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Bending the Strings

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by corcoran, updated: 4/8/2016
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: Along with Earl Scruggs and Bill Keith, Allen Shelton was one of my major influences and inspirations when I was learning to play bluegrass banjo. It was a thrill to see him with Jim and Jesse at the University of Chicago Folk Festival in 1966, where he wowed the audience (and me) with his banjo prowess. Bending the Strings is a clever original piece by Shelton, and one that involves the use of Keith/Scruggs tuners. I read somewhere that he wrote it when he was a teenager, an indication of how talented he was. I have tabbed it so you can play it without D tuners, although I have indicated above the tab the proper moves if you have tuners. The first break resembles the way Shelton played BTS, but it is not note-for-note. The second break is reminiscent of Bill Keith's version and includes some neat ideas. You can find Keith's recording of it on his 1992 CD "Beating Around the Bush," which should be in every bluegrass banjo player's collection.

6 comments

Jack Baker Says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 @6:20:21 PM
Again Michael, Excellent tab. Now I don't have to fool with it. I had just started this one in Tabledit also. You're getting too fast :-))...

corcoran Says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 @7:07:07 PM
Oops, sorry to preempt you, Jack. But, needless to say, I would not have gone after it had I known that you also were working on it! But I wanted to clear the decks before I leave for a conference in Europe. Michael

greenhorn Says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 @4:07:27 PM
Wow Michael, your tabs are great! Thank you kindly for sharing them.

Jack Baker Says:
Thursday, December 4, 2014 @10:37:22 AM
Hi Michael, I'm just finishing up Alan's original version and I'll post it sometime soon--complete with Scruggs tuners :-)...Jack

DaveInCA Says:
Monday, March 9, 2015 @11:12:16 AM
Hi Jack, I thought I had tabbed BTS about 25 years ago, but I can't find the tab so I am hoping to get my hands on yours (which will be better anyway!). Will you be posting the tab on your site? I see the midi is already there and sounds great. Thanks. Dave

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