Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

 All Forums
 Playing the Banjo
 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Playing let the sun shine down on me from Jean Ritchie

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Valmy - Posted - 06/04/2020:  13:57:19


I'd like to have a go at Let the sun shine down on me by Jean Ritchie but I can't find any information on the song. I don't even know of any other versions. Anyone know of the tuning on this recording ? This is my first post and BHO won't let me post any link before my third one but the recording is on Youtube.
It's so pretty, as always with Jean.


dbrooks - Posted - 06/05/2020:  06:26:19

I believe she's playing in sawmill tuning (gDGCD) raised from G modal to C modal by either using a capo at the 5th fret of tuning up to cGCFG. I can match the banjo pretty well with that setup. I may tab this one if I get a chance in the next few days. Jean Ritchie is special to Kentucky and to dulcimer players. Her son, John Pickow, has taught at Kentucky Music Week in Bardstown frequently in recent years. Here's a link to Jean singing the tune on YouTube:

Here's a nice version by Frank and Allie Lee (in a different key):


Edited by - dbrooks on 06/05/2020 06:29:02

dbrooks - Posted - 06/05/2020:  13:00:47

Here's some quick tab that may help you. The first line has two measures that show what you can play behind your singing of the song. There really are no noticeable chord changes in this modal melody.

I based my tab on the recording on YouTube by Jean Ritchie. She sings the fist part a capella. After that there are two refrains that show up between verses. I have add the lyrics for the first part of the song to help you identify these sections. You can build your own version by ordering nthe verses and refrains the way you wish.

If you use a capo at the 5th fret to match Ritchie's key, I don't think you need to raise the 5th string above G.

I hope you find this helpful.

David Brooks

Clawhammer tab eBooks for Kindle from $.99

Valmy - Posted - 06/06/2020:  09:41:49

Thank you so much for your help. I live in the south of France and I am really alone in my clawhammer banjo playing, so it is quite amazing to have people like you helping me on this forum.

I believe you are right about the tuning, I seem to be able to play along with Jean (if I might be so bold) with this. I use nylgut strings so the fact that I don't have to tune up the fifth string is quite helpful, as I am quite afraid to do so.

Thanks to your tab, I am currently trying to make a version of my own that I might be recording in the next few days or so. Everything is there and it is more than helpful.

Dave Hicks - Posted - 06/06/2020:  11:12:31

Allie and Frank Lee's version


Edited by - Dave Hicks on 06/06/2020 11:13:03

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories