Watch the Bill Cheatham online guitar lesson by Roberto Dalla Vecchia from Solo Flatpicking Handbook
This is a very popular fiddle tune among flatpickers around the globe. We'll be in the key of A, playing it with the capo at the 2nd fret using G shapes. Just as in thousands of other fiddle tunes, “Bill Cheatham” follows the typical structure AABB, with two sections repeated twice.
In the first section, I twisted the melody a bit, so make sure you listen to some standard versions to understand what’s going on.
In the second section I play the melody in the lower register. I really like to play this section with a strong accent on the second and fourth beat of each measure, just like a fiddler would do. Get familiar with this pulse, it's driving and gives the song the right groove.