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I’ve talked before that the division between bluegrass and old time music is more an artifact of history than a clear categorical distinction.
You could say that bluegrass was really just an effort to package traditional southern folk music in a format that optimized the listening experience.
And today’s tune, “written” by Earl Scruggs, is a nice example of that sort of packaging, in this case for a traditional solo banjo tune.
Some of you may hear a resemblance between it and “Sugar Baby/Red Rocking Chair,” and my hunch is that’s not a coincidence. The melodic similarities and “alternate” banjo tuning sure feels like Earl is giving a nod to his banjo roots, with some harmonic and structural modifications to fit the evolving bluegrass sensibility (interesting as well to speculate on his decision to name it after the capital of commercial country music).
Speaking of the alternate tuning, don’t let that deter you. I think you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised at how nice it sounds, and how easily this tune slips under the fingers.
aDFAD tuning, Brainjo level 3-4
(NOTE: The Tab-Walkthrough Workshop for this tune will be held on June 18. Click here to learn more about and view a sample of the tab walk-through videos. Click here to learn more, and see the full schedule.)
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.
[RELATED: 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.
Click here for a current list of all the clawhammer songs and tunes currently available inside of The Vault