Salzburg has Mozart.
Bonn has Beethoven.
West Virginia has Blind Ed Haley.
Some people have a knack for composition. It’s hard to articulate the qualities of a great tune, or what makes somewhat a great tunesmith, but Ed Haley sure knew what he was doing. He liked to put in lots of notes, for sure, but each was carefully chosen. No throwaways.
Needless to say, I love playing his tunes on the banjo, and up this week is another one of Haley’s classics: “Half Past Four.” This one always calls to mind an afternoon duel out in the wild west, hence the background I chose for the video.
Half Past Four
aEAC#E tuning, Brainjo level 3
Notes on the tab: You have a couple of options for grabbing that open 2nd string on the offbeat that occurs several times in the B part. Sometimes I’ll use an alternate string pull off, and sometimes I’ll get it with a drop thumb – only in this case, I’m dropping my thumb to a string that’s higher than the one I’ve just struck. This is a less common usage of the drop thumb technique, but one I utilize quite a bit, as there are many situations I find it comes in handy. Both of these options are noted in the tablature.