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If you’ve just listened to the above tune and are anywhere within reasonable proximity to a 5-stringed banjo, I defy you to resist the urge to go grab it and start trying to pick it out.
Originally introduced to the wider world as a fiddle tune by Frank Jenkins in 1927, in recent years “Wandering Boy” taken a life of its own as a solo banjo number. I think it’s easy to hear why. It’s an instantly likable and irresistible melody, and fits snugly inside the clawhammer rhythm.
You won’t hear it too often as a jam tune, which means you can feel completely free to learn and play it in any key. It actually works out well either in standard G or double C, but I think the latter tuning puts it in the best light.
gCGCD tuning, Brainjo level 3
Notes on the tab:
Notes in parentheses are “skip” notes. To learn more about these, check out my video lesson on the subject.
For more on reading tabs in general, check out this complete guide to reading banjo tabs.