New Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Tabs for Sale! 

Angeline the Baker is a song written by Stephen Foster and published in 1850. It has become an American fiddle tune standard and will most likely be called at any bluegrass jam you attend. Having a break that is more than the standard melody is a must. 

This arrangement includes a simple version of the melody perfect for someone new to fiddle tunes or the player looking for an arrangement with no flourishes to embellish themselves.

This tune has a legendary origin story. It is said that a young Canadian fiddle player was playing with an old man until the dawn with the aid of libation before finally passing out. When finally awoken, the young fiddler remembered the last tune the old man had taught him but not the name. He gave the tune the new name "Whiskey Before Breakfast" (and made some alterations to fill in the gaps his mind didn't remember as clearly) it soon became widely known in America and is now a fiddle tune standard. 

Here is a simple version of the melody written for guitar. It has no frills and is intended as a base for you to build your own arrangement on top of.


A nineteenth-century printing of Flop Eared Mule calls it "Detroit Schottische". Twentieth-century sets usually call the tune "Flop-Eared Mule" or "Lop-Eared Mule" lucky for me these names are much easier to spell. This is one of the semi-rare tunes that modulates from the key of G in the A part to the key of D in the B part. It also frequently falls under the breakdown category. 

The melody in this arrangement is fairly straightforward but it provides you with a direct way to conquer the key change from A part to B part.


Sugar Foot Rag is a song written by Hank Garland and Vaughn Horton. Originally recorded by Garland and released in 1949, it sold over a million records. It was also recorded by Jerry Reed and released in 1979. 

This version is based on a recording from Scotty Turner's private collection of Jimmy Bryant. This recording, like many by Jimmy Bryant, is constantly being accused of having the tape sped up. However, many industry professionals attest that not only are the tapes unaltered but when challenged to a contest of speed Jimmy could play his hits faster than the recordings. In the first 40 seconds of the recording listed above, Jimmy Bryant plays 350 notes in three distinct breaks to Sugar Foot Rag. At the speed Jimmy plays, he averages out to almost 10 notes a second. Those are the three breaks sold in this tab.


Marcel's Bluegrass Night Is Growing Up! 

I have some exciting news to present this week, and while you may have heard about it via Facebook or Instagram, I wanted to let everyone know about the full situation. 

So, over the last year and change I have hosted my Bluegrass Night at the Honeymoon Meadery and our good friend Scot Casey has been absolutely wonderful. He has helped us to perform live on the radio, has promoted the event endlessly and has given us free snacks for a lifetime! And as much as I love the Honeymoon, it is time for a big change… 

So this month starting tomorrow, we are moving Marcel’s Bluegrass Night to the Green Frog in Bellingham. The show is going through some changes; the biggest being a feature band that will open up the show each month. This month we have High Mountain Stringband coming out to help us get going. Then after they play for about an hour, we will move into the typical layout of the bluegrass night where I have handpicked bluegrass musicians play together unrehearsed and with no excuses! We are excited to start having this event in a bigger venue and hope everyone will be able to come out and support not only bluegrass music, but our wonderful and hardworking musicians! 

The event will no longer be all ages (but what better way to utilize your date night, right?) and the cost is $10, so come help us get a good start to the event tomorrow night at 8:30.

New Jazz and Theory Lessons! 

Alright, assuming you've had some success with the first lesson in this series, here are the rest of the positions in the scale. Try to relate them back to your pentatonic positions or your CAGED system. Notice that each finger chart has the chord tones labeled within the dots, these are important. Try to be aware of not which ultimate note your playing (D, E, F#) but rather what relationship each note has (1st, 9th, 3rd). 

This leads us to our first and main application. Use this scale over dominant 5 chords. So in the case of this dominant scale, solo with a G major pentatonic and then when you want to imply the D chord switch to your D dominant pentatonic scale. When you want to resolve back to G switch back to your G pentatonic. Continue reading...

The next way to begin including your blue notes is by leaning on the dominant 7th note of the chord you are playing over. If you are playing in the key of G and soloing over a C or C7 chord you should try leaning on the Bb to accentuate that chord quality. The same goes for the F natural over a G or G7 chord and the C natural over the D or D7 chord. Try this with the charts below that isolate the F, Bb and C notes within the scale. 

After you've tried that continue reading to find out about how you can imply chord changes before they happen using the appropriate notes. Continue reading...

The last important lesson from blue notes is to keep the 3rd slightly ambiguous. That means mixing up whether your playing the minor third (Bb) or the major 3rd (B). Maybe in the first part of a phrase you accent one and then the other. Maybe you slide from the flat 3rd to the major 3rd. There's lots of techniques to this but that interplay between the two it is a very common feeling of tension and one you should immediately recognize once you start playing with it. 

Continue reading to find out more about how you might apply this technique. Continue reading...



Broken Bow Stringband, Private Event

Through the sounds of the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, bass and guitar they transport you back to a simpler time.


Broken Bow Stringband, Kulshan

Kulshan Brewery, James Street, Bellingham

Kulshan's favorite bluegrass band performs the first Wednesday of every month. Through the sounds of the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, bass and guitar they transport you back to a simpler time.


Marcel's Bluegrass Night

The Green Frog, 1015 N State St, Bellingham, WA 98225

The 4th Thursday of every month you can see Marcel and a rotating cast of all the best bluegrass players in Bellingham. Unrehearsed and with no excuses, live at The Green Frog!


Queen's Bluegrass, Kulshan Brewery

Kulshan Brewery, James Street, Bellingham

Queen's Bluegrass has been performing since the mid 1980's. The founder of the group, Ernest Queen passed away in 2015--we like to say he "has gone on before." Kevin Fazio and Aaron Maas, both longtime Queen's Bluegrass members, had the privilege of spending a good bit of time with Ernie in his final days. One of Ernie's final requests was that we "keep playing the music."


Broken Bow Stringband, Kulshan

Kulshan Brewery, James Street, Bellingham

Kulshan's favorite bluegrass band performs the first Wednesday of every month. Through the sounds of the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, bass and guitar they transport you back to a simpler time.

© Lessons With Marcel 2016