Hello this is my first post. I have been learning the Ballad of Jed Clampett from Earl Scruggs book (the 5 string banjo). I am playing it reasonably well but I don't think it is the known version or a backup. It does'nt sound like the tune I or my family know. Any ideas.
I don't know much closer you can get to the tune then what's in Earls' book, maybe your timing is a little off. I suggest you buy a metronome and work with it. The sooner you get one, and you'll need one, the better off you'll be. Maybe playing along with the recording of Earl will help you hear the melody.
Edited by - Pig_Eyed_Jackson on 08/12/2011 13:56:25
When I started learning this I didn't think it sounded like the song either. Then, I had someone else sing as I played. Ah, ha! That really helped me find the melody notes in the middle of all the rolls and slides. After that I slowed down my playing (even more) and hummed the melody as I played. This helped me accent the melody notes as I played. Now to work on my speed!
Have you used the TABs available here on the Hangout?
I'm not sure if the exact tab for Earl's version is there, but one of the ones I looked at was close. Sometimes it really helps to use Tabledit and the BHO tabs when you're beginning to work with TABS. With TablEdit you can play the tab, slow it down, etc - it adds another really good tool to your learning toolbox. With the BHO tqbs you have a couple different versions of how the song can be played, and if oou are having a problem with a particular phrase sometimes substituting one from a different tab will help you through the song.
I had the same problem when I was first starting, and I'm sure we're not alone. Stick to it and it will come.
If you have any questions about getting started with the BHO TABs let me know, glad to help.
Reno is great but not for a Flatt & Scruggs and Jed Clampett. Reno is single string not Scruggs style. If you listen to the Flatt & Scruggs version you will find that both Scruggs books aren't quite right (or at least what I have heard)
then click on "Balled Of Jed Clampett (Tab, MP3, & Videos) "
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jphlume, et al: sorry, but I know the clip is there on Youtube but it must be called something else. It is just Reno and Smiley in the clip, not the rest of the band, and they play it through about five times, like I mentioned, they do it in A not G as Scruggs does, and Reno does not use a capo. They some pointed remarks about not needing a capo. I spent about a 1/2 hour and I couldn't find it either, but I know it is there somewhere.
There are a couple of different versions of the tune both of them "authentic". The one for the TV show was sung by Paul Henning who wrote the tune and Earl played it at half speed. Then shifted into breakdown gear for the voice over.
Which version of the book are you using? In the old version it doesn't show some most of the slides and hammerons, so you would have to include them to get it to sound right; also if you can't play it up to speed yet, it won't sound right. BTW welcome to BHO. You will find lots of helpful advice here.
Thanks for the tip about the new book. I was wondering about that. I have the old one and even the way the tab is written (with the notes in the spaces instead of on the lines) makes it difficult. I saw the new one for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it seems much easier to read.
Joe Larson is correct. The tab in the Scruggs book is a transcription of what Earl played on the Columbia recording that Lester Flatt sang on. If you're comparing the tab to what you hear on the Beverly Hillbillies opening credits, you'll find that it's surprisingly different.
Unfortunately I do not have the Earl Scruggs cd to listen to it, but know the tune well. I am no stranger to music and know a tune when I hear it, even better at that are my wife who used to sing in a gospel group and my nephew who is a super banjo player, and they cannot identify it!! I have played it slower and faster. It still does'nt sound like the song I know! Thanks Tommy 5 I will try emphasising the quarter notes. n1wr I have looked at the other tabs and maybe a mixture of all would be what I am looking for, maybe it's me old age wot is the problem!!! Hey oldfox I am not to sure what book version it is but I have only had it for a few months so it should be the current one.
Guys the video of Reno and Smiley playing "The Ballad Of Jed Clampett" is from a DVD that Ronnie put out a couple of years ago. It was first put out in the 90's on a VHS called "Reno and Smiley- The Early Years" and it was hosted by Eddie Stubbs. Don't let the video of Don playing this fool you. In the video he does not use a capo but that's because the music was pre-recorded the night before using a capo. If you listen carefully, Eddie Stubbs mentions that the audio for some parts of this show were recorded the night before. And it's obvious that they are playing along with a recording because they are out of sync with the music and what Don is doing in the video is not what he is doing in the recording. He hits a lot of open notes and pinches that can't be duplicated playing in the closed chord positions he uses in the video. The video of them playing "Clampett" seems to be gone from youtube but "Nine Pound Hammer" is still there and it is also out of sync, especially Don's break. Hope that clears it up!
Have you considered recording your playing the song and posting it here? There are lots of these folks who can tell exactly what you need to do to get the desired effect. Good luck. I had trouble with it too for a long time. That forward backward roll ( I think) threw me off at first.
I can't recall a single time in the 3+ years I've been on this site where someone has been laughed at because of their playing ability. Post an audio clip of you playing Jed, and you will get good feedback from some very experienced pickers. I know it can be intimidating to put yourself out there in front of a bunch solid players (I'm NOT including me in that group of solid players...hahahaha), but they've all been where you are now, and like to give back to the community.
Unfortunately I do not have the Earl Scruggs cd to listen to it, but know the tune well. I am no stranger to music and know a tune when I hear it, even better at that are my wife who used to sing in a gospel group and my nephew who is a super banjo player, and they cannot identify it!! I have played it slower and faster. It still does'nt sound like the song I know!
Thanks Tommy 5 I will try emphasising the quarter notes.
n1wr I have looked at the other tabs and maybe a mixture of all would be what I am looking for, maybe it's me old age wot is the problem!!!
Hey oldfox I am not to sure what book version it is but I have only had it for a few months so it should be the current one.
I learned this tune from Earl's book and had the same problem for a while. I even told my wife that the tab had to be wrong and that there was no way to get The Ballad of Jed Clampett from that tab, but after listening to the song about 1000 times and practicing for many hours, I found that the tab was right and my timing was wrong.
Thanks all of you, it's been a great help!! To " The old timer ", it is in A in the Earls book that I have and your comment about using tab for hints also helped. To " SWCooper " the slow down version has been the biggest help. My nephew and I spent an afternoon listening and disecting it to huge success, really made it clear. To " oldfox " speeding up my playing of it once I had sussed out the tab made it identifiable, cheers. To " tommy5 " paying attention to the quarter notes has also been a big help.
The whole experiance with you all has leapt my Banjo playing forward a lot. Special thanks to Zach me nephew.
Shame about the one patronising comment from ----------------, could have put me off the hangout.