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Strategies for mastering the art of old time banjo.

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Way Downtown
IV                                         I
Late last night Little Willie came home,
V                                                I
I heard him knocking on the door, IV                                                                             I
Slipping and a-sliding with his new shoes on,
V                                                I
Hey Willie don't you knock no more.
Chorus:
IV                                   I V                             I
Oh me, and it's oh my, no one to go my bail IV                                 I
Way down town just fooling around,
V                           I
They took me to the jail.
The last time I heard from my momma, she saw me in that old jail cell "Quit your rowdy ways my son, and save your soul from Hell."
Now, its one old shirt is all that I got And a dollar is all that I crave I brought nothing with me into this old world Ain't gonna take nothing to my grave
I wish I was over at my sweet Sally's house Sittin' in that big armed chair One arm around this old guitar
And the other one around my dear
Here we have another song that kicks off on the IV chord, but this time the effect is completely different. Instead of a half measure we are holding the IV for a full measure and running back to it in the chorus.
Start looking around in songbooks for more tunes to work on. It's a great way to become familiar with the I-IV-V progression and the ways chords sound together.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III