Guitar Tablature

Sittin’ On Top of the World – #Clawhammer #Banjo and #Easy #Guitar #Flatpick

 

As with most of my clawhammer banjo tablatures, I began with just the basic melody and created three arrangements of increasing difficulty. The recording features the Level 3 arrangement. I’m also including a couple easy guitar arrangements in the tabs below. There is no guitar on the recording (it’s clawhammer banjo only).

 

Melody Only:

 

Clawhammer Banjo Level 1:

 

Clawhammer Banjo Level 2:

 

Clawhammer Banjo Level 3:

 

Guitar Melody & Accompaniment:

 

Guitar EZ Flatpick Solo:

Red River Valley – #Fingerstyle #Guitar – #Easy #Travis #Picking, #Pattern Picking, and #Flatpick #Strumming

 

Here are several arrangements to help you play Red River Valley on guitar:

 

Melody & Accompaniment:

Includes flatpick strumming but can be done fingerstyle as well.

 

Pattern Picking Accompaniment – Example 1:

Use your thumb to play bass notes on the count of 1 and 3 and your index and middle fingers to pluck the strings (instead of strumming) on the count of 2 and 4.

 

Pattern Picking Accompaniment – Example 2:

Use this pattern as an easy fingerstyle backup as you sing. The fingering is given as an example in the first measure.

 

Travis Picking:

A simple Travis picking arrangement that I played at the beginning of the recording.

 

EZ Flatpick:

An easy arrangement you can play if you prefer flatpicking.

Polly Wolly Doodle – #Clawhammer #Banjo and #Flatpicking #Guitar

Easy guitar and banjo arrangements for this fun old folk song…

 

I just did one clawhammer banjo arrangement for this tune. It’s Level 3 and includes drop thumb and slurred notes but simple chords and left hand fingering.

 

Here are three flatpick guitar arrangements. They’re all fairly simple but if you’re a beginner might be a little challenging. I played the “Intermediate Flatpick Solo” between two of the latter verses in the recording.

 

Melody and Accompaniment:

 

EZ Flatpick Solo:

 

Intermediate Flatpick Solo:

Man of Constant Sorrow – #Bluegrass #Banjo and #Guitar #Tablature

 

The guitar part on the MP3 was recorded in the key of F, capoing the 3rd fret and playing chords in the key of D (D, G, & A).  I recorded it in the key of F because it suited my voice better (and because I learned the song by playing along with the recording from the movie, “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” and it was also in F).

 

he MP3 was recorded in the key of F using a long neck banjo that I usually capo on the 3rd fret. In this case I capoed the 1st fret because it suited my voice better (and because I learned the song by playing along with the recording from the movie, “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” and it was also in F).

Listen to the Mocking Bird – #Easy #Guitar #Strumming #Tablature

Septimus Winner wrote “Listen to the Mocking Bird” under the pseudonym of Alice Hawthorne in 1854. He was also the author of “Whispering Hope,” “Ten Little Indians,” “Where, Oh Where, Has My Little Dog Gone,” and many other songs. By 1905, the sheet music for “Listen to the Mocking Bird” had sold over twenty million copies, and the tune is still popular today. Many baby boomers are familiar with the tune as the musical theme for The Three Stooges. I haven’t done a recording for this but both the melody and chords are simple. Along with the bass notes in the strumming section (bottom line of tablature) I’ve included a walking bass pattern leading into most of the chord changes.

Here are the lyrics…

Listen to the Mocking Bird
by Alice Hawthorne (Septimus Winner)

I’m dreaming now of Hallie, sweet Hallie, sweet Hallie,
I’m dreaming now of Hallie,
For the thought of her is one that never dies.
She’s sleeping in the valley, the valley, the valley,
She’s sleeping in the valley,
And the mocking bird is singing where she lies.

Chorus:
Listen to the mocking bird, Listen to the mocking bird,
The mocking bird still singing o’er her grave;
Listen to the mocking bird, Listen to the mocking bird,
Still singing where the weeping willows wave.

Ah! well I yet remember, remember, remember,
Ah! well I yet remember,
When we gathered in the cotton side by side.
‘Twas in the mild September, September, September,
‘Twas in the mild September,
And the mocking bird was singing far and wide.

Repeat Chorus

John Henry – #Easy #Guitar #Strumming #Tablature

This is an easy tab arrangement of the old folk song “John Henry.” The melody is on the top line and an easy strum pattern with alternating bass on the bottom line. I haven’t done a recording for this but if you know the tune you shouldn’t have any problem playing it.

Like other “Big Men” such as Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, and Iron John, John Henry served as a mythical representation of a particular group within the melting pot of the 19th-century working class. In the most popular story of his life, Henry is born into the world big and strong. He grows to be one of the greatest “steel-drivers” in the mid-century push to extend the railroads across the mountains to the West. The complication of the story is that, as machine power continued to supplant brute muscle power (both animal and human), the owner of the railroad buys a steam-powered hammer to do the work of his mostly black driving crew. In a bid to save his job and the jobs of his men, John Henry challenges the inventor to a contest: John Henry versus the steam hammer. John Henry wins, but in the process, he suffers a heart attack and dies.

In modern depictions John Henry is usually portrayed as hammering down rail spikes, but older songs instead refer to him driving blasting holes into rock, part of the process of excavating railroad tunnels and cuttings.

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