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Bela Fleck: Sammy's Blues, Improvisation #1

Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/23/2018 - 3 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: In Bela Fleck's Homespun video, he provides a tab for only the basic melody for Sammy's Blues. Then, he goes on to play 2 more improvised performances, telling the viewer to "just listen and take what you can" from these fancier licks that he would use if he were to actually perform the tune. This tab is for the 1st of the two performances. NOTE: The file is designed to be viewed at 4 bars per line, so you should expand the Tabledit window to achieve this. The patterns will stand out more clearly. Make sure the MIDI "Swing" setting is set to "1" to make the audio sound correct.

Bela Fleck: Sammy's Blues, Improvisation #2

Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Expert
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/23/2018
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: In Bela Fleck's Homespun video, he provides a tab for only the basic melody for Sammy's Blues. Then, he goes on to play 2 more improvised performances, telling the viewer to "just listen and take what you can" from these fancier licks that he would use if he were to actually perform the tune. This tab is for the 2nd of the two performances. NOTE: The file is designed to be viewed at 4 bars per line, so you should expand the Tabledit window to achieve this. The patterns will stand out more clearly. Make sure the MIDI "Swing" setting is set to "1" to make the audio sound correct. Bela almost exclusively adhere's to the right hand pattern of "T I T I..." (Thumb, Index, Thumb, Index) when starting on the beat, or when starting a phrase before the bar line, with an even number of notes. Likewise, he almost exclusively uses the right hand pattern of "I T I..." when starting a phrase before the bar line, with an odd number of notes. I tried to notate this in the tab so it would be clear to the reader.

Bill Keith Medley: Bourée II & Bay State Bounce

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: A  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 2/5/2018 - 1 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is a note for note transcription of how Bill Keith played this medley on the video "Banjo Meltdown" from the 1992 Tennessee Banjo Institute. YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpqAFnyvzHQ The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Chords are basic, i.e. not necessarily exactly what is being played by the guitar. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. Bill Keith's left hand fingerings are included, but may be considered unusual or difficult by some. Other fingerings are possible and might be preferable by players with different sized hands and/or banjo necks.

Bill Keith: A Mighty Fortress

Genre: Classical  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: C  Tuning: Drop C (gCGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 12/30/2017 - 2 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: Here is Bill Keith's arrangement of "A Mighty Fortress" by Martin Luther. This was taken from his performance at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in 2010, which was posted to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af5kVilTYms Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. He makes a comment that he "Can't play this standing up". It requires very large and/or extremely flexible hands. I can't really play it sitting down.

Bill Keith: Bay State Bounce

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: A  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 2/5/2018 - 2 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is a note for note transcription of how Bill Keith played this tune at the Midwest Banjo Camp, 2013. YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlHoWnLzIAY Note that this version is slightly different than the version included in my "Medley" with the Bourree by Bach. A few lines have simple, but useful alterations, to grab the ear of someone paying attention. The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Chords are very basic. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. Bill Keith's left hand fingerings are included, but may be considered unusual or difficult by some. Other fingerings are possible and might be preferable by players with different sized hands and/or banjo necks. Bill remarks "I can remember the title sometimes," but never states it in the linked video given above.

Bill Keith: Bourée II

Genre: Classical  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: A  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 12/30/2017
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is a note for note transcription of how Bill Keith played this tune on the "Bill Keith and Jim Collier" album. Note that this version is slightly different than the version included in my "Medley" with the Square Dance Tune, being longer with more parts repeated (Form: A A B B A B). The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. Bill Keith's left hand fingerings are included, but may be considered unusual or difficult by some. Other fingerings are possible and might be preferable by players with different sized hands and/or banjo necks.

Bill Keith: Caravan

Genre: Jazz  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: Cm  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/23/2018 - 7 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is a note for note transcription of how Bill Keith played this tune on David Grisman's "Early Dawg" album. All lead breaks and backup are included. The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes.

Bill Keith: Crab Waltz

Genre: Jazz  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Expert
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/23/2018
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This tab is my interpretation of how Bill Keith played the tune on the "Bill Keith and Jim Collier" album. The tab is written such that you can follow along with the record. Note that the first half of the second banjo solo appears to have been overdubbed using a banjo with a capo at the 6th fret (& 11th fret for the 5th string). However, this tab was written such that one can play the entire tune without a capo. See the notes on the last page of the tab for more info. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes.

Bill Keith: Devil's Dream, Sailor's Hornpipe

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/23/2018 - 1 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: Bill Keith was scheduled to teach at the Alabama Folk School at Camp McDowell this spring, and consequently I was very excited to get to pick his brain for 4 whole days. However, he unfortunately had to decline due to a "health issue beyond his control." So, I thought I'd just learn a few of his tunes anyway. Why not start with one of the first ones that made him famous… the "Devi's Dream" and "Sailor's Hornpipe" medley from the "Livin' On The Mountain" album? This should be a note for note transcription, with the possible exception that there were a couple of spots where he may have used a "pull-off" lick getting to the A minor chord, but I couldn't really tell. I didn't include it, so the A minor bits are played around the 5th fret, instead of the first. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. I wish him well and hope that his health improves so that he might make it back in the future.

Bill Keith: Jordu

Genre: Jazz  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/23/2018 - 3 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is a note for note transcription of how Bill Keith played this tune on his "Something Auld, Something Newgrass, Something Borrowed, Something Bluegrass" album. Both banjo breaks are included along with the backup for the mandolin and fiddle. In other words, the tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Chords are notional, i.e. not necessarily exactly what the banjo is playing at any given moment, but what I think the basic chords are for the general tune, for each bar. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only. Also, this tab is intended to be displayed at 4 bars per line. I just found out yesterday, from my Dad, that Bill Keith had died the day before. I wish I had a recording to upload instead, but this is the best I can do for now, to honor one of the great pillars of modern banjo music and technique.

Bill Keith: Phlebitis

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: A#/Bb  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/23/2018 - 5 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This tab is my interpretation of how Bill Keith played the tune on the "Bill Keith and Jim Collier" album. Both banjo breaks are included along with the backup for the fiddle and mandolin breaks. In other words, the tab is written such that you can follow along with the record. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. The first few blank measures are there to maintain the chord & bar patterns (4 bars per phrase) such that each phrase starts at the beginning of a line.

Bill Keith: Rickett's Hornpipe

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: D  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/23/2018
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is a note for note transcription of how Bill Keith played this tune on his "Something Auld, Something Newgrass, Something Borrowed, Something Bluegrass" album. There are similar, single solo, tabs in Tony Trischka's books "Melodic Banjo" and "Bill Keith Banjo," that certainly have enough info to play the tune similar to the way Bill did it. However, for those of you who are interested in all of the specific details, (or just can't stand it when the books leave them out) this should be exactly how Bill played it on the record. The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. The first few blank measures are there to maintain the chord & bar patterns (4 bars per phrase) such that each phrase starts at the beginning of a line.

Earl Scruggs: Bugle Call Rag

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/27/2019 - 1 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is my interpretation of how Earl Scruggs most likely played this tune on the "Foggy Mountain Banjo" album. All lead breaks and backup are included. The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. The first few blank measures are there to maintain the chord & bar patterns (4 bars per phrase) such that each phrase starts at the beginning of a line.

Earl Scruggs: Cumberland Gap

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/27/2019 - 3 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is my interpretation of how Earl Scruggs most likely played this tune on the "Foggy Mountain Banjo" album. All lead breaks and backup are included. The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Chords are notional, i.e. not necessarily exactly what the banjo is playing at any given moment, but what I think the basic chords are for the general tune, for each bar. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. The first few blank measures are there to maintain the chord & bar patterns (4 bars per phrase) such that each phrase starts at the beginning of a line.

Earl Scruggs: Home Sweet Home

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: C  Tuning: Drop C (gCGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 1/12/2020 - 1 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is my interpretation of how Earl Scruggs most likely played this tune on the "Foggy Mountain Banjo" album. All lead breaks and backup are included. The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. The first few blank measures are there to maintain the chord & bar patterns (4 bars per phrase) such that each phrase starts at the beginning of a line.

Earl Scruggs: Little Darlin', Pal of Mine

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/27/2019 - 2 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is my interpretation of how Earl Scruggs most likely played this tune on the "Foggy Mountain Banjo" album. All lead breaks and backup are included. The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. The first few blank measures are there to maintain the chord & bar patterns (4 bars per phrase) such that each phrase starts at the beginning of a line.

Earl Scruggs: Lonesome Road Blues

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/27/2019 - 1 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is my interpretation of how Earl Scruggs most likely played this tune on the "Foggy Mountain Banjo" album. All lead breaks and backup are included. The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. The first few blank measures are there to maintain the chord & bar patterns (4 bars per phrase) such that each phrase starts at the beginning of a line.

Earl Scruggs: My Cabin In Caroline

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/23/2018
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is a note for note transcription of how Earl Scruggs played this tune on the "Country Music" album, Mercury 20358, or The Bear Family's Flatt & Scruggs 1948-1959, disc 1. All lead breaks and backup are included. One item of interest is that, several times in this tune, Earl employs a pretty wicked lick that covers 3 chord positions (inversions of the same chord) to go from a I7 chord to a IV chord, and from a V7 chord to a I chord. You have to jump all over the neck to play it, and the distance your hand has to jump changes significantly, depending which transition you are playing, because the notes are much more closely spaced in the upper part of the neck, than in the lower part. It tends to foil muscle memory. The tab is written such that you can follow along with the recording. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes. The blank 3 measures preceding each verse are skipped when the tab is played with the MIDI player, using the Reading List tool. They are only there to maintain the chord pattern such that each verse starts at the beginning of a line.

Ned Luberecki: The Star Spangled Banner

Genre: Popular  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by 5-String, updated: 5/23/2018 - 2 Member Comments
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is my interpretation of how Ned Luberecki played this tune on his YouTube video for the Deering Banjo Co., uploaded on July 3, 2014. Adjust settings so that chords are displayed as letter names only, tab is displayed at 4 bars per line, and view is scaled to 16th notes.

The Christmas Song

Genre: Jazz  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G#/Ab  Tuning: Drop C (gCGBD)  Difficulty: Expert
Posted by 5-String, updated: 12/5/2017
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: This is my arrangement of my favorite Christmas tune, "The Christmas Song" by Mel Torme. The key is A flat (Ab hereafter), but it's not as bad as one might think. I discovered that if you drop the low D string down to a C, it sort of opens up the fretboard to the key of Ab. The low C note is the 3rd of Ab, and can be used as a drone. There are 2 G strings, which are the major 7th of Ab, and easily add a jazzy voicing to the Ab chord making it "Ab maj7". Also, the high G is a scale tone, so "melodic/Keith" style lines can still easily be played. The trickier part is in the 2nd section, where you have to play the melody and the bass line at the same time. The arrangement is meant to be played in a sort of ad lib style. This kind of timing was difficult to reproduce in TablEdit. It is reasonably close, but you can watch my video here on the Hangout to maybe get a little more realistic sense of the intended feel.

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