Think Of What You've Done      a closed position break in B flat (or B or C)

My first experience of playing Think Of What You've Done was in the key of A, which lends itself to a break using open strings in the first position. For an example of this type of playing, have a look at the tab for Think Of What You've Done in A. The page also notes that the Stanley Brothers' original recording was in C sharp, while Ricky Skaggs has recorded it in C natural.

In our own band, Monroe's Revenge, we had no hope of extending our vocal range to these higher keys, but we felt A was a bit low. This led to a period of experimenting with keys like B flat and B natural. What I needed was a break which I could play in closed position, so that I could move it up the neck for the higher keys.

The tablature below is in B flat. It starts off just like the break in A but with the notes moved up one fret. However, from bar 7 the break moves into some closed position licks, and progresses up the neck so that by the end you are in the B flat chop position. The position shifts rely on extended finger stretches - follow the given fingering carefully and you should have no problems. It's not exactly according to classical violin orthodoxy, but an awful lot of bluegrass playing breaks the classical rules. John Duffey was notorious for his unorthodox finger stretches!

To play in B natural or C, just shift the whole break up by one or two frets respectively. Keep the open strings at the beginning of bar 5 (counting from the double bar line) - they will sound OK as passing notes in whatever key. This occasional use of open strings is quite common in closed position playing, e.g. in the high part of Rawhide. It is a fingering convenience which also adds piquancy to your playing.

Play at medium pace, half note = 120-132 bpm


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