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El Paso: Introduction

 

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El Paso

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In this tutorial I'm gonna teach you how to play the classic song "El Paso", as made famous by Marty Robbins. This song is a great example of the wonderful fusion between country and Mexican music. Both the lyrics and the music are painting a vivid picture of the South Texas atmosphere.

The studio version of this song features some very advanced lead playing throughout most of the song, and learning this would be quite the musical marathon. Given that this song is mostly about the lyrics and the story it's telling, we're gonna play a much simpler version today focusing on accompanying a singer with some easy to use tools like the root-chord strumming in 3, as well as a way to change it up and increase the intensity.

For the more advanced players I'm also gonna break down the intro solo, and show you some effective tricks you can use to add some tex-mex flavor to your lead playing on this song!

The song form is based on the lyrics and the story he's telling, so instead of trying to map or chart out the song it's much better to learn the different sections, and then print out and focus on the lyrics. So that's what we'll do today.

The song is in 3/4 and the quarter note equals 211 bpm, so let's get to it.