American Fingerstyle Guitarist

Charleston

Charleston

Sheet music - PDF download, 3 1/2 pages

Intermediate level

MP3 guide track included with download

 

This is an enormously famous song and another one everyone my age grew up knowing, and it was written by great stride pianist James P. Johnson, yet it is doesn’t seem to get as many performances from jazz musicians as one might expect. Johnson wrote it for a show called “Runnin’ Wild” in 1923, and it enjoyed enormous popularity during the jazz age, hardly surprising considering the fact that the dance associated with the song was so strongly linked with the era. In any case it’s a particularly fun tune to play, and this arrangement is not very difficult. My recording of it was part of a medley with a much less famous song called “Charleston Mad”, which I recorded on a demo tape in 1973. The demo led to a record deal the following year, but I didn’t sing on my first couple of LP’s, and by the time I was including vocals on my records I had newer arrangements I wanted to include. The demo recording was eventually released in 2018, however, on the Tompkins Square record called Les Blues Du Richmond.
 
This arrangement predates the time when I was really playing swing, and doesn’t use many of the kinds of chord shapes I would learn after I moved to San Francisco in late 1973. So it may be more approachable for folk/blues/ragtime players than some of my other swing arrangements. I only changed a few things from the recorded version, especially the ending (on the recording, it just goes to the other song).

Price: £4.00

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