Watch the Breakdown 7 - 10 online guitar lesson by Tim Sparks from Roots, Rags & Blues

This enduring gospel standard is typically played in 3/4. For this workshop I am presenting the tune in two 4/4 versions. The first version is in drop D tuning, with the 6th string tuned from E down to D. The melody is played over an alternating Travis style bass line picked by the thumb largely on the 6th and 4th strings. The main idea of the lesson is to demonstrate major and minor Blues pentatonic scale voicings which can be easily played over the drop-D alternating bass line. The drop D chord voicings come from Joseph Spence by way of Ry Cooder. I was introduced to this style by Pat Donohue about 35 years ago when he showed me his arrangement of the Sonny Rollins tune, St. Thomas. I'm also trying to channel something of the gentle spirit I hear in the music of Mississippi John Hurt into this adaptation.

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