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“Frankie just aimed with the forty-four, five times with a rooty toot toot.”
Nope, they sure don’t write songs like they used to.
You don’t get many chances in life to sing the words “rooty toot toot.” Better hop on this one.
Banjo player Charlie Poole is responsible for several classic recordings, and this week’s cautionary tale of love gone wrong is no exception.
Charlie had his own distinctive style of fingerpicking, known as…what else…”Charlie Poole style”, and tended to play out of “standard C” tuning (gCGBD). And that’s where I tend to play when adapting one of his pieces for clawhammer. It’s not always the best tuning for wordless clawhammer tunes (where double C often makes things a little easier), but it’s well suited for chord-based vocal backup.
This won’t be the last we hear from Charlie in the “Song of the Week” series!
gCGBD tuning, Brainjo level 3
Notes on the Tab
In the tab above, you’ll note I’ve tabbed out both a “lead break” (something to play in between verses) and the “vocal backup” (what I play while I’m singing).
For more on reading tabs in general, check out this complete guide to reading banjo tabs.
PRIOR SONG OF THE WEEK EPISODES
- Episode 1: “Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow”
- Episode 2: “Gumtree Canoe”
- Episode 3: “Crawdad Hole”
- Episode 4: “Oh Susanna”
- Episode 5: “Freight Train”
- Episode 6: “Grandfather’s Clock”
- Episode 7: “Hop High Lulu”
- Episode 8: “Been All Around This World”
- Episode 9: “I’ll Fly Away”
Level 2 arrangements and video demos for the Tune (and Song!) of the Week tunes are now available as part of the Breakthrough Banjo course. Learn more about it here.