Watch the Sallie May online guitar lesson by David Blacker from Lone Wolf Blues

In Sallie May we have taken Travis picking in G to a slightly more challenging level. This piece involves more chord tones, more movement and more independence between the right and left hands.

In measures 1-4 you have a nice melody that weaves through G and G6 and resolving on G7th in measure 4. In addition to the alternate bass notes played with the thumb, measure 4 requires 3 fingers to pick out the melody notes with the addition of a Bb note on the G string. The Bb is a key tonality in this piece as it introduces the slightly dissonant sound of the b5 (of G major) juxtaposed with other very standard dominant chord tones.

Over the IV chord in measure 5 we move slightly out of position to grab a melody note on the 5th fret of the high E string. The idea is to show the moveable nature of small chord fragments when Travis picking through a progression.

Recommended listening: Mississippi John Hurt, The Library of Congress Recordings Vol 1.

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