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Is "THE CROW" The New Cripple Creek?

Posted by myork1 on Tuesday, November 10, 2009

While Cripple Creek is most always one of the first songs we learn on the banjo...by the time most players get proficient at it, it seems to get OLD playing it. Think I might have just discovered the NEW CRIPPLE CREEK! Not that I'll get tired of playing it so much as HOW EASY IT IS TO LEARN...and how different and interesting it sounds.

My son gave me Steve Martin's "THE CROW" CD for my birthday back in the summer. I quickly became a fan of several of the songs on the CD. Then at IBMA I bought the tab book by Homespun...

Over the weekend just sat down to see what THE CROW might "feel" like. In 10 minutes I was playing the signature hook licks and in less than 24 hours playing the song (minus the amazing up the neck breaks by Tony & Bela, which Steve says he didn't include in the tab..."cause money might be involved." :)

Steve also says in the tab book that he's a little embarrassed as to how LITTLE MOVEMENT the left hand has to make to play this one. That alone should tell you that this one can be learned pretty easily.

What a FUN TUNE. Easy to learn and fun to play. I'd say anyone who can play Cripple Creek can learn this one in short order. It's such a natural rhythm once you get rolling. Cant' remember when I've had this much fun learning a new tune, or got it down so fast. In my opinion there's a BIG WAVE of new banjo players coming, and many of them are going to want to LEARN TO PLAY THIS SONG. And it's going to be easy to do. That's pretty exciting.

It's also a cool tuning (double C), one of Sammy Shelor's favorite tunings to play in (he told us at IBMA) which gets a neat sound from some really simple movements. TO START...you can actually tune only the second string from B up to C and play most all of the song. I don't know if I even played the 4th string in learning the tune. Very cool... Give it a try.

p.s. The CD is really FRESH BANJO and some tunes took some time to grow on me, but after listening over and over I LOVE this CD. Saw Steve & Steep Canyon Rangers live and as many BHO members can attest to, it was a GREAT SHOW!



3 comments on “Is "THE CROW" The New Cripple Creek?”

PruchaLegend Says:
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @8:46:24 PM

Try playing the song in G tuning by holding your left hand index finger on the second string, first fret. You will have to change the second string fret once or twice in the song, but it's pretty easy. You never play the fourth string so you really don't have to retune it. At least you don't have to play the fourth string according to the TAB printed in The Banjo Newsletter a couple of years ago.
Oh yeh! I agree with you. It's a great song and fairly easy to learn.

LParker Says:
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 @2:28:36 PM

I have the cd and the tab book as well. The Crow is my favorite on that cd. I just started Wally On The Run

myork1 Says:
Thursday, November 12, 2009 @7:45:24 AM

Lee,
Try out the opening riff to Pitkin also that lil' C lick at the 7th fret. Amazing how natural that seemed when I started to play it...almost like I already knew it. very cool...I'll check out "Wally" soon.
:)

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