Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me!

Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me is classic Mississippi John Hurt.

It features his laid-back, grandfatherly sounding vocal. It also clearly shows his approach to the guitar.

This free online guitar lesson includes a mp3 of Hurt performing the song as well as my arrangement of it.

There are several things to notice about MJH's guitar playing. For starters, there's none of the forceful pounding and string snapping that you would find with someone like Son House. Hurt's style is softer and smoother but still very dynamic.

If you haven't listened to Mississippi John Hurt, this song is a good place to start. Here's his version.

I got this version of the song from D.C. Blues: Library of Congress Recordings.

True Confessions

Hurt plays this song in the Key of Bb. Mississsippi John Hurt sometimes tuned his guitar down a whole step. This let him use easy to grab chord forms like C and G while still playing in lower pitched keys. Tuning down a whole step and playing a C chord produces a Bb.

I arranged this song with a capo at the first fret, using chord shapes from the key of A. For my own playing, this makes more sense. This is another way to play in Bb.

If you want to really learn to play this song like Hurt did, check out Mississippi John Hurt (Book & 2 CD's).

Here's the sheet music.

Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me is a ton of fun however you tune your guitar.

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