Archive for the 'Favorites' Category

Rampi Rampi: The complete package

Here’s one of my favorite tunes, the Turkish song Rampi Rampi:

And here’s a lesson explaining the rhythm and right-hand technique:

Sail Away Ladies

The version from Tom, Brad & Alice’s Holly Ding CD, with some, er, experimental percussion (darbuka, a Middle Eastern goblet-shaped drum). Recorded when I hadn’t played darbuka for 8 years so it’s a little rough.

The banjo is tuned eDGDE but is capoed at the 3rd fret to be in tune with the drum. I capo at the second fret to get into eDGDE, so moving the capo to the 3rd fret makes the open strings fD#G#D#F. The “Sail Away” part of the melody (high part) starts on the open first string: open first, first at the 3rd fret, open first again, third string at the 4th fret.

This is a very different “Sail Away Ladies” that Tommy Jarrell said he learned from a Civil War veteran in 1916 or ’17. I’ve also heard the tune on The Young Fogies, played by the Plank Road String Band.

I love the lyrics that Tom, Brad, and Alice found in “Negro Folk Rhymes” and put to this tune:

Never you mind what the rich folks say
May the Mighty bless you, sail away

Sail away, sail away, sail away ladies, sail away.

Never you mind what your daddy say
Shake your little foot and fly away

Never you mind if your mama say,
“Devil’s gonna take you,” sail away

Download MP3

Rampi Rampi

Traditional Turkish song in 9/8 (2-2-2-3) with some improv. Pronounced “rompee rompee.” One of my favorite tunes to play.

Download MP3 | Tab (PDF)

Elzic’s Farewell to Bulgaria

An old-time tune done in Bulgarian 11/8. I added some traditional gankino riffs.

Download MP3

A Bruxa

By Anton Seoane of the Galician band Milladoiro. It’s pronounced “a BROO-sha” and means “the witch.” A challenge for the banjo. I’ve got a mute on the bridge for the recording.

Download MP3 | Tab

Sakkijarven Polkka

A Finnish polka that works for contra dancing. The banjo is tuned gEGBE. As with other tunes that have more than 2 parts, you might want to play the A and B melodies alone until the dancers are used to the dance, then toss in C and D for variety.

Played here at a brisk tempo for contra dancing.

Download MP3 | Tab | PDF of tab

Kasapsko Oro

A Macedonian dance tune with a part lobbed off for contra dancing. The tab has the complete version. It’s fun to play this through a cheap amp with a lot of distortion. Try that with your local dance group! And check out this YouTube video in which Mathieu uses the tune to demonstrate three picking styles.

Download MP3 | Tab | PDF of tab

Bourrée à huit

Traditional French; from Blowzabella. For the chord track, I put a wooden fiddle mute on my banjo bridge. A happy, happy tune.

Download MP3 | Tab

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