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Banjo Tablature

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A Hundred Years From Now (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God    (play midi file)
Alborada    (play midi file)
Alleluia    (play midi file)
Amazing Grace    (play midi file)
Arkansas Traveller tab   standard notation   version 2 tablature   (play midi file)
Ashokan Farewell (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Back To The Cross (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Back Up And Push (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Backspin (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Ballad Of Jed Clampett    banjo tab   (play midi file)
Banjo Bounce (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Banjo Boy Chimes (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Battle Hymn Of The Republic (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Beautiful Savior (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Blackberry Blossom (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Black Mountain Rag (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Blue Moon Of Kentucky (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Cherry Blossom Waltz (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Chopin's Prelude Number 7 (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Cotton Eye Joe (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Cripple Creek (Pickin' and a Grinnin') (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Dear Old Dixie (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Devil's Dream (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Doxology (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Father I Adore You (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Finale (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
First Rag (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
From Jerusalem To Jericho (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Gigue (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
God Bless America (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Golden Slippers (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Holly Jolly Christmas (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
How Great Thou Art (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
I Saw The Light (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
I've Got Peace Like A River (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Version 1) (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Version 2) (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Joke In B Minor (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Joy Of My Life (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Lonesome Reuben (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Miller's Reel (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Minuet In G (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Mountain Dew (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Old Joe Clark (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Old Time Religion (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Orange Blossom Special (Smokin' Hot Banjo Version!!!) (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Orange Blossom Special (NOTE: Guitar Tab -- but it's really cool!) (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Packington's Pound (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Rocky Top (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Staten Island (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
The Blarney Pilgrim (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
The Rights Of Man (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
This Land Is Your Land (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
This Train (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Tobacco Jack (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Train 45 (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Turkey In The Straw (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Wabash Cannonball (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Waltzing Matilda (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Wildwood Flower (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
Will The Circle Be Unbroken (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)
You Are My Sunshine (tab and standard notation)   (play midi file)



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Banjo -

The modern banjo comes in a variety of different forms, including four- (plectrum and tenor banjos) and five-string versions. A six-string version, tuned and played similar to a guitar, is gaining popularity. In almost all of its forms the banjo's playing is characterised by a fast strumming or arpeggiated right hand, although there are many different playing styles.

Five String Banjo
The origins of the five-string banjo is credited to Joel Walker Sweeney, an American minstrel performer from Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Sweeney wanted an instrument similar to the banjar played by African Americans in the American South, but at the same time, he wanted to implement some new ideas. He worked with a New York drum maker to replace the banjar's skin-covered gourd with the modern open-backed drum-like pot, and added another string to give the instrument more range or a drone. This new banjo came to be tuned gCGBD; somewhat higher than the eAEG#B tuning of the banjar.

The banjo can be played in several styles and is used in various forms of music. American old-time music typically uses the five-string open back banjo. It is played in a number of different styles, the most common of which are called clawhammer (or "claw-hammer") and frailing, characterised by the use of a downward rather than upward motion when striking the strings with the fingers. Frailing techniques use the thumb to catch the fifth string for a drone after each strum or twice in each action ("double thumbing"), or to pick out additional melody notes in what is known as "drop-thumb" Pete Seeger popularised a folk style by combining clawhammer with "up picking", usually without the use of fingerpicks.

Bluegrass music, which uses the five-string resonator banjo exclusively, is played in several common styles. These include Scruggs style, named after Earl Scruggs, melodic or Keith style, and three-finger style with single string work, also called Reno style after Don Reno, legendary father of Don Wayne Reno. In these styles the emphasis is on arpeggiated figures played in a continuous eighth-note rhythm. All of these styles are typically played with fingerpicks.

Many tunings are used for the five-string banjo. Probably the most common, particularly in bluegrass, is the open G tuning (gDGBd). In earlier times, the tuning gCGBd was commonly used instead. Other tunings common in old-time music include double C (gCGCd), sawmill or mountain minor (gDGCd) also called Modal or Mountain Modal, and open D (f#DF#Ad). These tunings are often taken up a tone, either by tuning up or using a capo.

The fifth (drone) string is the same gauge as the first, but it is generally five frets shorter, three quarters the length of the rest (one notable exception is Vega's long necked Pete Seeger model, where the fifth string is eight frets shorter). This presents special problems for using a capo to change the pitch of the instrument. For small changes (going up or down one or two semitones, for example) it is possible to simply retune the fifth string. Otherwise various devices are available to effectively shorten the string. Many banjo players favour the use of model railroad spikes or titanium spikes(usually installed at the seventh fret and sometimes at others), under which the string can be hooked to keep it pressed down on the fret.

While the five-string banjo has been used in classical music since the turn of the century, contemporary and modern works have been written for the instrument by Bé Fleck, Tim Lake, George Crumb, Jo Kondo, Paul Elwood, Beck, J.P. Pickens, Peggy Honeywell and Sufjan Stevens.

Four String Banjo

The plectrum banjo has four strings, lacking the shorter fifth drone string, and around 22 frets; it is usually tuned CGBD. As the name suggests, it is usually played with a guitar-style pick (that is, a single one held between thumb and forefinger), unlike the five-string banjo, which is either played with a thumbpick and two fingerpicks, or with bare fingers. The plectrum banjo evolved out of the five-string banjo, to cater to styles of music involving strummed chords.

A further development is the tenor banjo, which also has four strings and is also typically played with a plectrum. It has a shorter neck with around 19 frets and a scale length of 21 3/4" - 23" on shorter models, and 25 1/2" - 26 3/4" on longer ones. It is usually tuned CGDA, like a mandola, but has also been tuned GDAE like an octave mandolin which produces a more mellow tone. These tunings became popular around the turn of the century due to the growing popularity of the mandolin. Another alternative, called "Chicago" tuning is DGBE (like the 1st four strings of a guitar) which is now regaining popularity due to the number of guitarists who double on banjo. The tenor banjo has become a standard instrument for Irish traditional music. Tenor Banjo was also a common rhythm instrument in traditional or Dixieland Jazz because its volume could compete with brass instruments.

The Tenor Banjo is regaining popularity as Dixieland Jazz finds its way back into experimental improvisational music. Its rise to popularity is being supported by the recent manufacturing of Tenors at a working musicians price. Until the late 1990s, Tenors were rare and expensive, not giving players much of a chance to warm up to them.



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