Click on the button below to get the PDF download for this tab delivered to you, and get 2 new tunes and tabs sent to you every week!
It seems only fitting that the 2nd installment in the Song of the Week brings us a number made popular by the late, great John Hartford, one of the most celebrated singing banjoists of all time.
Though Hartford played plenty of his own original compositions, GumTree Canoe (first published in 1847) is one he resurrected from the minstrel era (check out his performance of it here and try not to grin from ear to ear). It’s a wonderful melody, and one that you may find tests the limits of your vocal range!
The song also affords us the opportunity to practice playing in 3:4, or waltz (“one two three, one two three,..”) time. If you don’t have much experience playing in waltz time clawhammer style, I think songs are a great way to get your feet wet.
You’ll note that I’m joined on this one by my lovely daughter Jules. One of my selfish reasons for splintering off the Song of the Week series was so that we’d have more excuses to make music together. So more of this combination to follow!
gDGBD 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).
Notes in parentheses are “skip” notes – to learn more about skips and syncopated skips, check out my video lesson on the subject.
For more on reading tabs in general, check out this complete guide to reading banjo tabs.
PRIOR SONG OF THE WEEK EPISODES
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.