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Banjo Hell Tune

Genre: Old Time  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: D  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 4/17/2013 - 4 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: This is a tune by Jim Reed, one of the BHO's most talented pickers and contributors. Banjo Hell is the name of our campsite at the Appalachian String Band Festival held every summer at Clifftop, West Virginia. I tabbed this out based upon a recorded performance from Jim's CD, Jim Reed, Family and Friends. Jim's banjo is tuned f#DGAD, a tuning that Dock Boggs used once in awhile. I have also seen Jim play this tune with the banjo tuned aDGAD. He never picks anything twice the same way.

Chicken Reel

Genre: Old Time  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: D  Tuning: Drop C (gCGBD)  Difficulty: Beginner
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 5/3/2013
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: This is Dr. Ralph Stanley's version of Chicken Reel, as played on the album Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys: Old Time Music, Jalyn Records, 1967.

Coleman's March

Genre: Old Time  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: D  Tuning: Open D (aDF#Ad)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 5/3/2013
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: This is another "he played his fiddle for the last time, and then they hanged him" tune. The banjo is tuned to open D (aDF#AD), which as we all know, is sometimes called Graveyard Tuning. How appropriate.

Fine Times at Our House

Genre: Old Time  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: A  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 11/13/2010
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: This tune comes from the legendary West Virginia fiddler Edden Hammons. The tune is basically in Mixolydian mode, and is crooked; the A part has an extra beat. I have a video posted of this tune on my homepage.

Fire on the Mountain

Genre: Old Time  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: A  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 11/13/2010
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: This "fire" is a rare tune that comes from the late south-central Kentucky fiddler Isham Monday. It is completely unrelated to the tune most commonly associated with the title, a bluegrass fiddle standard. I have a video posted of this tune on my homepage.

I'll Fly Away

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: D  Tuning: Open D (aDF#Ad)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 5/4/2015
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: This is a three-finger arrangement resides somewhere in the ether between bluegrass and old-time.

Jenny Get Around

Genre: Old Time  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: A  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Expert
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 11/13/2010
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: This is a tune from legendary Kentucky fiddler John Salyer. This is an unusually 'crooked" tune, in that it is missing a beat in the coarse part, but adds the beat back in later in the fine part. I have a video posted of this tune on my homepage.

Little Maggie in D Modal

Genre: Old Time  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  Key: D  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 4/5/2013 - 3 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: This version of Little Maggie is in D Modal tuning (aDGAD), basically the same idea as G "Sawmill" tuning, in that the string normally tuned to the 3rd degree of the scale is raised instead to the 4th degree; in this case, the 3rd string, normally F# in Open D tuning, is raised to G.

My Best Friend

Genre: Country  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: C  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 11/4/2013
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: I worked up this tab of Don William's sentimental ballad in response to an appeal in the Tab Request forum. Here's the link to the discussion: http://www.banjohangout.org/topic/273079. The OP described himself as a novice, so I kept the banjo at a beginner/intermediate level. You do need to know how to move around up the neck with your basic closed chord forms, and it helps if you are a soft-hearted old goat, like the OP and I. I based the back-up very loosely on what the piano and guitar are doing on the video that was posted in the request thread.

My Dixie Darling

Genre: Old Time  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 3/9/2012
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF

Notes: This is my five string banjo interpretation of Mother Maybelle's guitar break on the Carter Family's My Dixie Darling, recorded in June, 1936 for Decca Records. Note the ghost hammers- this involves hammering on the 4th string, 2nd fret with the left hand without picking it first with the right hand. There is also some Reno style single string phrasing on the D chord.

Reed's Hornpipe

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: C  Tuning: Drop C (gCGBD)  Difficulty: Expert
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 6/14/2015 - 1 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF

Notes: This is my transcription of a tune composed and performed by BHO member Jim Reed, in a video he posted on 1/26/12. I was just discussing the tune with BHO member John Steele in the BHO Chatroom (6/15/15), and we disagreed about how Jim plays the opening measure of the B part. I went back and listened to it again, and decided John was right. So I have revised the tab accordingly.

Shoes and Stockings

Genre: Old Time  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Beginner
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 5/23/2012 - 1 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: This simple but elegant tune is among the many that come from the legendary West Virginia fiddler Henry Reed, through Alan Jabbour.

Step Around Johnny

Genre: Old Time  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  Key: D  Tuning: Double C (gCGCD)  Difficulty: Beginner
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 4/6/2014
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: Clawhammer style, no drop thumb.

Twin Sisters

Genre: Old Time  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: Am  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by Don Borchelt, updated: 1/21/2011
Download: TABLEDIT | PDF | MIDI [Play] [Download]

Notes: This is a nice old-time tune in A modal that I picked up from listening to Reed Martin's "Old Time Banjo" CD. This is a completely different tune than the tune by the same name in D major. While it is sometimes characterized as Mixolydian, it is actually a hexatonic tune, with only six, rather than seven notes in the scale. It is missing the third degree of the scale, the note which- depending on whether it were a major or minor third- would allow it to be properly characterized as either Dorian or Mixolydian. Old time tunes are often modally ambiguous for lots of reasons, one of which, like here, is that there are not enough notes to tell. This tune is probably related to the old ballad about jealousy and murder which sometimes has the same name. The banjo is tuned gDGAD, capoed on 2.

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