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For this example we'll work with and old tune called "Southern Aristocracy". It's an old minstrel tune that was probably played on banjos before the Civil War.
Just in case you don't know how to read music* I will tab out the notes for the A part of the tune for you.
This song is written here in the key of G in cut time. "Cut time" is a variation of 4/4 time. It is actually 2/2 time. The reason that it is called "cut time" is that the note values are cut in half.