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The Grey Ghost

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Expert
Posted by corcoran, updated: 5/4/2017
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: In addition to being one of the all-time great bluegrass banjo players, Bill Emerson is a prolific composer. The Grey Ghost is one of his better known pieces, a nifty variation of the tune Dixie. TGG also employs a clever double-thumb technique, which as far as I know Emerson originated, to produce a delightful and rhythmic melodic sequence. You will first see it in measure 3, and it is worth studying. The tab is my version of TGG, inspired by but by no means note-for-note faithful to Emerson’s various versions -- he has recorded it at least 3 times that I know of. Note that the chord structure of the B Part in the second break changes a bit, which reflects the version of TGG on the 2011 album "Eclipse" by Bill Emerson. Added on 4 May 2017: I have updated the tab for Bill Emerson’s The Grey Ghost. The change is the addition of an up-the-neck break to the A part of the second break. This tune is admirably suited to playing up the neck. The left-hand fretting can be a tad tricky, and I recommend using your index finger to barre the 1st and 2nd string at the 12th fret and holding it there until the transition to the C chord, in measure 38. To fret the 5th string at the 14th fret, I use my ring finger.

3 comments

kmwaters Says:
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @8:42:21 AM
Gotta give you a 10 on this one Michael. Great job. Love the tune and Emerson never got the recognition he deserved. Always been an Emerson Fan.

corcoran Says:
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @9:17:30 AM
Thanks, Ken. Did you ever hear the unreleased tapes of Emerson with the Super Pickers (Bush, Clements, Douglas, Rice, Shatz), at the Birchmere in 1990 or thereabouts? His playing is outstanding.

wilbanjo Says:
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @4:51:46 PM
I love your tabs , Thanks for posting them , Also thank you for adding the chords.

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