Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

513
Banjo Lovers Online


View Josh Turknett's Homepage

Josh Turknett

You must sign into your myHangout account in order to contact Josh Turknett.


Page 7 of 7 - First | Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Next | Last

Clawhammer Core Repertoire Series, Episode 8: Rock the Cradle, Joe

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Clawhammer Core Repertoire Series, Episode 8

 

Rock the Cradle, Joe

 



If you'd like a free, downloadable ebook of lessons 1 thru 7 (over 50 pages of content), just click here.



 

Batten down the hatches, hide your young uns, and liquidate your assets, it’s time for another installment of the Clawhammer Core Repertoire series. The tune? Rock the Cradle, Joe.

 

Now, imagine for a moment you’re an old time tune. Your primary goal is to spread yourself far and wide, ensuring that you’ll propagate yourself into generation after generation, and if all goes well, live on forever. Or at least until our sun burns out and the earth becomes frigid and uninhabitable. Anyhow, what’s the best way then to ensure widespread dissemination and cement your legacy?

 

Have an infectious melody, of course.

 

And, in my opinion, Rock the Cradle, Joe is about as contagious as they come. So consider yourself warned, this one’s a bonafide earworm.

 

 

So, let’s get down to the business of learning it.

 

Rock the Cradle, Joe is played in the key of D, so get your banjo into “double D” (aDADE) tuning forthwith.

 

Step 1: Know Thy Melody

According to my sources, the version of this tune that inspired it’s inclusion into traditional old-time jammery was recorded by the Spangler brothers J.W. and Dudley in the 1940s. Thanks to the wonders of networked digital technology, we can hear this one played on the youtube:

Spangler brothers playing Rock the Cradle, Joe

 

 

Of course, it’s always nice to hear a few other renditions to help burn the core of this tune into our noodles. So, here’s a couple more fine examples courtesy of some outhanging fiddlers:

Example One

Example Two

 

Step 2: Find the Melody Notes

So, in the fiddle examples above you can hear some subtle differences in the notes and phrasing, but you should be able to extract the essential features of the melody. Once you’ve got it in your head and can whistle or hum it out loud, it’s time to find it on your five string. Remember, we're just trying to identify the unadorned melody here, sans banjoistic accoutrements.

Here’s the way I hear it: barebones.mp3

 

And here’s how that looks in tablature:

 

Step 3: Add some Clawhammerify Stuff

Now let’s put this melody through the clawhammerizer to get it nice and bum dittified. To do so, we’ll take the melody notes that occur on the downbeat (the bolded notes in the tab above), which we’ll strike on the bum stroke with our frailing finger, and then follow each of those with a ditty strum.

Here’s what that looks like in tab:

 

And here’s what that sounds like: clawhammerized.mp3

Now we’ve got something with a little rhythm and a little melody, and perfectly suitable for accompanying a fiddle. Here’s what that the two sound like together: plus one.mp3

 

Step 4: Embellish ad libitum

At this point, it’s up to you to take your arrangement where you want (if you want to). You can try to see if you can get as many of those notes you hear on the fiddle into your playing with some dropped thumbs or left hand pyrotechnics. Or simply try to throw in a little rhythmic variety with your picking hand.

Here’s one way I might play it: The fully monty.mp3

 

And here’s that version in tab:

 

And here’s how that one would sound against the fiddle: All Together Now.mp3

 

As you can hear, this fuller type of arrangement turns this duet into more of a fiddle and banjo “conversation”, where the banjo is functioning as more of an equal partner to the fiddle (whereas in our initial version, it was serving as more of a rhythmic foundation). Either approach is perfectly fine, however.

 

Step 5: Practice Smart

Now, I’ll leave it to you to take this one to the woodshed. And don’t forget that your backup assistants over at oldtimejam.com are more than willing to accompany you while you're there.

 

Gotta go to sleep,

Gotta get up,

Gotta go to work in the morning

Whatcha gonna do  when the baby cries

Rock the Cradle, Joe

 

Whatcha gonna do when the baby cries

I don’t know

Whatcha gonna do when the baby cries

Rock the cradle, Joe

 

6 comments

Page 7 of 7 - First | Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Next | Last

Josh Turknett has 213 friends. View entire friends list.

frailin
frailinPlayers Union Member
ZEPP
ZEPP

Katalina
maryzcox
maryzcox
BobHunter
BobHunter
chip arnold
chip arnold
flowerofthewest
flowerofthewest
okiejon
okiejon

FriendFeed

Click for Details

Kellie replied to topic 'Banjo overture in F minor' 18 hrs

Click for Details

JanetB replied to topic 'TOTW Complete List' 20 hrs

Click for Details

Kellie replied to topic 'Banjo overture in F minor' 2 days

Click for Details

Kellie posted a forum topic 'Banjo overture in F minor' 2 days

Click for Details

Kellie replied to topic 'Stroke style banjo tutors?' 2 days

Click for Details

Kellie replied to topic 'Stroke style banjo tutors?' 2 days

Click for Details

Kellie replied to topic 'Stroke style banjo tutors?' 2 days

Click for Details

jack_beuthin replied to topic 'Vega Tenor Style M' 2 days

Click for Details

JanetB replied to topic 'It’s time for some Beatles ' 2 days

Click for Details

jack_beuthin replied to topic 'B flat on 2nd string' 2 days

Click for Details

JanetB replied to topic 'TOTW, 7/5/2024, Murillo's Lesson' 4 days

Click for Details

Kellie replied to topic 'Stroke style banjo tutors?' 5 days

Click for Details

Kellie posted a forum topic 'Stroke style banjo tutors?' 5 days

Browse History >


Newest Videos


Clawhammer Banjo Song & Tab: "Dead Skunk!" (Loudon Wainwright, III)


Clawhammer Banjo: "Been All Around This World."


Clawhammer Banjo Song & Tab: "Our Town"


3 Finger Banjo and Piano: "Ashokan Farewell"


Clawhammer Banjo Song: "Jolene" (demo and banjo jam track)


Clawhammer Banjo Song & Tab: "Oo De Lally"


3 Finger Banjo Song and Tab: "Hey Jude"


3 Finger Banjo Song: "Wagon Wheel" (demo and jam track)

see all >

Newest Music

Genre: Old Time
Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Genre: Old Time
Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Genre: Old Time
Playing Style: Other

Genre: Old Time
Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

see all >

Newest Photos

see all >

Occupation: neuroplastician

Gender: Male
Age: 49

My Instruments:
Cedar Mountain L4, Cedar Mountain J200. Dan Pennington tubaphone, Mike Ramsey white laydie, homebuilt special, bob thornburg gourd, Terry Bell Boucher minstrel banjo, deering goodtime special

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Mike Seeger, Mac Benford, Tommy Jarrell, Kyle Creed, Fred Cockerham, Hobart Smith, Mississippi John Hurt, Paul Brown, Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Earl Scruggs, Tom Adams, Will Keys, Camp Creek Boys..

Classified Rating: not rated
Rate this Member

Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 11/18/2003
Last Visit 7/13/2024

Lover of all things banjo. One half of the Georgia Jays (thegeorgiajays.com). Founder of Brainjo, the first music instruction method targeted at the adult learner and based on the science of learning and neuroplasticity (more at aboutbrainjo.com).

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.





Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.5292969