Wabash Cannonball - Intermediate Tab Lesson
Wabash Cannonball Intermediate Tab - Second Lesson for this song which will give you an intermediate level flatpicking break.
This is the second lesson on the song Wabash Cannonball, which gives you a very nice intermediate break for this classic bluegrass melody. If you would like to view the first lesson, you can go to: Wabash Cannonball Beginner Tab.
This song, as tabbed here, is written in the key of C Major. The three principle chords in C Major are C, F and G7, and all three of them are represented in this break and the melody follows these chord forms that are used for the rhythm.
I have stepped up the complexity of this piece a few notches for this intermediate level break. As played here there are a lot more slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs and even some melodic-type passages. All of these ornamentals will help you in achieving more speed and smoothness when playing this break.
The first area you should work diligently on occurs in the 4th measure. This is where we start the first melodic passage. To make this sound correctly, you have to let the notes ring through each other, to create a harp-like sound. The best way to accomplish this it to continue to hold fretted notes, while you play the open strings.
Also, you should hold multiple fingers on the fretted notes, longer than their time duration would indicate to achieve this effect. Be sure not to lift a finger until it is absolutely necessary.
In the 8th measure, we use a series of pull-offs and hammer-ons to achieve this special effect. These ornamentals are played directly after each other, so work on execution and smoothness to get this timing right and allow the note to sound very clearly so it is difficult to distinguish the difference between a picked note or a hammer-on or pull-off.
I know this will take quite a bit of strength in your fingers and practice, but once you achieve it, you will improve your playing skills exponentially.
The 10th measure offers even more complexity as we run through a slide, then immediately to a hammer-on, followed by the final slide. Be sure to end the slides very cleanly and clearly to make the note sound very clearly.
You may even decide to try a delayed slide to make the timing through here to add some Syncopation to the break.
The final area we will look at will the the 12th fret. This again is a melodic passage and you should make your guitar sound like a harp. Look carefully at the LH fingering so you can play this properly, because if you do not use the proper fingering, you will not be able to play this melodic lick.
To begin the melodic piece you should be sure you raise your LH fingers vertically off the fretboard so you will have adequate clearance between strings, and the notes can all ring through each other very nicely, without being muted by a fretted note.
Be sure to memorize this lick as you will be able to use it on other songs too. It is a great little piece that you can use over and over again. Try some variation to it and make up your own licks - that is something that is very easy to do - with time and practice.
Okay - that is second lesson for Wabash Cannonball. Work on the melodic passages, get them silky smooth, and memorize this break and then play it up to speed. Combine this break with the first one and you will have a couple of fine breaks you can play. You will note that the reason we are using so many ornamentals:
Ornamentals give a bit of a break for the right hand picking hand. Even this slight break of a half of a beat can make a real difference in hand fatigue. Some of the most popular flatpickers like Tony Rice and
Also, ornamentals allow you to eventually play a break much faster and it sounds a lot smoother too.
If you would like to download the full PDF document for, click on this link to download it right to your computer. Wabash Cannonball Intermediate PDF.