My buddy Orion introduced me to this tune a while back but I honestly forgot about it for a while. Lately I’ve been hearing this song pop up in jams again though, so I figured I’d break it down. While the progression and melody are pretty easy to grasp, there’s a lot you can do with this song at a jam. Today, we’ll be taking a bite out of June Apple (bad pun!). We’re just covering the basics though – there’s a lot more you can do with this tune!
Here’s a basic chart for this breakdown – June Apple.
Below are some of my favorite recordings of this tune
- Doc Watson from Good Deal
- Molly & Jack Tuttle from The Old Apple Tree
- Tim Connell & Eric Skye from June Apple
Scales and Practices
The song is in the key of A but uses the b7 (or bvii) G natural as well. This lends itself to use the A Major Scale and G Mixolydian mode. Going over the arpeggios for A, G and D would also be a great idea
June Apple is in the AABB format which means the A part is played twice, then the B part is played twice and repeat. Each part has two endings which means the first time through the part, you’ll play the first ending. The second time through you’ll skip over the first ending and just play the second ending.
Breaking the A part down (and ignoring the pickup), there are basically three parts. The only difference in the A2 and A3 parts are the last measures (measure 8 and 16 respectively) which are the first and second endings
- A1 = measures 1 – 4
- A2 = measures 5 – 8
- A1 = measures 9 – 12
- A3 = measures 13 – 16
The same process works for the B part. Again the only difference in B2 and B3 is are the final measures of each part.
- B1 = measures 1 – 4
- B2 = measures 5 – 8
- B1 = measures 9 – 12
- B3 = measures 13 – 16
Knowing the basic chords in multiple positions is a great way to enhance your playing overall. Below are the chords for June Apple in 2 different positions. Once you get each down, try mixing them up – like playing the Position 1 chords on even measures and Position 2 chords on odd measures and vice versa. A good goal is to be able to shift between the positions whenever you wanted without thinking about it.
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