The year was 2002. Late winter, I believe.
On Christmas 2001 I’d received a banjo, a Deering Goodtime. It was also the year of my medical internship.
The place I was training had recently been sanctioned by the accrediting board for violating the rules on intern work hours, and were still trying to figure out how to make it appear as if we were working under the newly established 90 hours a week requirement.
Needless to say, my schedule didn’t leave a whole lot of time for banjo practice.
I’d messed around with my new banjo a bit over the short Christmas holiday, but once the daily grind began anew, it was soon pushed aside.
And then one evening, driving back from the hospital, I slipped in the “Foggy Mountain Banjo” CD by Flatt and Scruggs. I’d just bought it, and was still listening through it for the first time.
The song Home Sweet Home came on.
I didn’t know a banjo could sound like that. I still even remember the stretch of road I was driving on. My lacrimal glands may or may not have secreted a drop of saline solution that ran down my maxilla.
I got home, took the banjo came out of the closet, and I decided come hell or high water I was gonna learn how to play it. I just had to learn how to make music like that (and I also had to figure out how to learn with very little time for practice….).
I’ve been playing “Home Sweet Home” ever since. I first learned it Scruggs style, like Earl.
But it makes a great clawhammer number, too, fitting perfectly into double C tuning, easily allowing for a two octave variation, which you can hear in the video, and which I’ve tabbed out below.
What about you? Was there a particular song that set you going? If so, please share it in the comments below.
Home Sweet Home
gCGCD tuning, Brainjo level 3-4
Notes in parentheses are “skip” notes, which are used often in this arrangement (especially the low variation) to created “syncopated skips”. 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.