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Sunny Side of the Mountain Flatpicking Guitar Solo

Lesson ID: A0177

In this guitar lesson, you’ll learn how to play a country and bluegrass flatpicking guitar solo that you can practice over a chord progression from the old classic song “Sunny Side of the Mountain” by Harry C. McAuliffe and Bobby Gregory. “Sunny Side of the Mountain” was first recorded by Hank Snow and it has been recorded by several other country and bluegrass artists over the years. “Sunny Side of the Mountain” is also a really popular song to play at bluegrass jams.

The guitar solo that we’re learning today is challenging but it is doable for newer pickers if you slow it down a bit. Overall, this solo has a really nice melody and it is loaded with some hot bluegrass licks that will help improve your flatpicking accuracy and speed.

Overview

Playthrough with Tablature

Full Breakdown

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Measures 1 through 5
08:49 min Measures 6 through 9
14:08 min Measures 10 through 13
18:01 min Practice the First Half of the Solo
19:22 min Measures 14 through 17
24:44 min Measures 18 through 21
30:20 min Measures 22 through 25
34:38 min Practice the Second Half of the Solo

Practice Along

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Backing Track

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34 Comments
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lwiley
lwiley(@lwileyne-rr-com)
2 years ago
Reply to  Devin

Add a public comment……I was watching the Country Music documentary by Ken Burns and saw a segment with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Found their CD at the library (Will the Circle be Unbroken) and they did this song with Jimmy Martin. Best song on the album.

Jocelyn
Jocelyn(@jocelyn)
2 years ago

Thanks for this one..have a nice weekend!

Kate
Kate(@kate)
2 years ago

New guitar? Ambertone HD28? Looks like a beaut

Kate
Kate(@kate)
2 years ago
Reply to  Devin

Nice! I didn’t realise the D-18 came in ambertone. I thought yours sounded more mahogany-like but I figured I was just hearing wrong, ha. Loving the colour.

Joseph
Joseph(@josephmanguiano1gmail-com)
2 years ago

This one’s nice! Thanks Devin. By the way, is that a new guitar? Looks really cool.

Grady
Grady(@grady)
2 years ago

Nice guitar! And also a really nice lesson as always. The lick you showed later in the video is killer. Thanks man!

Jocelyn
Jocelyn(@jocelyn)
2 years ago

Hi Devin what is the thickness of your pick?

Jocelyn
Jocelyn(@jocelyn)
2 years ago
Reply to  Devin

Thanks and have a nice day.

Jocelyn
Jocelyn(@jocelyn)
2 years ago
Reply to  Devin

Hey Devin does the lesson is recorded with an amplifier and a microphone? The sound is just great. I was shopping for an amplifier but the sound wasn’t good. Any suggestions?

Jocelyn
Jocelyn(@jocelyn)
2 years ago
Reply to  Devin

I really thank you!

Jocelyn
Jocelyn(@jocelyn)
2 years ago

Hi Devin, happy new year.Have you ever had a looper? I think I could do my own rhythm and practice solo over it. What do you think about it? Have a nice day!

I know there’s a lot of looper, different prices and not easy too choose somethings. Could you help? Thanks again.

Jocelyn
Jocelyn(@jocelyn)
2 years ago
Reply to  Devin

I’ll let you know for sure…have a nice day and thanks for the advices….really appreciated!

Marty
Marty(@henry_5823msn-com)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jocelyn

I use JamMan by DigiTech. There is a little bit of a learning curve. $300 I believe. I’ve used mine during some live gigs, but you have to be careful. Press the wrong button, and your audience will hear some strange stuff going on. There is also a download app called Strum Machine that has 1000+ songs in it’s library. Add your own songs, change keys and tempos on the fly. Auto finish/Auto tempo increase for speed buildup. Many in my Bluegrass circle use it. $60/year subscription. I bluetooth it to our camper stereo and entertain the night sky, coyotes,… Read more »

snowboardglory
snowboardglory(@snowboardglorygmail-com)
2 years ago

This has been fun to learn! Is there a strategy behind your pick directions? Some seem a bit unnatural to me. Is it more about tone or pattern?

Bill
Bill(@bjbobspraguegmail-com)
2 years ago

Thanks Devin for another terrific lesson on Sunny Side of the Mountain.

Stephen
Stephen(@griffs-bluegrass)
2 years ago

I’m into week two of my first full lesson with this song and feel I’ve almost cracked it. I love the transcending notes of measure 15-17 and going to try to use it in some way for a break with something else maybe.

Marc Piechowicz
Marc Piechowicz(@cotton-eye-marc)
2 years ago

Is this bluegrass?

Marty
Marty(@henry_5823msn-com)
1 year ago

Anybody using Strum Machine?

Kate
Kate(@kate)
1 year ago
Reply to  Marty

Yes, really useful for keeping time and I think it’s easier than using a metronome. Makes fiddle tunes more fun to play esp when you’ve played them to death already!

Last edited 1 year ago by Kate
Timothy Downey
Timothy Downey(@timdowney)
9 months ago

I’ve been playing this intermittently at our weekly jam for awhile but never had a real solo to contribute . This is a challenge but I’ll keep at it.

Allen Gibbs
Allen Gibbs(@allen-g)
4 days ago

The hillbilly little wing, lol..
Nice. Fun to play.

Allen Gibbs
Allen Gibbs(@allen-g)
4 days ago

hillbilly little wing,lol what key is this capoed at the 4th fret ?

Allen Gibbs
Allen Gibbs(@allen-g)
18 minutes ago

the hillbilly little wing. what key is this being capoed at the 4th fret ?