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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Doc Watson banjo tabs for Folk City Album

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Linkatt - Posted - 05/26/2020:  15:55:54

I want to play Go Dig My Grave and House Carpenter as Doc plays them when he backs up Jean Ritchie's singing. I think both are in A modal. Just need a few tabs of his basic driving patterns. Thank you.

Bill Rogers - Posted - 05/26/2020:  17:23:27

One note; at that time in his career, Doc played N.C.-style 2-finger, which sounds like very clean clawhammer. I don’t know how tabs for that style look, but Doc used picks on index and thumb. The packing pattern was up, up, down on fifth.

Linkatt - Posted - 05/26/2020:  19:28:13

Thank you. That helps a lot as I fool around with it. I also think the low strings were tuned lower.

Bill Rogers - Posted - 05/26/2020:  20:17:24

Not as far as I know’ I attended a workshop with Doc in 1965, where he spent quite a bit of time with the banjo, but didn’t mention either odd tunings or below pitch ones. He used tunings I know of: G, D, double C, G-modal.

Linkatt - Posted - 05/27/2020:  07:40:31

Ok. I'll get there eventually. All this info helps, thank you both.

Linkatt - Posted - 05/27/2020:  07:46:44

I mean thank you, Bill. You're lucky that you were immersed in this music at that special time.

Linkatt - Posted - 05/27/2020:  08:47:03

Eureka!! Doc tuned down one step to fCFAC. Now I just have to learn 2 finger. Clifton Hicks has videos up. Yay.

Bill Rogers - Posted - 05/27/2020:  10:18:39

Although Clifton plays several styles, I don’t know if he plays that particular two-finger style. Doc never brought his thumb to the inside strings, getting his extra notes with the left hand. Perhaps a clearer illustration can be heard on the original recording of “I’m Going Back to Jericho,” the early Folkways recording. ... Found it:

Notice there are no brushes and the 5th string is always ringing.

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 05/27/2020 10:23:51

Linkatt - Posted - 05/27/2020:  16:18:12

Since I posted last, I decided to just try and get the sound using a clean clawhammer, like you mentioned before, and it sounds ok. I'm not excited about the learning curve required to get the exact sound of his two finger style. I think he's basically doing his take on Buell Kazee's style, so I get the idea now. Thanks again. P.s. think he might have tuned to f to accommodate Jean's singing range, but once I got the tune in f, I went to g.

Bill Rogers - Posted - 05/27/2020:  21:58:31

Good decision, imo. I’d love to play that style 2-finger, but it wasn’t worth the work for me.

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