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5th Tab eBook for Kindle - Doc & Merle Watson: 8 Clawhammer Banjo Tabs

Posted by dbrooks on Thursday, October 11, 2012

like this

I have added a fifth ebook ofclawhammer banjo tabs in the Kindle book store on Amazon.

Doc and Merle Watson: Eight Clawhammer Banjo Tabs with Lyrics ($3.99) contain tabs and lyrics for eight banjo tunes as played by Doc and Merle Watson.  These tunes are taken from a 1976 BBC Video and two CDs ("Legacy" with David Holt and "The Essential Doc Watson").  The arrangements range from beginner to advanced. My intention here was to capture the way that Doc and Merle played these tunes rather than create arrangements suitable for beginner, intermediate or advanced players.  I posted the tabs for the four tunes from the BBC video in a discussion thread on the Hangout a while back ( ).  I have added lyrics and some introductory comments to these tunes along with tabs for four tunes from the CD performances.

The ebook contains t for these tunes:

Tom Dooley
Froggy Went A-Courtin’
Darlin’ Cory
Georgie Buck
Shady Grove
The Cuckoo
Reuben’s Train
Rambling Hobo (with and without Drop Thumb)

The tabs are viewed best on a large-screen Kindle device, such as the Kindle Fire, Kindle for the iPad, and Kindle for the PC or Mac. You do not need a Kindle to view Kindle ebooks since there is free software for every major computer, tablet and smartphone platform.  On most devices, however, you can click on the tab image, rotate the device to display the tab in landscape mode, or expand the screen with your fingers to increase its size and readability.

Here are the other ebooks. These are not instruction books, but the tabs are intended for new players and will help them add new tunes and new licks to their playing.

Six Easy Clawhammer Banjo Tabs - Key of G ($.99) contains six familiar tunes arranged using basic clawhammer strokes (no drop thumb). Yet, like my other Kindle tab books, they are musical and will help the beginner player build a tune library and keep the interest level high. Tunes included: Banjo Picking Girl, Barlow Knife, Blackberry Blossom, Cripple Creek, Miss McLeod's Reel, and Simple Gifts.

 Twelve Easy Clawhammer Banjo Tabs - Key of D ($1.99) is meant for clawhammer players looking for tabs that are musical yet playable. There is no drop thumb or other difficult clawhammer device. I selected the tunes thinking of students I have had at Kentucky Music Week who may be taking up the banjo as a 2nd or 3rd instrument to play at dulcimer jams where nearly all of the tunes are played in the key of D. Most of these players do not understand how to play in Double-D tuning or the many benefits it offers. Getting away from G tuning is a hurdle for most new clawhammer players, in general.

Six Easy Clawhammer Banjo Tabs - Sawmill Tuning ($.99) is also aimed at beginners who are looking for some of the classic sawmill tunes that sound great on the banjo.

Six Easy Clawhammer Banjo Tabs - Sawmill Tuning - Volume 2 ($.99) offers six more easy-to-play sawmill tunes..

Here's a link to my author page at Amazon:

As before, I welcome any feedback, questions, and complaints here on the Hangout or by email through the Hangout.

4 comments on “5th Tab eBook for Kindle - Doc & Merle Watson: 8 Clawhammer Banjo Tabs”

RatLer Says:
Friday, October 12, 2012 @4:43:30 AM

I got my wife a Kindle Fire last year for Christmas...she hasn't put it down since. I never had a desire to mess with it, but now, maybe, you just gave a reason to check it out...or get one for myself...LOL

clawbanjo2 Says:
Thursday, May 29, 2014 @8:29:24 AM

A very nice book indeed! However I got a question regarding the Darlin Cory tab in my edition:
Why was it written in Double-C, when it clearly is in 'Graveyard, Reuben's Train tuning' ? (The 'Legacy' CD source).
It is a good tab, but I have never heard this variant.

dbrooks Says:
Friday, May 30, 2014 @5:43:50 PM

Thanks for trying the Kindle ebook and thank you for the question.. You raise a valid question about the banjo tuning for Darlin Cory. A reader/reviewer on Amazon raised a similar point as well. I had no source for the tuning for that tune since I did not have the booklet that accompanies the CD. I had borrowed the CD set from our public library and did not realize their was a companion book that was missing. My ear led me to try to the tune in double-C, and I found a workable version. Perhaps it's time to go back and revise the tab for that tune. If I do so, I will try to remember to send you a copy.

clawbanjo2 Says:
Monday, June 2, 2014 @9:50:18 AM

Thanks for the fast reply! I think the Double C version sounds quite nice and is an alternative for those happening to be in that tuning.
But the eerie quality of the original (Folkways Watson Family CD/LP, and the Legacy arr.) is harder to get.

Pete Seeger had a variant that he got from B.F. Shelton

Another similar tune:
Dock Boggs seems to have played "Country Blues" out of Modal D (f#CGAD) and lower pitch than '440 Graveyard')
Watson used regular Graveyard tuning 'lowered a whole step' (the Vanguard version) ending the whole tune in an open C-chord not within reach of the modal tuning.
But he may have used the 'D modal tuning' on occassion, just not on this 1964 session.

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