Pat Kirtley is a gifted performer who blends the rich musical heritage of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins with imagination and masterful contemporary technique, in styles "from Bluegrass to Brazilian." As a creator of new acoustic music, Pat has penned a virtual library of fresh, lyrical compositions for guitar. His deadpan wit, engaging personality and splendid versatility combine to create a unique musical experience, delighting audiences at concerts, festivals, and workshops throughout the United States and abroad. Here are some typical listener comments from Pat's shows - "…he is a superb guitarist, whose music makes you grin, sigh, shake your head", "...a wonderful, inspiring evening", and "Pat is funny, musically gifted, and immensely entertaining".
Tablature/music is available as a PDF file for each lesson. Lessons are filmed with multiple cameras and consist of a performance, explanation, and conclude with a slow tempo split screen that follows the tab/music.Back to Singles Catalog Listing
This is an old standard which Chet Atkins adapted as a thumbstyle guitar arrangement on one of his early albums in the 1950's. Chet recorded it twice,
and this version combines what many players to be the best parts of both Chet's versions. Played in the key of G.
"Amazing Grace" was written by the English poet John Newton (1725-1807) and published in 1779. The song has a message of forgiveness and redemption of
the sins people commit. "Amazing Grace" is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world. This is a basic and easy-to-play arrangement
of the eternal classic. It is played in the DADGAD and is a good introduction to this evocative tuning.
Written during the Civil War in 1962 by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe. It is a classic traditional tune that should be in every fingerstyle player's
repertoire. Pat presents a simplified but highly musical and playable in Drop D Tuning (DGDGBD). This arrangement was chosen for advanced-beginner
to intermediate skill level, and to illustrate the differences and unique features of the Drop D tuning.
Written by Joni Mitchell in 1969. Chet Atkins recorded it as an instrumental in Open G tuning. The arrangement sits well in this open tuning and conveys
the melodic and dream like quality of Joni's original recording.
A challenging fingerstyle arrangement of an Irish hornpipe arranged in DADGAD. The melody is known by many other titles, i.e. The Beaux Of Oak Hill, The
Beaux Of Oakhill, The Boys From The Blue Hill, The Boys Of Blue Hill, The Boys Of Blue Oak Hill, Boys Of The Blue Hill, Buachaill An Chnoic Ghoirm,
The Lad Of Bluehill, The Lads Of North Tyne, Mildew On My Mind and more!
Classic early Chet Atkins thumbpicking piece at a fast tempo. The arrangement has been modified from Chet's original so it works as a solo guitar piece,
where Chet had a rhythm section supporting his playing of a single line solo choruses etc.
Doc Watson said that he heard "Deep River Blues" on a 1933 Delmore Brothers recording and tried to figure out how to play it in the style of Merle Travis.
It became one of his signature pieces and is a great introduction to thumbstyle guitar. It is played in the key of E and uses first position chords
with the addition of an E7 fingering up the neck. A real fun piece to play.
"Down Home" is one of the very first tunes written by Jerry Reed for Chet Atkins. As Jerry described it : "I had stumbled into that counterpoint stuff
I do. And 'Down Home' just blew Chet's mind. He loved 'Down Home.' And I was livin' in Atlanta when he recorded that." It is played in the key of A
and has that Jerry Reed blues piano feel.
This is a great thumbstyle guitar tune recorded by Chet Atkins in 1967, and written by Jerry Reed (under a pen name). It is one of the easier Chet-style
tunes to master. Played in the key of E.
This tune was written by the Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670 -1738). He was a blind early Irish harper, composer and singer whose great fame is due
to his gift for melodic composition. Although not a composer in the classical sense, Carolan is considered by many to be Ireland's national composer.
Some of O'Carolan's own compositions show influences of the style of continental classical music played during this period. "Fanny Powers" is one of
his best known and widely played and arranged instrumentals. It is a stately set-piece and fits well in the DADGAD tuning.
This tune is also a song but it sounds great as an instrumental piece. The chords progression is a turn-around ("round robin tune" like Merle said in an
interview). Originally, we think it was written by Amos Johnson, who taught it to Mose Rager, who played it for Merle Travis. Played in the key of
A classic thumbstyle tune written by Spider Rich as heard on Chet Atkins' 1963 album Guitar Genius. This arrangement is note-for-note from the original
recording. It is played in the key of A.
Classic traditional thumbstyle guitar tune in the style of Mose Rager, Merle Travis, and Doc Watson. A good introductory piece for learning thumbstyle
and a regular in the repertoire of most pickers. A hymn originally written in the mid-1800s by Mary Dana Shindler. Played in the key of E and using
first position chords.
Another Mose Rager - Merle Travis classic thumbstyle arrangement. Played in the key of C and using first position chords. "I'll See You in My Dreams" is
a popular song. It was written by Isham Jones, with lyrics by Gus Kahn, and was published in 1924. Originally recorded by Isham Jones and the Ray Miller
Orchestra, it charted for 16 weeks during 1925. The song was also recorded by Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, and inspired
Merle Travis to record it as a guitar instrumental.
A beautiful melody played in the DADGAD tuning. This slow air sits well in this tuning. Decorations around the melody are explored.
Written by Junior Parker and Sam Phillips, "Mystery Train" was a huge hit in 1955 for Elvis Presley. It is essentially a blues. Pat has based his arrangement
on the Chet Atkins/Jerry Reed recording and is played in the key of E.
"Oh By Jingo!" is a 1919 song by Albert Von Tilzer with lyrics by Lew Brown. The song was featured in the Broadway show Linger Longer Letty and became
one of the biggest Tin Pan Alley hits of the post-World War I era. Chet Atkins recorded his arrangement in 1953. It's a real barn-burner when
played well. it incorporates a library of early Chet licks and moves.
Chet Atkins' 1980 Grammy-winning treatment of Crystal Gale's country favorite. This is an excellent tune for thumbstyle which is performance-ready but
not too hard to learn. Played in the keys of Am and C and using first position chords.
This is a blues shuffle piece written by Jerry Reed and recorded by Chet Atkins in 1965. It's full of rock and boogie motifs, with some interesting chord
changes. Played in the key of E.
The DADGAD tuning is an alternative guitar tuning most associated with Celtic music, though it has also found use in rock, folk, metal and several other
genres. Tuning to DADGAD from standard is accomplished by tuning the first, second and sixth strings down a whole step (two frets). The result is an
open D suspended fourth. Being suspended, the open tuning is neither intrinsically major nor minor. The suitability of DADGAD to Celtic music stems
from the fact that it facilitates the use of a number of moveable chords which retain open strings. These act as a drone on either the bass or treble
strings, approximating the voicings used in traditional Scottish and Irish pipe music. "Skye Boat Song" is an easy fingerstyle arrangement of a beautiful
Scottish air played in DADGAD.
This tune was originally a pop radio hit by Terry Gibbs in the late 70's. Chet and Lenny Breau recorded it as a guitar duet on Standard Brands in 1981.
This version consolidates Chet's and Lenny's parts into a guitar solo arrangement. Played in the key of D.
A fascinating instrumental that was written by Henry Worrall in 1860. This was at the height of "parlour guitar music" - a pseudo-classical American hybrid that was very popular amongst middle class women. In fact, we refer to the guitars built during this period by Martin Guitars and other makers as parlour guitars. "Worrall's Original Spanish Fandango" called for the guitar strings to be tuned to an open-G chord (D, G, D, G, B, D, from low to high), with the explanation that the music was to be read as if the guitar were in standard tuning. Somehow this instrumental permeated both White and Black blues and country music. It was one of the first tunes that traditional guitarists learnt in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was recorded by both White and Black musicians and it's echoes can be heard in the blues of Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Elizabeth Cotten, Mance Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt, John Dilleshaw - The String Marvel's and many others.
This is note-for-note from one of Chet's early classic signature pieces. The arrangement here combines the best parts of his 1953 and 1955 recordings of
the tune. Played in the key of E.
This is a Pat Kirtley's signature arrangement of the Bob Wills - Leon MacAuliffe classic country tune from 1936. The tune was actually written and recorded
by Sylvester Weaver in 1923, making it probably the first fingerstyle guitar tune ever recorded. Sylvester Weaver played his version in an Open D tuning
(DADF#AD) whereas Pat employs a tuning made popular by the British guitarists Martin Carthy and Davey Graham. The guitar is tuned EADEAE. As strange
as this tuning might seem, it is perfect for arranging and playing "Steel Guitar Rag." Try it and a new world of possibilities will be at your fingertips.
This is a fascinating tune. The structure is AABBCC. Pat's arrangement is challenging but very satisfying. This classic jig is arranged in DADGAD.
A famous traditional Irish air as arranged and recorded by Pat Kirtley. The DADGAD tuning is perfect for this haunting melody. It is also known as "The
Chet Atkins' wrote and recorded this classic tune in the mid-1950's. This version is altered from the original to make it work as a stand alone guitar
solo instead of needing a backup rhythm section as Chet used in the recording. Played in the key of C.
A Chet Atkins and Lenny Breau arrangement of the Cole Porter standard which features different flavors including chord melody, bossa nova, and thumbstyle.
Played in the key of G.