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Walkin' After Midnight (Made Easy)

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Spotlighting Patsy Cline's signature vocal, combined with a lazy, swinging arrangement, "Walkin' After Midnight" is a classic example of what came to be known as “the Nashville Sound”. The advent of multi-track recording made it possible to create this modern country arrangement.

In addition to the hallmark pedal steel guitar, the track also utilizes electric guitar, bass guitar, and drums. Each instrument has it's "place" in the arrangement and it's all about supporting the vocal line. We'll be learning a slinky acoustic guitar part that will fit right in the middle. Part of the fun/challenge is getting our part just right, with the correct timing and harmonic content. As you listen to our awesome backing tracks, notice how each player occupies a very specific portion of the harmonic and rhythmic landscape. We want to be sure our part gives the song what it wants, no more and no less.

We're playing in the key of C Major, and using a basic set of chords: I IV and V. Use of the dominant 7th spices up the mix and adds a blue flavor as does the shuffled version of the basic strum that we'll be using today. We'll be playing at about 96 BPM.

A relaxed, confident approach to both the left and right hand is key to getting the "feel" right on this one. We'll not only break down each section of this song, we'll also think about our chords and strum pattern in the context of playing with the most ease

This song uses a very classic AABA structure that is suspiciously similar to the form used for many jazz standards, a short solo follows the basic form, then the bridge and last verse repeat to end the song. So our form is:


Note that there is no chorus in this song, instead the phrase "Walkin’ After Midnight" becomes a vocal "hook" used throughout the song.

Simple chords, a concise form and the addition of the pedal steel, walking bass and tick tock guitar and you go from a jazz standard to a country standard!

So, we're going to think about our left hand, our right hand, we're going to think small picture (by breaking down each technique) we're going to think big picture (how to put the small pieces together to form a whole) we're going to work through it section by section and when we're done we'll have added a classic, iconic country tune to the repertoire!

Lesson Info
Walkin' After Midnight (Made Easy)