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Sandy Shalk

Sandy Shalk’s early musical interests include rock and roll, folk and jazz including some of the great jazz guitarists of the 1950s and 60s: Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, and Kenny Burrell. He began his professional career as a guitarist in the early 1970s with local top 40 and jazz music groups from Northern Delaware. This included an opportunity to play with oldies groups including Joey Dee and the Starlighters, who hit the charts in the 1960s with the Peppermint Twist. But his musical journey took new twist in the mid-1990s when his interests turned to fingerstyle guitar. He was introduced to the music of El McMeen, Steve Baughman, Pierre Bensusan, and other guitarists who arrange music for the guitar in alternate tunings. “A lesson with El sparked an interest in arranging fingerstyle tunes and set me on a path with the ultimate goal of bringing jazz standards and DADGAD together.” Minor7th noted that Sandy is “a fully realized musician who expresses rather than merely plays. His playing both sooths and swings, displaying both individual artistry and sensitivity to his listeners.”

Tablature 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.

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Sandy Shalk Single Song Downloads


Ain't Misbehavin'
Level: 3
Tuning: DADGAD

You won't by happy keeping this tune on the shelf. In this lesson you'll dust off Fats Waller 1929 standard, "Ain't Misbehavin'" and turn it into a DADGAD fingerstyle version. Sandy Shalk teaches you how to put the melody together with DADGAD chord voicings. This is a very accessible arrangement of a great tune known and performed by every generation instrumentalists and singers since Fats dominated the scene.


 


All Blues
Level: 3
Tuning: DADGAD

Something magical happened when Miles Davis brought together Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane and others to record "Kind of Blue" -arguably the most famous jazz album of all time. Sandy Shalk takes you through an arrangement of one of the most famous tunes from that album - "All Blues." You'll receive instruction in how to keep the bass part moving while performing both the melody and improvisational sections in a very doable groove for the fingerstyle guitarist.


 


Blind Mary
Level: 1/2
Tuning: Open G Tuning

This one will be the golden oldie of your set. "Blind Mary" was written by the blind Irish harpist Turlough O'Carolan who lived until the early 1700's. O'Carolan is thought to have written this plaintive melody for a fellow blind harpist. There are many wonderful versions of this lovely tune, but does seem to call out for Open G for guitar. Sandy Shalk teaches you both the A and B sections of O'Carolan's masterpiece.


 


Blue Monk
Level: 2/3
Tuning: DADGAD

Jazz pianist Thelonious Monk wrote some of the most famous jazz standards of all time. His jazz blues- oriented "Blue Monk" lends itself to a fingerstyle arrangement in DADGAD. Sandy Shalk has arranged this tune in the guitar friendly key of A, allowing you to focus on performing both the melody (while taking advantage of open strings) and four improvisational sections of the tune.


 


God Bless the Child
Level: 2/3
Tuning: DADGAD

Join Sandy Shalk in paying tribute to jazz singer icon Billie Holiday by performing her jazz classic God Bless the Child in DADGAD. Instruction will take you through two key sections of the tune-a bluesy verse section in G and the bridge in E minor. "Mama may have, and papa may have"but you will have a great tune in your repertoire!


 


It Ain't Necessary So
Level: 2/3
Tuning: DADGAD

"It Ain't Necessarily So" is from 'Porgy and Bess," George Gershwin and Debose Heyward's 1935 opera. Sandy Shalk teaches you a fingerstyle version of this remarkable tune sung by the character Sportin' Life in Porgy and Bess. After working through a jazz chord infused introduction, you'll set up the groove in D minor and learn both the melody and an improvisational section. With some of the chords, you'll combine open strings with 7ths, flat 9s, and more to unveil the magic of DADGAD when it comes to chord voicings.


 


Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Open G Tuning

Stephen Foster wrote some of the most enduring melodies and lyrics of all time. Published in 1854, "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" is thought to have been written about his wife Jane with whom he had a parting of the ways. Open G works well for this tune, particularly in the key of G. You'll work through the two sections of this classic tune.


 


La Paloma
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Open G Tuning

There are three melodic sections to Sebastian Yradier's often recorded tune form the 1830s.This very accessible arrangement essentially builds on three chords. Arranged in a tango-flavored style, you'll take advantage of the 5th and 6th strings in Open G to lay the foundation of the rhythm while playing the melody on top. This is a wonderful tune typically associated with Spain.


 


Medley: Farewell to Whiskey/Coleman's March
Level: 2/3
Tuning: DADGAD

In this lesson, Sandy Shalk puts two fiddle tunes together for a fingerstyle style medley in DADGAD. You'll learn the A and B sections of each of these popular old time fiddle tunes.


 


My Romance
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Open G Tuning

This Open G arrangement of "My Romance" by Rodgers and Hart is meant for the Open G enthusiast who is compelled to have a jazz ballad in her or her repertoire. Sandy Shalk teaches an introduction, a verse and a bridge using jazz flavored chords in Open G.


 


Off to California
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Open G Tuning

"Off to California" belongs to the great American fiddle tradition-a tune often played in old time jam sessions. But performing "Off to California" in Open G as a fingerstyle guitarist clearly represents the opportunity to explore some uncharted territory. Sandy Shalk teaches you an A and B section of the tune in an arrangement that takes advantage of the open string bass notes on the 5th and 6th strings.


Roslyn Castle
Level: 2/3
Tuning: DADGAD

Here's a Scottish traditional air arranged in D minor in DADGAD to take advantage of what DADGAD can bring to the table in a minor key. Sandy Shalk teaches you both the A and B sections of this wonderful tune.


 


Round Midnight
Level: 2/3
Tuning: DADGAD

Perhaps Thelonious Monk's best known tune, "Round Midnight," has been described as hauntingly beautiful. Countless versions of this tune have been recorded through the years, so why shouldn't the fingerstyle guitarist have some fun with it in DADGAD. Sandy Shalk takes you through an arrangement in A minor, teaching verse sections and bridge. You'll voice some jazz chords in DADGAD, and you'll learn a tune bound to become the moody and moving part of your repertoire.


 


Snowbird on the Ashbank
Level: 2/3
Tuning: DADGAD

There's a wonderful version of this tune recorded by the Foggy Mountain String Band in the early 1970s. Sandy Shalk teaches a fingerstyle version of this tune in DADGAD - a tuning which enhances the modal quality of this Appalachian classic.


 


Still Crazy After All these Years
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Open G Tuning

"Still Crazy After All These Years" was a 1975 hit by Paul Simon, one of the great songwriters of our time. In Open G, Sandy Shalk teaches you the introduction, the verses (perfect for Open G) and a bridge that changes key - as well as a short improvisational section. This is a great tune for anyone crazy enough to jazz things up in Open G.


 


Summertime
Level: 2/3
Tuning: DADGAD

Since its public unveiling in "Porgy and Bess," "Summertime" quickly entered the jazz lexicon. In fact, it's hard to imagine a jazz jam session without Summertime being called. Instruction in this DADGAD fingerstyle arrangement will include the melody and two fingerstyle improvisational passes through the changes. Playing this tune in DADGAD for solo guitar will set you on a road less traveled.


 


Take Five
Level: 2/3
Tuning: DADGAD

In 1958 the Dave Brubeck Quartet accomplished something rare in the world of jazz-they had a top-40 hit with "Take Five." Sandy Shalk takes you step by step through the melody of this tune and an improvisational section. Instruction focuses how to keep the bass part repeating to set up the 5 beat rhythm of the tune while keeping the melody on top. You can't miss by having a highly recognizable jazz hit in DADGAD - in 5/4 time! - in your fingerstyle repertoire. 


 


The Girl I Left Behind Me
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Open G

Originating in Ireland, the "Girl I Left Behind Me" found its way to America where the US Army eventually deployed it as a Marching tune. It's unlikely they marched with guitars, so you can set the record straight with this Open G fingerstyle version of a classic fiddle tune.