"Guitar Rag"

Al Petteway

A Fingerpicking Instrumental for DADGAD Guitar

14 Minutes • No TAB necessary
  • Code:DLALPGR21
  • Skill Level:Early Intermediate (3)

Al originally heard this great old-time guitar piece as “Steel Guitar Rag,” made famous in the thirties by Bob Wills’ legendary steel player, Leon McAuliffe. However, the tune had originally been recorded as a bottleneck instrumental by New York blues artist Sylvester Weaver back in 1927. It has since become one of the classics of Western Swing steel guitar, but it translates beautifully to the acoustic. Al’s version combines the two versions and, as you’ll see, it makes a great acoustic showpiece in DADGAD tuning.

Al plays an alternating bass while picking out the melody on the high strings in traditional fingerpicking style. He uses vibrato while moving the chords up the neck to imitate the slide sound. It’s a dynamic and compelling effect. “Guitar Rag” is played at a mid-tempo pace and has only a few fairly easy chord shapes, so it’s not technically difficult to play. It makes a terrific showpiece even for intermediate players and we’re sure you’ll have a great time learning it.


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