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learn: Something She Said by Béla Fleck

By Anthony Garone

Very challenging guitar work from this banjo genius.

Video

Audio-Only (Podcast)

(NOTE: hitting the “play” button requires a hefty download of the entire audio file!).

Or, download an mp3 .

Soundslice Notation and Tablature

Living sheet music brought to you by Soundslice . Wanna know more? Check out our interview with Soundslice co-creator, Adrian Holovaty

Context

Béla Fleck ’s album Outbound  was released in 2000 with the Flecktones . I was 18 when it came out and pre-ordered a double-CD release from Barnes & Noble or Best Buy. Something She Said was one of the songs that really stood out to me because of its odd chord changes and textural elements with Adrian Belew  on electric guitar, Shawn Colvin  on vocals, and Paul McCandless  on English horn .

Fast forward 17 years and here we are! I’ve finally gotten around to figuring out the intro to this song. One reason it took me so long was because trivial efforts to learn it were met with unexpected difficulty. Honestly, I had no idea how hard this piece of music was until this week when I started seriously practicing. My fingertips hurt typing this paragraph just from all the left-hand fortitude required to play it. It seriously tore my callouses apart. Sheesh.

Anyway every single measure of this piece is difficult. Bela originally played it on a resonator guitar  (I’ve always wanted a resonator guitar). Every measure had some weird trick to left- or right-hand acrobatics to make the piece particularly tricky. If you’ve followed my work for a while, you’ll know I don’t usually pick simple pieces of music to learn, but let me say that this was seriously challenging.

Outside of that, there are speed bumps everywhere you look in this piece. I couldn’t decide on a definitive fingering, so it’s up to you how you want to play it. Watch the video and see if it helps you. If you decide to try learning it, please reach out and let me know!

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