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Some of you may wonder how this one ended up in the “tune” – and not “song” – of the week series. In other words, why am I not singing this one?
Most familiar with this American standard will know that it has words, and you may even know how to sing them.
But that’s because what you hear today is the “fiddle tune” version of this popular melody.
(RELATED: For all the clawhammer banjo fans who’ve been contemplating a foray into the fiddle, now’s your chance! Brainjo has just launched “Fiddle for All,” a complete step-by-step course for learning old-time fiddle based on the Brainjo Method of instruction. Click here to learn more about “Fiddle for All”.)
You see, some of our traditional fiddle tunes were originally composed on the instrument, for the instrument.
Others, however, are adaptations – popular songs transformed into fiddle tunes. If those transformations catch on, they can take on a parallel musical life of their own.
“The Yellow Rose of Texas” is one such adaptation. While this melody was originally written with lyrics, and first published in the 1850s, the rendition you hear today is typically played unadorned. This would also explain it’s setting in the key of D, which makes it quite the vocal stretch for anyone in possession of the pitch-lowering properties of a Y chromosome.
The Yellow Rose of Texas
aDADE 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.
[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