Good afternoon friends. Lovely to see you
again. Here I am Miki Pannell. I’m gonna show you Chet Atkins tune today. Now this is Mr. Sandman. There’s probably 200
versions on YouTube if you want the kind of freakies’ 100% accurate
note-for-note thing, go somewhere else I’m gonna show you what is quite an
authentic version but I’ve simplified a couple of the fingerings just because it
was these enormous enormous stretches which I can’t be bothered to do so what
I’ll do I’ll go through each section and try and play it as slowly as possible
bear in mind obviously I only sing slow is actually more difficult and playing
them fast introduction now the first thing we need to know about this song is
actually in three or possibly four different keys and I’ll mention those in
a minute a is the tone of the first one if you
want to know what the basic kind of chords to this are starts off with um
did it who did it it did a famous phrase then it basically just goes through a
bunch of kind of sevens this is the kind of simplified version obviously Shay a
few more jazz style chords put in there and talk about those oh by the way I
forgot to mention this is actually a complimentary video if you want the
performance that I did that’s on another one so you can kind of open that up look
at how I did it we’re not actually rehearsed here and today I’m just gonna
support watch my way through it so somebody described this introduction as
the gentlemen start your engines riff which was nice so we’re going from the
mom E and then in so the bum bumbum the cord
that Shay does I think he’s fingering some note down here and then doing some
kind of enormous stretch but I’ve based it around the major seventh a fast back down the court live the position simply that know we can play the note
there which important one because that’s the major seventh tonality which gives
it that sweet flavor so that’s the phrase now that you’re gonna play later
up in D when it does the first chord change then later the song plays the
whole sequence again but in don’t in C so you have to keep that riff same
position what’s nice about that is the way which this is the one where Shea
does make this stretch from somewhere down here he does like I can’t even do
it if you got a long stretch you can try and play the chord that way but in most
courts there’s usually three important notes that expresses a whole life DL
with just okay so I’ll repeat that part again then we’re into the fingerstyle
melody now the secret of all finger style and I’m not particularly good at
it but the absolute secret is to get the thumb and the accompaniment a much lower
volume than the melody and let the melody sing out if you can do that then
you really onto something so the melody begins with mr. Sammon so so you can mr. Sandman or many of the
versions the only melody people play is just Sandman down one chord so if you’re
not used to doing these kind of alternating bass lines you want to try
and get that working first and then because Shea’s imitating the Merle
Travis style he probably does it with just two fingers on this section and my
advice is to play fingerstyle, if you can,with just these two fingers cuz it
works so well. So, again. and there’s a bass line there, to take you into the 3rd chord of the sequence. chord to the sequence which is C sharp
7th (Do sostenido 7) and the little melody on top of that
chord is great because it’s so simple really basic chord. Chet often did that where
he played really simple things without any kind of elaboration, so always a good
lesson. So then the next chord we’re going to be going to is F sharp 7th (Fa sostenido 7) which will be followed by either by a B 7th (Si 7) or you’re probably better off with the B 9th (Si 9th) which is Keep your pinkie free there, because
that’s going to play the note on top. So, again. Chet, or some guitarist play this interesting chord which, I think, has got a flattened 9th or something. That’s got this little note in there instead of just playing the A (La)
I think it’s augmented fifth? Is that right? A sharpened fifth?
Anyway, you’ve just got to think of that chord and instead of having what would be the regular note there you are playing one above and this this is a feature of this many other tunes. On this one you could almost play any of the notes from the chord It fits. top string or the B string. And then we are into the B 9th (Si 9) Probably on the Chet version, because he was so accurate with the alternating bass, he was playing this figure. but you can just play it the Merle Travis way which was just basically playing the bottom two strings
and then the next two together There’s no hard and fast rules to this. To end there’s an E (Mi) chord with the 6th down, but probably played with those fingers ringing. So you’ve
got one covering those two strings A standard E (Mi) chord there and the notes that are picked are the top E (1st) and the B string (2nd), which is fingering the 6th note. So let’s put that all together again. then we’re going back to the A (La) with a
walking bass line. my recommendation is play it with your thumb because you can use the other fingers to play the melody on top
here. So, what we’ve got is the chord sequence is just a straight A (La) chord and
then there’s an F 9th (Fa 9) typical bluesy thing, resolving to the E (Mi) with a little
melody played on the top with the little finger. So… Very very typical in so many
of these old tunes. You’ve got that fifth chord with a little melody so you
can mess around with it. There’s a load of stuff you can do with this by
altering the chord you can change the chord to, for example, what about this? You
can also, instead of doing the 7th chord, you can you can move that one up…. an augmented 5th, whatever it is. I’m terrible with the chords. Get that dissonant sound. which risolves so well back to this… or you can actually mix two of them, You hear that so many different tunes. Chord sequences like that that. Maybe you could put a diminished in there. A ton of ideas all based around just the 5th going back to the
first chord. Obviously you’ve got a little melody going on top, so it kind of
gets confusing if you start changing the chord. Then we’re back to the beginning. ‘Mr. Sandman… ‘ When we get to here, instead of going to the B9 (Si 9) we’re going to the minor chord, which
I think Chet played up here and did the melody around there but I got into the
habit of doing it down here. So so you’ve got your alternating bass line here, over
the B minor chord, and then the melody goes up through the top notes of the
chord Now, what is this called? Well, good
question you might ask! I think is I I think that’s a minor 6th, but what you want to do is to keep your finger across all the strings
because you still got to keep the alternating bass line going on there, and
on the top you’ve got a D minor chord with one added note, which i think is the 6th note. Don’t quote me on that. So, this part together. So, there’s a little introduction there. ‘Mr. Sandman…’ This is over B 7th (Si 7)
chord going to the figure that we saw before – the E9 (Mi 9) with the little melody on the top. This is one of the parts you need to practice the most, because that’s where
the famous melody resolves before the key changes. You want to make
sure you get that right personally I never practice… well not enough anyway, which is why I’m playing so sloppy for you… but what the hell! ‘Mr. Sandman bring me some sand…’ Whatever the words are. This is where it gets interesting because you’ve got two very quick
changes of tone. The whole melody is now going to move up five notes,
five semitones up to D (Re) quite logical but, just when you think Chet is
going to play the whole tune in D (Re), he suddenly puts a D 7th (Re 7) and then changes the tone once again, this time to G (Sol) It’s absolutely ingenious. Who would have ever thought of doing something as crazy as that? But it it really works. So you
finish off Key change Same melody as before… and then it’s going to go into this
section that goes… when I figured this out, I was looking at
the guitar thinking ‘Where the hell is he?’ ‘What is this?’ But really, what he’s done
is he’s just changed. He’s played a fifth of the D, and he’s changed the tone to G (Sol) and this whole section way you’ve got the…. are the tops of the G chord, that you would get if you figured this type of position, or if you put like a G7 (Sol 7) and you’re in this
kind of second position of G. So the figure is this and it’s important because it
repeats again with the picking after so you’ve got… the first part is: top three
strings. 7th fret. To the minor which is (not the top string) the next three. You’ve got this minor triad This is a beautiful chord. Don’t ask me
what it is though, but the notes here you’ve got the 6h fret of the E (1st)
string the 7th fret of the B (2nd) string and then the two bottom notes are the E (Mi)…. so What he does is play the top three strings together then the next set below Okay? Sounds a bit like Hotel California…
that part then there’s another nice chord here, which again is coming
out of the B 7th (Si 7) and we’re playing the flattened 9th, or you can think of
it an augmented… or something Again, instead of just main standard tone,
we’ve moved that shape up again. So this is, like I said, a variation on the chord
that repeats several times throughout the song and obviously you can put it
into loads of your own stuff as well. So that whole section again. So, your fingering in quite a few of the
notes here, but really you’re only playing the top three. Another altered chord. The notes of
this one are the A flat (La bemol) and then these two notes together which are the C and
the E… and something which is actually quite simple, which is just an A 6th (La 6)
chord. So that’s if you use the standard shape. Put your finger down on F sharp (Fa sostenido) I’m not sure exactly which group he’s using
but it’s little triads together moving up and down. …between the A6 (La 6) and the G6 (Sol 6) and then So here we’re in the A (La) minor position and you’re adding one extra note there
on top. So in this position there’s a C (Do) being added. So if I play the whole section again. and then the phrase finishes with a D (Re)
going up to an E flat (Mi bemol) and then back to the D 6th (Re 6), top three strings, so just the top of the D chord (Re). I’m putting the 6th, okay? Now, the second
section is very very similar to the first but this time, he’s using a
picking technique, which is basically this. So, if we start with the top three
strings a B position. It’s not a B chord. It’s a G maj 7th (Sol ma 7) chord. We’re still in G so this is in this position. It’s the G major seventh (Sol mayor 7) Yeah, it’s a major seventh, So we’re gonna play first the 2nd string (not the top
one). First the arpeggio, okay? Only three strings: B string first… if you
can see this The same little figure on the next three
string, starting with the middle of the triad and the pattern just repeats like
that… Let me get the chords right. Yeah, so the third part of that (if I move my finger out the way) you’ve got: Middle First, Bottom, Middle, Top and back to the
Middle. Then the same, but just moved down one inversion. Great little effect that you can use on any type of improvisation around little chord tops. A whole load of Chet stuff is based on those. Where are we? Same position as before over a B 7th (Si 7)
chord with an added one going on and off. and the same again that we did before
this chord here… Okay. So that’s that part The whole of the last part is over the A (La) minor chord and he just basically plays through the notes of the
chord and when he goes to the final A it’s the third string bent up with the top one. That works well if you do it quickly You can mess around and play probably different notes. It’s slightly staccato. With this hand you immediately take your finger off just slightly to dampen it and that gives it
that….. The next part I should imagine causes like a massive controversy because there’s this full
chord sequence and I’ve seen this in various different books transcribed in
different ways and I’m sure on YouTube everyone’s arguing about it. But the
basic chords that you need to know is you’ve got a chord… That chord is a fingering of an A9 (La 9)
and the fingering I’m using two notes from an A (La) chord and then on top you got the 7th and the 9th. Great little chord Good for swing. Loads of stuff you can do with that. Brian Setzer uses that type of figure a lot . There’s that one and then it goes to this
amazing chord, which is….. So, the notes are this one, I’m playing the whole chord
but on the Chet recording and on various other recordings I’ve heard
people have done. They don’t always play the whole chord. They just pick a couple of
notes out of it. You’ve got C (Do) then on the third string an E (Mi). Top string, B (Si) and that all together gives
you this….. and again as I mentioned before you can just play little parts of it if
you want. Groups of 3 or anything. So the whole sequence would go…. ‘Mr. Sandman…..’ And the final two chords are:_ the top of an A( La) I think it’s the top of an 11th or a 13th chord. It’s basically this chord… ….sliding down to… but Chet, I think, only picks the top four
notes in that chord. Again, Chet probably never played the same thing twice Well, that’s the basic idea. The whole final section is… Okay. The final section is basically
the same as the first section, but this time we’re going to another key change. So
it’s actually the fourth key change. which goes to C (Do) same figure. That type of thing again. Chet doesn’t actually alternate the bass line this time. I’ve
forgotten what he does… He does some other figure on the bass line just to make it
a bit varied. But just to keep things simple, we’ll just play as before One important thing: if you don’t want to learn every single part, just the basic melody I would recommend learning it in C (Do) and the reason for that is it’s
become something of a gypsy jazz standard. Django Reinhardt didn’t
actually record this, to my knowledge, but if you go to any kind of big gypsy jazz
festival or jam session it’s become a standard.It’s quite easy to solo
over especially in C (Do). Because in C (Do) the chords would be this. You’d have their
normal C chord to start. Then it goes to B7 (Si 7) to E7 (Mi 7) to A7 (La 7) to D7 (Re 7) and back resolving to a G7 (Sol 7) chord. Gypsy jazz guys tend to do you know there’s sort of more gypsy chords be stuff like you know and then obviously you can put a whole
load of soloing over the single note stuff. So you start off with a few arpeggios down to the B7 (Si 7. That type of stuff. That makes an interesting variation on the Chet Atkins fingerstyle thing, where you can actually do a nice change of tone and do
some single note stuff in there. So, you know. Nothing’s sacred. The end has always been a bit of a mystery. I’ve got the book ‘Chet Atkins in Three Dimensions’
which is absolutely the best book for accurate transcriptions and the very
final sequence of this would be and there’s a kind of figure that does
something like this. Where there’s the F note with this little triad on the top. I can’t remember exactly how it goes, but it’s something along the lines of… That’s one way to do it. Another way to
do it would be to play the notes of the chord in a different position and not do
this slide. If you want to get it exactly like the record, I recommend going to the
the book I just mentioned, ‘Chet in Three Dimensions’ and find that out. But this resolves it just as well. So, if you play it in that way,
you’ll get this chord. Don’t ask me what is called… Very dissonant, even more dissonant, horrible, ugly and that sets the tension to finally play this, which i think is a C 6/9.(Do 6/9). The notes are C the 4th of the chord, then the two top
notes here It’s the same as this chord here, but it’s
got one extra note. And that’s it. Any questions stick them
below and I’ll see if I can sort them out for you… or any other requests. Happy picking!