A Book Of Five Strings - online tutorial

Strategies for mastering the art of old time banjo.

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Gus Cannon
We can't talk about blues banjo without mentioning Gus Cannon. Cannon's Jug Stompers was one of the all time great jug bands in the roaring twenties and Gus was a bona-fide blues banjo player.
Gus Cannon played fingerstyle banjo in a pattern that was something like the tab below.
In this tab we are playing the third and fourth strings with our thumb and picking up on the first and second strings with our index and middle fingers.
The count is 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4.
Nothing to it, right?
Now try working out a simple backup for the song "Minglewood Blues."
Minglewood Blues
I
Don't you never let one woman rule your mind
IV                         V
Don't you never let one woman rule your mind
V                       I
Said she keep you worried, troubled all the time
Don't you think your fair gal was little and cute like mine Don't you wish your fair gal was little and cute like mine She's a married woman, But she comes to see me all the time
Well I got a letter mama and you ought to hear it read Well I got a letter Lord and you ought to hear it read If you comin' back baby now be on your way
I was born in the desert, raised in a lion's den I was born in the desert, raised in a lion's den My number one occupation, stealing women from their money men
If you're ever in Memphis, better stop by Minglewood If you're ever in Memphis, better stop by Minglewood the women down there, they don't mean a man no good






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