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Caravan

Genre: Bluegrass  Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)   Key: Cm  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by corcoran, updated: 3/8/2016
Download: TABLEDIT

Notes: In memory of Bill Keith, whose recording of Duke Ellington’s Caravan on his 1976 album “Something Auld, Something Newgrass” introduced the tune to the world of bluegrass banjo and gob-smacked me when I first heard it. The tab is based on Keith’s arrangement, and it is mostly the way I have played Caravan for the last few decades. It is not a note-for-note copy of Keith’s version, but I did include a number of his nifty ideas, or at least my interpretation of them, that are worth examining. Note that in live performance Keith would start the tune with some appropriate noodling, and I have included a fragment in the tab. Note also that the Intro includes the banjo’s alternating between G7 and Ab Dim, whereas the backing instruments alternated between G7 and Ab7 throughout Part A of the tune. Finally, in his Outro to the tune Keith used a Keith tuner on the 4th string to go from D to C. If you don’t have a Keith tuner on your 4th string, you can just end it with a C note on the 2nd string 1st fret.

2 comments

kmwaters Says:
Sunday, November 15, 2015 @9:30:12 AM
I can see the camels trotting over the sand now.

corcoran Says:
Sunday, November 15, 2015 @2:55:45 PM
You can see the camels, but can you smell them?

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