Up next in the Clawhammer Top 10 series is “Cold Frosty Morn.” It’s a tune ideally suited for learning early on in your banjo journey (but one you’ll surely continue to play from here on out) for several reasons:
- It sounds amazing.
- It sounds best when played at a slower tempo.
- It’s not too busy, so doesn’t require too much in the way of left hand pyrotechnics.
- It’s great for showcasing how wonderful the “modal” tunes (and the modal tunings) can sound on the banjo, reaffirming your decision to play this instrument.
Cold Frosty Morn, Brainjo level 2
aEADE (“A modal”) tuning
About the tuning: Like Shady Grove (Episode 1), this tune utilizes one of the “modal” banjo tunings. In the case of Shady Grove, we used “G modal” tuning, which is gDGCD. To get here from standard G, gDGBD, just tune the 2nd string up a half step from B to C. To get to “A modal”, the tuning used for Cold Frosty Morn, from G modal tuning, just place a capo on the 2nd fret, and tune the 5th string up to A (or, alternatively, you tune all of the strings up). Lastly, while Cold Frosty Morn is typically played in the key of A, it’ll sound perfectly fine in G modal tuning as well (just know that it won’t match the sound of the video, since there it’s played in the key of A).
Cold Frosty Morn, Brainjo level 3
For more on how to read the tabs, check out this complete guide to reading banjo tabs.
To learn more about the Breakthrough Banjo course, where you’ll find hundreds more tabs and videos like the ones above, with arrangements tailored to all levels, then click below:
Prior “Clawhammer Top 10” Videos:
- Episode 1: “Soldier’s Joy“
- Episode 2: “Shady Grove“
- Episode 3: “Arkansas Traveler“
- Episode 4: “Cripple Creek“
- Episode 5: “Cumberland Gap“