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Edden. Burl. Sherman. Lee. Maggie. Currence.
Many of you steeped in the lore of the old-time tradition will recognize those as names of members of the Hammons family of West Virginia, a multi-generational group from the mountains of West Virginia who’s musical tradition has been the subject of books, documentaries, and TV shows.
They’re responsible for a number of outstanding fiddle tunes, including today’s selection “Three Forks of Cheat,” which comes from the playing of Burl Hammons.
Most of their tunes were composed for solo performance, typically on the fiddle. And many of them have the haunting, eccentric, and idiosyncratic character you might expect of music that hails from the remote reaches of Appalachia, where the composition is unconstrained by the considerations of group jamming.
You’ll be pleased to discover two things about this tune:
1. It sounds great on solo banjo.
2. It sounds great played at a easy, comfortable pace.
— And thanks to Breakthrough Banjo member John M. for suggesting this fine tune! —
Three Forks of Cheat
aEAC#E 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.
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.