Appalachian Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo

Ken’s Newest Banjo Instruction Book Just Published by Mel Bay!

This comprehensive collection features over 100 note-for-note skillfully-crafted clawhammer banjo arrangements of “old-time” Southern fiddle tunes – in clear tablature – with suggested guitar chords at a wide variety of skill levels. It contains most of the tunes played in concert or recorded by author Ken Perlman and renowned Appalachian-style fiddler Alan Jabbour, plus over 50 more classic tunes from Ed Haley, Edden Hammons, John Salyer and many other iconic roots fiddlers.

Also included:

  • Instruction on basic and advanced techniques
  • Tips on improving your musicianship
  • How to play syncopated rhythms and melodies in clawhammer style
  • Frameworks for dealing with crooked tunes and modal tunes
  • Historical notes and picturesque backstories
  • Ken Perlman demonstrates all tunes & most musical illustrations – 124 online audio tracks
  • Online Audio includes 24 tracks featuring excerpts from recordings of Ken performing with fiddler Alan Jabbour, to whom the book is dedicated.

New!! Appalachian Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo

Mel Bay Publications

Features over 100 note-for-note skillfully-crafted clawhammer banjo arrangements of “old-time” Southern fiddle tunes – in clear tablature – with suggested guitar chords at a wide variety of skill levels. It contains most of the tunes played in concert or recorded by author Ken Perlman and renowned Appalachian-style fiddler Alan Jabbour, plus over 50 more classic tunes from Ed Haley, Edden Hammons, John Salyer and many other iconic roots fiddlers. Includes access to 124 on-line audio tracks featuring Ken playing all tunes and many musical illustrations.

24.99

BOOK

Dowloading the Audio Tracks

Here are instructions from the publisher for Downloading the 124 Audio Tracks.

Note: the official instructions are a little confusing. On the title page (that is, p.1) copy the entire URL (beginning www.melbay.com/) located to the right of the Mel Bay icon and directly underneath the Online Audio icon. Purchasers of the digital edition (see below), should not try to click on either icon, since neither one is actually a link. Since this is a web address, paste it into the URL window of your browser. Do not paste it into the regular search feature of your browser.

The Digital Edition

Appalachian Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo is also available directly from Mel Bay Publications in digital format (given current shipping rates, digital format should be particularly attractive to purchasers from abroad). To purchase the digital edition, click on the link below. By using this link, you ensure that the author receives a reasonable percentage of the digital purchase price.

 

Digital Edition: Appalachian Fiddle Tunes  for Clawhammer Banjo

Ken Talks About The Book…

This is a collection of over 100 “old-time” Appalachian fiddle tunes arranged note-for-note – and with as much flavor and nuance as humanly possible – for clawhammer banjo. These “settings” are all eminently playable and fully benefit from my half-century of experience playing banjo, arranging for banjo, and researching fiddle-music traditions.

To help you learn, this volume offers instruction on basic and advanced techniques; general tips on fingering and a systematic approach to playing up the neck; hints on dealing with “crooked” (irregular) tunes and understanding modes; and a thorough treatment for playing highly syncopated rhythms in clawhammer without breaking stride. I also offer technical help for individual tunes in the form of fingering diagrams and detailed fingering suggestions, along with breakdowns of how to navigate passages that feature complex rhythms or irregular meters.

This book is offered as a tribute to my long-term performing partner, the late great Appalachian-style fiddler Alan Jabbour, whose tune-collecting work in the mid-1960s and subsequent activities with the Hollow Rock String Band did much to launch today’s old-time music jamming and concert scenes. Alan and I toured together for nearly fifteen years beginning around the turn of this century; our travels took us throughout much of North America, and also to Britain, Ireland, and Western Europe. Alan and I also recorded two CDs together: Southern Summits (2005) and You Can’t Beat the Classics (2014). The tunes featured on these two recordings – plus nearly two dozen more that we often played together but never recorded – make up about half the repertoire in this volume.

The remaining fifty or so tunes represented here are drawn directly from other great “old-time” fiddlers past and present, either through personal contact or via field and commercial recordings. The two contemporary fiddlers whose tune versions are most represented here are Bobby Taylor of St. Albans, West Virginia and Brad Leftwich of Bloomington, Indiana; I also obtained tunes directly from Franklin George, Elmer Rich and Greg Canote. I drew tunes from field recordings of Clyde Davenport, Ed Haley, Edden Hammons, Tommy Jarrell, John Salyer, Bill Stepp and Luther Strong; and got additional material from commercial recordings made in the 1920s and ’30s by Alex Hood & His Railroad Boys, Doc Roberts, Eck Robertson, and Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith.

About the Companion Audio

There are 124 audio tracks accessible on line that illustrate all the tunes in the book and more. Some illustrations are excerpted from previously recorded CDs – including 24 tracks from the two CDs I recorded with Alan Jabbour – Southern Summits and You Can’t Beat the ClassicsMost selections, however, were recorded specially for this project and are accompanied by Ruth Rappaport, a very tasteful Boston-area guitarist. Instead of illustrating each number at slow-to-moderate speed, I figured that it would be most valuable to offer performances at or pretty close to the proper tempo for these tunes, and fully within the spirit of the music. These days, it’s a fairly simple matter to slow down performances digitally if you feel the need to do so.

To access the companion audio, merely type the URL code printed on the title page of the book into the search window of your browser, and you will be able to download the audio package.

Here’s the Complete Tune List

  • Abe’s Retreat
  • And the Cat Came Back
  • Barlow Knife (see Cabin Creek)
  • Big Hoedown
  • Big Scioty
  • Billy in the Lowland
  • Birdie (Henry Reed version)
  • Boatman (Henry Reed version)
  • Bonaparte’s Retreat (Henry Reed version)
  • Breaking Up Christmas (Taylor Kimble version)
  • British Field March
  • Cabin Creek, or Barlow Knife
  • Camp Meeting on the Fourth of July
  • Cherokee Shuffle (3-Part version in D)
  • Cherry River Rag
  • Christmas Morning
  • Cider Mill (Taylor Kimble version)
  • Coleman’s March
  • Colored Aristocracy (Elmer Rich variation)
  • Dolly
  • Duck River (John Salyer version)
  • Ducks on the Pond
  • Dunbar
  • Dusty Miller (Franklin George version)
  • Ebenezer, or West Virginia Highway
  • Elzick’s Farewell
  • Fall(s) of Richmond
  • Fiddler’s Drunk and the Fun’s All Over
  • Fine Times at Our House
  • Fire on the Mountain
  • Five Miles from Town (Clyde Davenport version)
  • Folding Down the Sheets (Bobby Taylor version)
  • Forked Deer
  • George Booker
  • Glory in the Meeting House
  • Greasy Coat
  • Greasy String
  • Green Willis
  • Greenfield Cotillion
  • Grover Jones Waltz
  • Half Past Four
  • Happy Jack
  • Hell Among the Yearlings
  • Hell up Cole Hollow
  • Henry Reed’s Breakdown
  • Henry Reed’s Favorite
  • High Yellow
  • Indian Ate The Woodchuck
  • Indian Squaw
  • Isom Waltz
  • Jenny Get Around
  • John R. Griffin’s Tune
  • Katydid
  • L&N Rag
  • Lady of the Lake
  • Leather Britches
  • Little Dutch Girl
  • Lost Girl
  • Magpie
  • Martha Campbell
  • Mississippi Sawyer (Alan Jabbour version)
  • New Castle, or Texas
  • New Five Cents
  • North Carolina Breakdown
  • Old Chattanooga
  • Old Joe Clark (Henry Reed version)
  • Old Mose
  • One More River to Cross
  • Peekaboo Waltz
  • Pig Ankle Rag
  • Pigtown Fling, or Wild Horses at Stoney Point)
  • Possum Up A ‘Simmon Tree
  • Quince Dillion’s High-D Tune
  • Rachel, or Texas Quickstep
  • Ragged Bill
  • Rebels’ Raid, The
  • Red Bird
  • Red Fox
  • Rochester Schottische
  • Rocking the Babies to Sleep (waltz)
  • Rocky Mountain Goat (Henry Reed version)
  • Rocky Road to Dublin (Not the Irish slip jig)
  • Rose Division
  • The Route
  • Rye Straw (Henry Reed version)
  • Sallie Gooden
  • Sally Ann Johnson
  • Sandy Boys (Edden Hammons version)
  • Sandy River Belle (Henry Reed version)
  • Say Old Man, Can You Play the Fiddle
  • Shady Grove (Henry Reed version)
  • Ship in the Clouds
  • Shoes & Stockings
  • Shoo Fly
  • Squirrel Hunters
  • Stone’s Rag
  • Susanna Gal, or Western Country
  • Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase
  • Tennessee Wagoner
  • Texas, or New Castle
  • Texas Quickstep, or Rachel
  • Turkey in the Straw (A Jabbour version)
  • Walk Along John
  • Walkin’ in the Parlor
  • Washington’s March
  • Waynesboro
  • Ways of the World (Bill Stepp version)
  • West Virginia Gals
  • West Virginia Highway, or Ebenezer
  • West Virginia Rag
  • Wild Horses at Stoney Point, or Pigtown Fling
  • Yellow Barber
  • Yew Piney Mountain