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Tab Request: Where Did you Sleep Last Night (2 finger thumb lead/sawmill)

Jul 22, 2021 - 8:15:50 AM
7 posts since 7/21/2021

I'm a beginner banjo player and have been trying to find two-finger thumb lead tabs for Where Did You Sleep Last Night in sawmill tuning, which is proven kind of difficult. The closest I've been able to find is the attached video, but when I contacted the guy who posted it he said he didn't have tabs for it.

Would someone be able to tab this out for me?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am a huge Leadbelly fan and want to learn this song more than any other.


EDIT: It doesn't look like my video link attached to the post, so I'll just paste it here.

Edited by - wtoddrose on 07/22/2021 08:25:33

Jul 22, 2021 - 12:05:35 PM

787 posts since 12/19/2010

I don't have a tab right off but as best as I can discern, Freddy Badger is using a variant of the sawmill tuning, and he is pitched down a whole step from the normal G sawmill tuning (gDGCD). So, to get there, start in the G sawmill tuning, then drop your 5th string to an F to get to fDGCD. Next, drop each string a whole step so that the banjo is tuned to d#CFA#C. You are ready to play along with Freddy now. I can tab this out (fairly straightforward once you understand the tuning), and I'll post it here as soon as I do.

Jul 22, 2021 - 2:46:19 PM

787 posts since 12/19/2010

William, I was slightly mistaken about the tuning. It is regular sawmill tuning, but taken down a whole step (correct about that). So he is tuned fCFA#C. I've tabbed Freddy's version (more or less). He mixes thumb lead with index lead. His approach generally is to play the first and third beat of a measure with his thumb, and the second beat with his index finger. Also, it sounds like he often picks both the first and second string simultaneously with his finger on those second beats. I've indicated fingerings on the tab. He doesn't vary much from what I've tabbed, so if you can get the hang of his picking pattern, it's a fairly short piece. Have fun!

Edited by - jack_beuthin on 07/22/2021 14:47:07

Jul 22, 2021 - 3:07:59 PM
likes this

7 posts since 7/21/2021

Thank you so much, Jack! I can't wait to get started on this!!

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