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Old Time Fingerpicking
Classic Style Banjo
Celtic Tunes
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Banjo Lessons: “Wildwood Flower” Key of C

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The Carter Family, Helen, AP, and
Mother Maybelle, were some of the very
first country stars
when they recorded in 1928 and 29, down in
For Ralph Peer, I believe it was.
And A. P. Carter would just wander through
the woods around where they lived,
and would collect songs.
So, he was probably the most famous song
collector of his time,
if not of many times.
And, one of the songs he discovered was
Wildwood Flower, which has become such
a standard for country guitar players, and
Mother Maybelle just put it on the map.
And, it's just a very pretty tune.
And it works nicely on the banjo, and
we're gonna do it here in the key of C,
Where it's usually played.
And, I will play it once through for you
and then we'll discuss it from there.
And then, you go back into it, on an
endless Moebius strip of banjo playing.
So, this has a two note lead in.
I'm kind of starting with
a C-chord with an open first string, so
you have your index finger at the second
fret of the first.
Middle of the second fret of the fourth.
I had, I said that backwards.
Let me repeat myself without saying
exactly what I just said.
Index at the first fret of the second
string, I meant to say.
And, the middle of the second fret of the
fourth string,
there's no fret in the middle on the first
string, that's just open.
So, you have two quarter notes to start
And, I have the middle finger.
Sitting on that second fret of the fourth
Then, I add the ring.
on the third fret of the fourth string.
So, it's one and two and one and
two and one and two and one and so on and
so forth.
So, this is starting on the two beat.
One and two, and now you're on to the
downbeat of the actual tune.
And, you're starting with just,
this is measure two.
You're starting with just an alternating
thumb roll.
Just hold it in the C chord.
Now, at this point you do bring the ring
down on the second fret of the fourth,
sec, let me say that again.
Second fret of the first string.
Cuz you're using your ring here.
then, I bring it back to the first string.
So, it's third, second, fifth, first.
And then, I bring the middle over from
the second fret of the fourth string to
the second fret of the third string.
As a quarter note, open third as a quarter
So, youve got.
Go back to your C.
This time with an open first string.
Cuz I want my ring finger ready to go for
the third fret of the fourth string.
Right here, quarter note,
let go of the ring.
Here, back at the second fret of the
fourth string,
out of that C position with an open first.
And then, the G chord, measure four.
And, that's fourth string,
second, fifth, first.
Another alternating thumb roll.
Quarter, quarter, and that's two
zero on the fourth string and I'm using
the middle finger for that second fret.
And then, technically you would tune
the fourth string down to C but, I'll,
maybe I'll do that at the end.
I don't want to throw myself out of tune.
But, since you're not gonna be playing out
of that Drop C tuning,.
You're gonna play the C here
going up an octave to the C on the second
Back to a full C chord.
And then, that same introduction.
And, that's the 5th and 6th measures.
Those are the 5th and 6th measures.
So, you have kind of this claw hammer
I'm bringing the thumb across to the
second string.
And then, 5th that's a quarter note,
beginning of measure five.
Fifth, first, thumb on the third string
quarter note.
Fifth, first, second string.
Fifth, first, and then you're gonna have
that load, lead in again.
And go through it.
Second ending, third, second, and now.
Two Osborne Rolls.
So it's middle, index, middle.
So I'm just holding that C chord
with a full C chord of the ring on
the second fret of the first.
Until you get to that second
to last note
of measure eight,
it's an open first string.
So, I just.
Keep everything down except lift off the
ring finger on the,
so you have the open first string.
So, it's, Osborne roll, middle, index,
middle, thumb.
And then, another Osborne roll.
Middle, index, open up the first string
while the index still stays down there.
And, that's a very important note, that
second string.
The first fret because that's your C note.
And, if you let go of that,
even if you're not hitting it, it's just
gonna sound a little like,
if you hear that B note, it's not gonna
sound like a C anymore.
So, it's nice to keep that down, even when
you're not playing it.
Cuz here it comes again at the beginning
of measure nine, you need to hit that
That first fret of the second string
is a quarter note.
Now, two forward rolls.
For the second forward roll,
you let go of the C and just have open
Which will give you a chance to get to
your F chord.
So, from the beginning of the chorus.
Let go of everything so
it's open fifth, open second, open first
And, play an F chord on, and
you don't need to fret the fourth string.
You can just have the pinky on the third
fret of the first,
index on the first fret of the second,
middle on the second fret of the third,
and do a forward backward roll.
Third, second, first, fifth, first,
second, third, fifth.
Back to C.
in this case I just have the index down on
the first fret on the second string.
This is measure 11.
Third, second, fifth, first, middle,
ring and.
Two quarter notes.
And then to finish.
This is the same as you already played.
then, you're just filling a space to go
back to it again, like that.
So if you were gonna be really accurate
with the melody,
you would do something like this.
Well, actually, let me play this just the
way it is right now.
Now, to get that low C note you would
have to do something like this.
And then you'll never get back so.
Anyway, there's Wildwood Flower.
Hope you enjoy it.