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Doc Watson banjo tabs for Folk City Album

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May 26, 2020 - 3:55:54 PM
6 posts since 5/10/2020

I want to play Go Dig My Grave and House Carpenter as Doc plays them when he backs up Jean Ritchie's singing. I think both are in A modal. Just need a few tabs of his basic driving patterns. Thank you.

May 26, 2020 - 5:23:27 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23614 posts since 6/25/2005

One note; at that time in his career, Doc played N.C.-style 2-finger, which sounds like very clean clawhammer. I don’t know how tabs for that style look, but Doc used picks on index and thumb. The packing pattern was up, up, down on fifth.

May 26, 2020 - 7:28:13 PM
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Linkatt

USA

6 posts since 5/10/2020

Thank you. That helps a lot as I fool around with it. I also think the low strings were tuned lower.

May 26, 2020 - 8:17:24 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23614 posts since 6/25/2005

Not as far as I know’ I attended a workshop with Doc in 1965, where he spent quite a bit of time with the banjo, but didn’t mention either odd tunings or below pitch ones. He used tunings I know of: G, D, double C, G-modal.

May 27, 2020 - 7:40:31 AM

Linkatt

USA

6 posts since 5/10/2020

Ok. I'll get there eventually. All this info helps, thank you both.

May 27, 2020 - 7:46:44 AM

Linkatt

USA

6 posts since 5/10/2020

I mean thank you, Bill. You're lucky that you were immersed in this music at that special time.

May 27, 2020 - 8:47:03 AM

Linkatt

USA

6 posts since 5/10/2020

Eureka!! Doc tuned down one step to fCFAC. Now I just have to learn 2 finger. Clifton Hicks has videos up. Yay.

May 27, 2020 - 10:18:39 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23614 posts since 6/25/2005

Although Clifton plays several styles, I don’t know if he plays that particular two-finger style. Doc never brought his thumb to the inside strings, getting his extra notes with the left hand. Perhaps a clearer illustration can be heard on the original recording of “I’m Going Back to Jericho,” the early Folkways recording. ... Found it:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bQGeKS4VZkA

Notice there are no brushes and the 5th string is always ringing.

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 05/27/2020 10:23:51

May 27, 2020 - 4:18:12 PM
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Linkatt

USA

6 posts since 5/10/2020

Since I posted last, I decided to just try and get the sound using a clean clawhammer, like you mentioned before, and it sounds ok. I'm not excited about the learning curve required to get the exact sound of his two finger style. I think he's basically doing his take on Buell Kazee's style, so I get the idea now. Thanks again. P.s. think he might have tuned to f to accommodate Jean's singing range, but once I got the tune in f, I went to g.

May 27, 2020 - 9:58:31 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23614 posts since 6/25/2005

Good decision, imo. I’d love to play that style 2-finger, but it wasn’t worth the work for me.

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