus is towards his own playing.

I think it’s important to learn these traditional songs the way they were written first and then go after areas to embellish. Obviously Tony knows the importance to sticking to the melody, and that’s why so many people love his guitar playing.


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