How to Play Armed Forces Medley by Jim Deeming (Guitar Lesson)


What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Jim Deeming

Armed Forces Medley

Jim Deeming teaches a medley of the songs for the five main branches of the United States Armed Forces. The medley includes the songs "Semper Paratus," "The Caisson Song," "Anchors Aweigh," "Off Into the Wild Blue Yonder," and "The Marines' Hymn." It also includes sections from "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The Star Spangled Banner."

Taught by Jim Deeming in Songs with Jim Deeming seriesLength: 40:37Difficulty: 3.0 of 5
A few years ago when my cousin shipped off for Marine Corp boot camp, I came up with a simple idea for playing the Marine Corp Hymn at his graduation party. It sat on the shelf since then. That changed a few weeks ago. My oldest son Ben is following suit and as the weeks to his departure grew short, I started noodling around again. While researching the songs for all the main branches, I couldn't help notice that - at least up until now - there doesn't appear to be anyone else on YouTube who has attempted the whole suite on fingerstyle guitar. Choirs and marching bands? Yes. But not on the guitar.

So I got to work, first incorporating just the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. After only two public performances it was quickly apparent that leaving out the Coast Guard was unacceptable, so I overhauled the intro to the medley and put that one right up front. I like the sound of it and it has turned into quite an improvement.

Other than the intro and outtro, this arrangement makes extensive use of the Atkins/Travis alternating thumb style as the basis for a "march" feel to the songs. I chose the key of A because it gives the broadest range of the guitar tones and most accessible melody notes over several octaves.

These songs are frequently played at the end of military ceremonies and are well known to the members and veterans of each represented branch. When you perform these, be aware that it is protocol for members of these branches to stand at attention when they hear their song.

I have been told that it is a matter of Army regulations that, when more than one service song is played together, they are to be played in the following order: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and then Coast Guard. That is not how my arrangement has turned out but, until such time as I am required to play it on an Army facility I hope I will be in no more trouble than the several choir and marching band arrangements I have heard that have it wrong as well.

This arrangement is still very new and will probably continue to morph a little bit over time but the version as presented in this lesson is complete enough to stand alone - and so far it's been a real crowd pleaser! I hope you enjoy working on it as much as I have.

The Songs:

Battle Hymn Of The Republic (Brief Intro)
This was written in 1861 by Julia Ward Howe as an abolitionist hymn and became popular during the American Civil War. It has always remained popular as a patriotic song. Howe visited a Union army camp on the Potomac River near Washington, D. C. and heard the soldiers singing the song "John Brown's Body." She wrote the words the next day.

The hymn appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in 1862 and was sung at the funerals of Winston Churchill and several American presidents. John Brown, the subject of the original tune, was an American abolitionist who led a short lived insurrection to free the slaves.

The Lyrics
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:

His truth is marching on.

Chorus:

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

His truth is marching on.

Semper Paratus (Coast Guard Song)
Semper Paratus is latin for "always ready." According to the Coast Guard Historian's Office the song was first heard as far back as the 1830s.

The Lyrics

Verse: From Aztec Shore to Arctic Zone

To Europe and Far East,

The Flag is carried by our ships,

In times of war and peace;

And never have we struck it yet

In spite of foeman's might.

Who cheered our crews and cheered again

For Showing how to fight.

Chorus:

So here's the Coast Guard marching song,

We sing on land and sea.

Through surf and storm and howling gale,

High shall our purpose be.

"Semper Paratus" is our guide,

Our fame and glory too.

To fight to save or fight and die,

Aye! Coast Guard we are for you.

The Army Goes Rolling Along
Also known as the "Caisson Song," this tune was written in 1908 by solders tationed at Fort Stotsenburg in the Philippines. John Philip Sousa was asked to take the original and turn it into a march. From this, Sousa created what he named, "U.S. Field Artillery." Before it officially became the Army song, the lyrics were changed in 1956.

The Lyrics

Verse:

Over hill, over dale

We have hit the dusty trail,

And the Caissons go rolling along.

In and out, hear them shout,

Counter marching and right about,

And those Caissons go rolling along.

Refrain:

For it's hi! hi! hee!

In the field artillery,

count out your numbers loud and strong,

And where e'er you go,

You will always know

That the Caissons go rolling along.

Anchors Aweigh (Navy Song)
This song was written as the U.S. Naval Academy fight song by Charles A. Zimmerman and Alfred H. Miles in 1906.

The Lyrics

Verse:

Anchors Aweigh, my boys

Anchors Aweigh

Farewell to college joys

We sail at break of day, 'ay 'ay 'ay

O'er our last night ashore

Drink to the foam

Until we meet once more

Here's wishing you a happy voyage home!

Bridge:

Heave a ho there! sailor

Ev'rybody drink up while you may

Heave a ho there! sailor

For you're gonna sail at break of day

Drink a-way, Drink a-way,

For you sail at break of day, Hey!

The U.S. Air Force (aka Into The Wild Blue Yonder)
Captain Robert MacArthur Crawford wrote this song in 1939 while the Air Force was still known as the Army Air Corps. The lyrics were actually the result of a contest won by Mildred Yount, the wife of a senior Air Corps officer.

The Lyrics
Verse:

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,

Climbing high into the sun;

Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,

At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun!

Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,

Off with one helluva roar!*

We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!

Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

Bridge: "A Toast to the Host"

Here's a toast to the host

Of those who love the vastness of the sky,

To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly.

We drink to those who gave their all of old,

Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.

A toast to the host of men we boast, the U.S. Air Force!

Marine Corps Hymn
This is the oldest official song of any of the military branches. The author of the song is unknown and lyrics were added over a long period of time, beginning in the mid 1800s. The Marine Corp first copywrited the song in 1891 and the current version was authorized in 1929.

The Lyrics
From the Halls of Montezuma,

To the shores of Tripoli;

We fight our country's battles

In the air, on land, and sea;

First to fight for right and freedom

And to keep our honor clean;

We are proud to claim the title

Of United States Marine.

Star Spangled Banner (outtro)
The United States national anthem was penned by Francis Scott Key during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. The tune was already known as a popular British drinking song. The official adoption as the national anthem happened in 1931 by congressional resolution, signed by Persident Herbert Hoover.

The Lyrics
O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,

O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;

O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?



Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


cgchiefcgchief replied on January 12th, 2013

Wow, I'm impressed...You actually remembered the Coast Guard. Thank you very much.

dammitdougdammitdoug replied on August 11th, 2012

jim,i am not this advanced.is there any where that you teach the basic root notes or anyway i can slow this video down. i am physically disabled and cannot make bar chords. thanks for your reply. doug.

johnnyrockitjohnnyrockit replied on June 15th, 2012

Jom this holds a special place in my heart for the rest of my life Thank You For the music! Thank You For the Memories!

johnnyrockitjohnnyrockit replied on May 30th, 2012

Thank you so very much for this Jim May God Bless you and a very Big Thank you to all the precious vets that serve and have served this Great Country Of Ours! SaLute!!!

johneastmanjohneastman replied on August 7th, 2011

Jim how do I get a video of you playing? Love to add it to my I Love Me file. Any vet understands what I'm referring. God bless and Semper Fi.

hkinneyhkinney replied on June 12th, 2010

Jim your rendition of the Armed Forces Medley is outstanding. I am a retired Air Force Vet and I have used the Armed Forces Medley on Vet's Day services and on those occasions when I have helped with high profile Veteran's funeral services. Blessings to you for the time and effort and expertise that you put forth to develop this medley. Pastor Herb

doussettdoussett replied on June 10th, 2010

Hi Jim. That was just great. The only one I didn't a song for was the SeaBees, which I was in. I guess if they had one it would be 99 bottles of beer on the wall, anyway another great job. Thanks. You're a true patriot.

mike4370mike4370 replied on June 9th, 2010

starting at 1:54, thats the Air Force song!! off we go into the wild blue yonder... how could i ever forget that song!

jboothjbooth replied on June 9th, 2010

Just wanted to let you guys know the full tablature is now up.

hyatthyatt replied on June 9th, 2010

BTW... Tabs???

gilbert714gilbert714 replied on June 9th, 2010

All I can say it fantastic

hyatthyatt replied on June 9th, 2010

Wow. I had worked my way thru almost everything else you have done here, and was enjoying a short break. break over. :)

CarolLBCarolLB replied on June 9th, 2010

Wow! I'm speechless. Just fantastic. Can't wait to see you perform that at Copper Mountain!

mattbrownmattbrown replied on June 9th, 2010

Sounds amazing as always, Jim! The "snare" effect blew my mind. I've never seen or heard that before.

tangohuntertangohunter replied on June 9th, 2010

First to fight for the right, And to build the Nation’s might, And The Army Goes Rolling Along Proud of all we have done, Fighting till the battle’s won, And the Army Goes Rolling Along.

nessanessa replied on June 9th, 2010

Awesome, Jim. Great job!

Songs with Jim Deeming

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learning songs is a great way to put your guitar knowledge to use and expand your horizons.



Lesson 1

Christmas Medley Part 1

Jim teaches the first part of a beautiful Christmas medley. This installment features "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."

Length: 31:00 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Christmas Medley Part 2

In this second part of the Christmas medley, Jim Deeming adds the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Length: 15:30 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Christmas Medley Part 3

In the 3rd part of the Christmas medley, Jim Deeming adds "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

Length: 28:00 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Alice's Restaurant

Jim Deeming covers the classic song "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie.

Length: 18:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

On Jordan's Stormy Banks

Jim Deeming teaches "On Jordan's Stormy Banks", a gospel tune from his CD First Fruits.

Length: 30:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

In this lesson Jim Deeming teaches a beautiful fingerstyle version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

Length: 22:29 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Windy and Warm

In this lesson Jim covers his version of "Windy and Warm," a song written by John Loudermilk and performed by Chet Atkins.

Length: 23:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Waltzing Matilda

Jim teaches an arrangement of "Waltzing Matilda," a popular Australian folk song. He teaches the song in the style of Tommy Emmanuel.

Length: 38:28 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Yankee Doodle Dixie

In this lesson Jim Deeming teaches a performance version of "Yankee Doodle Dixie." This version features both the verse and chorus of "Dixie" on top of "Yankee Doodle."

Length: 30:21 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Red Wing

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle version of the classic folk song "Red Wing."

Length: 15:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Wildwood Flower

Jim teaches "Wildwood Flower," a well-known bluegrass folk song. While it was made popular by the Carter Family, this song originated in the 1860s. Jim teaches you his own version which blends the familiar...

Length: 30:04 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Stephen Foster Medley

Jim teaches Chet Atkins' arrangement of the "Stephen Foster Medley." He adds his personal touch to this three song medley.

Length: 40:17 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Last Steam Engine Train

Jim Deeming teaches the song "Last Steam Engine Train" by John Fahey.

Length: 15:47 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

The Claw

Jim Deeming teaches "The Claw" by Jerry Reed.

Length: 39:51 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Away In A Manger

Jim Deeming teaches a simple version and an advanced fingerstyle version of "Away In A Manger".

Length: 19:38 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Silent Night

Jim Deeming teaches a beginner version and a more advanced fingerstyle version of "Silent Night."

Length: 20:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 18

The Little Drummer Boy

Jim Deeming teaches a warmed over arrangement of "The Little Drummer Boy."

Length: 36:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Freight Train

Jim Deeming teaches "Freight Train" by Elizabeth Cotten.

Length: 13:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Amazing Grace

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle arrangement of "Amazing Grace."

Length: 12:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Auld Lang Syne

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle interpretation of the classic "Auld Lang Syne."

Length: 28:18 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Red River Valley

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle arrangement of the traditional folk song "Red River Valley."

Length: 11:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Armed Forces Medley

Jim Deeming teaches a medley of songs from the five main branches of the United States Armed Forces.

Length: 40:37 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Good King Wenceslas

Jim Deeming teaches the Christmas song "Good King Wenceslas."

Length: 27:05 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

The Water Is Wide

Jim Deeming teaches both a fingerstyle and flatpicking version of the classic tune "The Water Is Wide."

Length: 31:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

A Pick in My Pocket

Jim Deeming teaches his original fingerstyle masterpiece, "A Pick in My Pocket".

Length: 51:07 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

Farewell My Bluebell

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle arrangement of the classic tune "Farewell My Bluebell." Originally written by Edward Madden and Theodore F. Morse, the tune has been popularized by artists such as Merle...

Length: 20:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About Jim Deeming View Full Biography Jim Deeming got his first guitar when he was only six years old. His Dad was taking fingerpicking lessons, and Jim wanted to be just like him. The Mel Bay books didn't last very long before he strapped on a thumb pick and added the Chet part to Red River Valley so it sounded better.

Most of Jim's early learning was by ear. With unlimited access to his Dad's collection of Chet Atkins albums, he spent countless hours decoding his favorite songs. They were never "right" until they sounded just like Chet. Around the age of 12, Jim heard Jerry Reed for the first time and just knew he had to be able to make that "Alabama Wild Man" sound. The styles of Chet & Jerry always have been a big influence on his playing.

More recently he has pursued arrangements by Tommy Emmanuel and Doyle Dykes, in addition to creating some of his own and writing originals.

Jim has performed in front of a variety of audiences, including concerts, competitions, weddings and the like, but playing at church has always been a mainstay. Whether playing in worship bands or guitar solos, gospel music is deep in his roots and is also the driving theme behind his debut CD release, titled "First Fruits".

Jim has been playing for about 38 years. He also has taught private lessons in the past but believes JamPlay.com is an exciting and better venue with many advantages over the traditional method of weekly 30 minute sessions.

Jim lives in Berthoud, Colorado with his wife, Linda, and their four children. Although he still has a "day job", he is actively performing and is already back in the studio working on the next CD. If you wonder how he finds time, look no further than the back seat of his truck where he keeps a "travel guitar" to take advantage of any practice or song-writing opportunities he can get.

The opening song you hear in Jim's introductory JamPlay video is called, "A Pick In My Pocket". It's an original tune, written in memory of Jim's father who told him early on he should always keep a pick in his pocket in case he ever met Chet Atkins and got the chance to play for him. That song is slated to be the title track for his next CD, which will feature several more originals plus some of his favorite covers of Chet and Jerry arrangements.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.


Kaki King Kaki King

In lesson 6, Kaki discusses how the left and right hands can work together or independently of each other to create different...

Free LessonSeries Details
Justin Roth Justin Roth

In this lesson Justin introduces his series on playing with a capo and dishes out some basic tips, including how to properly...

Free LessonSeries Details
Pamela Goldsmith Pamela Goldsmith

Pamela brings a cap to her first 13 JamPlay lessons with another original etude inspired by the great Leo Brouwer. This is...

Free LessonSeries Details
Erik Mongrain Erik Mongrain

Erik expounds on the many possibilities of open tunings and the new harmonics that you can use in them. He explains what...

Free LessonSeries Details
David Isaacs David Isaacs

JamPlay welcomes David Isaacs to our teacher roster. With his first lesson Dave explains his approach to playing guitar with...

Free LessonSeries Details
Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

Mitch teaches his interpretation of the classic "Cannonball Rag." This song provides beginning and intermediate guitarists...

Free LessonSeries Details
Mary Flower Mary Flower

Mary talks about the key of F in this fantastic lesson.

Free LessonSeries Details
Freebo Freebo

In this lesson, Freebo covers the basics of right hand technique. This lesson is essential for all up and coming bassists.

Free LessonSeries Details
Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

Eve talks about the boom-chuck strum pattern. This strum pattern will completely change the sound of your playing.

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.


David Ellefson David Ellefson

David Ellefson, co-founding member of Megadeth, explains his overall approach to teaching and learning bass in this introductory...

Free LessonSeries Details
John DeServio John DeServio

JD teaches the pentatonic and blues scales and explains where and when you can apply them.

Free LessonSeries Details
Kris Norris Kris Norris

Kris analyzes different pick sizes and their effect on his playing. Using a slow motion camera, he is able to point out the...

Free LessonSeries Details
Will Ripley Will Ripley

Join Will Ripley as he gives us all the details of his series, "Rock Guitar for Beginners". You'll be playing cool rock riffs...

Free LessonSeries Details
Bryan Beller Bryan Beller

Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats, Dethklok, and Steve Vai takes you inside his six step method to learning any song by ear....

Free LessonSeries Details
Dennis Hodges Dennis Hodges

Learn a variety of essential techniques commonly used in the metal genre, including palm muting, string slides, and chord...

Free LessonSeries Details
Evan Brewer Evan Brewer

Evan Brewer explains everything you need to know in order to get going with your bass guitar. Topics include the parts of...

Free LessonSeries Details
Andy James Andy James

Get an in-depth look into the mind of virtuoso guitarist Andy James. Learn about Andy's early beginnings all the way up to...

Free LessonSeries Details
Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

Free LessonSeries Details
Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

Tosin explains some of the intricacies of the 8 string guitar such as his personal setup and approach to playing.

Free LessonSeries Details




Join over 483520 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

Signup today to enjoy access to our entire database of video lessons, along with our exclusive set of learning tools and features.



Unlimited Lesson Viewing

A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 87 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00

Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"
 

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!


Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"
 

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


Bill

"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."
 

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on JamPlay.com. Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.



Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!