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Bright Sunny South

Genre: Traditional  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  Tuning: Sawmill (gDGCD)  
Posted by Chad Jones, updated: 6/3/2016 - 2 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF

Notes: "Bright Sunny South," based on the version by Dock Boggs, but presented here in thumb lead 2 finger picking style. I included the right hand fingering for the first part of the tune. Basically, the index finger plays the 1st string, and the thumb plays all others. My version of this tune is constantly changing. I use variations of this style through different verses, sometimes even including thumb/index pinched notes rather than rolls. The tuning is gDGCD.

Country Blues

Genre: Traditional  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by Chad Jones, updated: 6/4/2016
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF

Notes: "Country Blues," based on the playing of Dock Boggs. This is the main bit I use to accompany my singing. I have several variations (some subtle, some not so subtle) I play for instrumental breaks, which I hope to commit to tablature. Feel free to play with the timing--add an extra beat or so here and there. Or cut some short. Have fun with it. Play it fast or slow--it all sounds great! Measures 5, 11, and 14 contain a figure that consists of a hammer on and plucked note sounding simultaneously. You may omit either one. They are the same note, so it will sound fine. Measures 9 and 18 also contain a simultaneous hammer on and plucked note. You may omit the plucked note. Additionally, I often slide into the notes at the 5th fret, 4th string, such as those in measures 5, 11, 13, and 17 (sometimes more, sometimes less). The style is Dock Boggs' 3-finger up picking. The index finger plays the 2nd string, the middle finger plays the 1st string, and the thumb plays the 3rd, 4th, and 5th strings. The melody is spread across the main strings, and the drone is used more sparingly. The tuning is f#CGAD.

Cuckoo

Genre: Traditional  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  Tuning: Sawmill (gDGCD)  
Posted by Chad Jones, updated: 6/10/2016
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF

Notes: "The Cuckoo," based on recordings by Clarence Ashley. The song begins with an index finger rake across the four main strings, followed by thumbed 5th string. I open with the instrumental break and play this bit between each verse. During the verse, the banjo plays a sort of riff rather than strict melody. Clawhammer, gDGCD.

Drunkard's Lone Child

Genre: Traditional  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  
Posted by Chad Jones, updated: 6/3/2016
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF

Notes: "Drunkard's Lone Child," based on the playing of Dock Boggs. This song makes use of a 3 finger up picking style. The banjo follows the vocal melody. The thumb plays notes on the 3rd, 4th, and drone strings while the index and middle fingers play the 2nd and 1st strings, respectively. My version follows Boggs' 1963 recording, where he plays the initial verse a little differently from the rest. I have offered both ways in the tablature. The tab here is a basic outline, but in actual practice many liberties may be taken and variations played. I improvise a little when I play this, and I play with timing quite a bit, as Boggs often did. The tuning is f#CGAD.

How Come That Blood?

Genre: Traditional  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  Tuning: Sawmill (gDGCD)  
Posted by Chad Jones, updated: 6/3/2016
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF

Notes: This ballad is also known as 'Edward.' I play this in an index lead two finger style, but it can be easily adapted to clawhammer style. Make liberal use of on-the-beat slides on some of the melody notes, as if playing this on a fretless banjo. I learned the tune from an Art Rosenbaum recording, where he plays it in clawhammer style.

June Apple

Genre: Old Time  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  
Posted by Chad Jones, updated: 6/9/2016
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF

Notes: Based on the playing of Wade Ward. Clawhammer banjo, tuned gDGBD (capo II if playing with fiddler).

Sugar Baby

Genre: Traditional  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  
Posted by Chad Jones, updated: 6/4/2016 - 2 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF

Notes: After Dock Boggs, but does not follow Boggs exactly. Tuning is f#DGCD. 3 finger up picking style.

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