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Banjo Lessons: Fiddle Tunes in D: “Arkansas Traveler”

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[MUSIC]
All right, Arkansas Taveler.
One of the classic, classic fiddle tunes.
[COUGH] And this one is from the Kentucky
Mountain Music seven CD set.
I have another tune that, if it's not
already up,
will be up shortly on Soldier's Joy.
And I just was trying to find some old
recordings of old fiddle tunes.
I put out a whole fiddle tune book for Mel
Bay with about 126 fiddle tunes in it.
And most of the time,
I was trying to find the oldest versions I
could find of these tunes.
At least something back in the 30s or 20s
if not in written music from earlier.
But this is one by the Crockett Family
Mountaineers.
I don't know who they were, but
they recorded this, this 78 of Arkansas
Traveler.
And I just took the fiddle break and
transcribed it, added it onto the banjo.
And it's just really nice, and I, I've
said this before here.
On some of the other videos, but
I just love taking fiddle tunes and
learning what the fiddle does.
Cuz it makes you think differently, cuz
you're thinking outside the box.
Cuz it's a fiddle, not a banjo.
And the notes almost always fit on the
banjo,
but the rolls may come out a little
differently, the note choices, the spaces.
So, so it's a way to keep your playing
fresh.
And.
I I have another version, which is a
little, a little bit notier,
that I've been playing for many years of
Arkansas Traveler.
For me to learn this, was really fun and
exciting, so I hope you'll enjoy it, too.
So, a lot of this is just based on scales,
on the D scale.
[MUSIC]
So,
you're going zero two four on the fourth
string.
Thumb index thumb.
It's the index and ring.
[MUSIC]
Open third and then the,
you could do one finger per fret.
Pinky on the seventh fret of the fourth.
Open second ring on the sixth fret of the
third.
Open first.
Middle on the fifth fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Index on the fourth fret of the first.
Open fifth.
And then, just slide that middle finger up
to the tenth fret of the second string.
[MUSIC]
Index on the ninth fret of the first.
[MUSIC]
Ring or thumb, either way.
Ring may be a little more comfortable.
[MUSIC]
On the 11th fret of the fifth string,
pinky on the 12th fret of the fir, first
string, and then go back down again.
[MUSIC]
Or, alternately.
Instead of going here to the fifth fret of
the second and
the fourth fret of the first.
[MUSIC]
Go to the ring on the ninth fret
of the third, index on the seventh fret of
the second string, fifth string and
then on the same.
[MUSIC]
And then back down to the seventh fret of
the second, ring on the ninth fret of the
third, open first
[MUSIC]
And down from there.
I've described this sca, these scales or
this D scale going up two octaves and
back, on a couple of the other tunes.
But, just in case you don't see the other
tunes, they're here, that's why.
I'm being a little repetitive.
Okay, so let's do the A part of Arkansas
Traveler.
[MUSIC]
See right there?
[MUSIC]
You have that.
No choice right there as you would
descend, we're descending the D scale so.
[MUSIC]
Then it goes
around again.
So, you're starting on the downbeat, first
string then, it's a backward roll really.
[MUSIC]
Seventh fret of second,
ninth fret of of the third.
[MUSIC]
And then the open second.
[MUSIC]
And then a backward roll.
[MUSIC]
Then, four quarter notes right there.
[MUSIC]
And I use the,
the ring on the seventh fret of the fourth
string.
[MUSIC]
Quarter, quarter, open first, open fourth.
[MUSIC]
That's why I love the fourth string in D.
You get that nice low resonant sound,
then.
[MUSIC]
Now,
for this, in the tablature, I just have
the fifth fret of the second string.
[MUSIC]
And I let go.
So, you have that separation of notes.
[MUSIC]
Bring it back down.
[MUSIC]
Then,
I just bring the middle finger up to the
seventh fret and do two quarter notes.
[MUSIC]
I guess I leave that seven down.
[MUSIC]
Let that ring out a little bit.
Now, you can just hit it dead on like
that.
[MUSIC]
Or.
[MUSIC]
I tend to be sliding it I find,
rather then just hitting five, I'll go.
[MUSIC]
Three to five slide.
[MUSIC]
And then a five to seven slide.
For the first seven, instead of just being
a seven.
[MUSIC]
And going.
[MUSIC]
Same with the fives.
Instead of five, five and going slide,
five, slide, seven.
And then.
[MUSIC]
And then, a backward roll,
the way you started this.
[MUSIC]
That's the same.
But then, you go to the seventh fret of
the fourth string with the ring.
[MUSIC]
And then repeat.
[MUSIC]
And here's the ending.
[MUSIC]
Classic fiddle tune ending.
Open first, sixth fret of the third, open
first.
Forward roll to the seventh fret of the
fourth string, open second,
and open first.
[MUSIC]
Now, let go of that six.
[MUSIC]
Again, the separation of notes.
[MUSIC]
Let go of the seven,
even though you're bringing it right back
down there again.
[MUSIC]
Open third and then, single string.
[MUSIC]
Four zero, two four, zero.
[MUSIC]
Using it.
[MUSIC]
Ring,
[MUSIC]
Oh, sorry.
[MUSIC]
Ring, index, ring, open.
And then.
[MUSIC]
When you go back around again,
there's the very end of the first ending.
Seventh fret of the fourth string.
[MUSIC]
Sixth fret of the third ring in
the middle.
And then, you go around again.
[MUSIC]
Then, the same for the second ending but,
instead of going.
[MUSIC]
To go back into the A part, you do this.
[MUSIC]
To go into the B part.
And I use the ring on the seventh fret of
the second.
Open fifth.
[MUSIC]
And
these are the top two notes of the barred
D chord at the seventh fret.
[MUSIC]
So,
the two eighth notes is a lead into the
downbeat, which is probably.
[MUSIC]
And then.
[MUSIC]
Which would be an A chord, most likely.
[MUSIC]
Fifth string,
index on the fourth fret of the first,
fifth fret of the second, fifth.
[MUSIC]
And then, you hold that position.
[MUSIC]
Index on the fourth,
middle on the of the first string.
Fifth fret of the second, pinky on the
seventh fret of the third.
So index, middle, and ring.
So.
[MUSIC]
Add the pinky first second,open first.
And then, you can do one finger per fret
and
get the ring on the sixth fret of the
third, ring.
I'm sorry, pinky on the seventh fret of
the fourth.
[MUSIC]
And then, the next measure is.
[MUSIC]
So, open first quarter note.
[MUSIC]
And then,
I kind of re-emphasize that note,
by sliding the middle six to seven on the
third string as I pinch the first string.
[MUSIC]
So.
[SOUND] Gives a little emphasis on the
upbeat.
One and two.
And then, middle on the fifth fret of the
second.
[MUSIC]
Fifth string,
index on the fourth fret of the first.
Middle on fifth fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
In fact,
you might even wanna slide with the mid,
the, with the ring finger.
Either works, but the ring finger.
[MUSIC]
Puts your middle in a better position to
get to the fifth fret of the second
string.
[MUSIC]
And then.
[MUSIC]
Open, I love this little note choice here.
[MUSIC]
Open first, second fret of the fourth, and
let go of it.
Again, separation of notes.
[MUSIC]
And then.
[MUSIC]
Jump to the index on the seventh fret of
the second ring on the ninth fret of the
third.
[MUSIC]
And then.
[MUSIC]
Repeat.
[MUSIC]
And then,
you end the same way you ended the A part.
[MUSIC]