Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Lonesome Fiddle Blues

Figured I’d make a spot on here for Lonesome Fiddle Blues. I am sure that most of you that have never played this may recognize it as you well should because Charlie Daniels stole the melody line for his intro into “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”.

This would make a great backing track for those of you trying to learn this as all there is now just Larry on Mando and me on Guitar for the breaks so one would have plenty of time and space to work out their break after they get used to the melody line that Larry and I play on our breaks.

Chord Progression is:

Dm - C - Dm - C - A- Dm for the “A Part” For the B part it goes G, D, E7 - A

Thanks for laying down the Bass Ozi. Also a thanks goes out to Larry for adding in a mando rhythm and lead track…plus mixing.

For you guitar pickers: My guitar part is really based of off Steve Kaufman’s version. I used to have a book with tab by Steve Kaufman with an audio CD and I based my Lonesome Fiddle Blues off of his version. Can’t remember the name of the book as I have misplaced it somewhere. … Id=247125#

Hey Jesse,
I listened to it today I like it. I was not familiar with that one until I heard your version. I wrote a start to a break. Now I gotta learn to play it :blush: . I talked to my fiddle playing buddy and we are going to try to get together to do a split break. His schedule is nuts, so it might be a bit, but I wanted to pass along someone was looking at it.


If your fiddle buddy wants the first break then I’d give it up, after-all this is a fiddle tune. Then he could have 2 or 3 breaks with Larry’s mando following, then your guitar break following , then mine following him again.

When I first started learning to play this at slower speeds it reminded me of a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western melody…is pretty haunting on the A part at slower speeds, would go perfect in Fist full of Dollars or The Good The Bad & The Ugly ( What a great name for a Trio Bluegrass group hunh?).

This song at the end of the day is really super fun to pass along in a bluegrass jam, especially when you play second to a fiddle and give it room to do what it wants…fiddle really makes this dude sound right!

This is one of those fiddle tunes where although it gets “fast” one has to really concentrate on their phrasing. Most fiddle tunes played on guitar just blow through notes so quick that phrasing is not as important, however this one is all about the phrasing in my mind vs. blowing it out of the water at 240 beats/min.

Oh, and take your time, I started this one with not much emphasis on getting something going quick but instead figured it’d be a nice addition for folks on this site to use as a backing track/reference.

This is electrified, but I love how they play right through the Red Rocks sunset.


Love that vid. Man I’d love to go there for a show (and I generally don’t go to shows anymore). It’s a beautiful area. I like when they go to the reggae groove and then they show the crowd and everyone is doing the “reggae sway.” Is that instinctual?

Jesse, thanks for the offer on the break. I’ll pass it along, but with his schedule, a B part is a good start. Maybe if he wants a full break in addition, our split break could be the transition. That would be a bit different transition. I don’t think I’ll be able to play any more notes than what I wrote. I wrote it kind of like I approach my fifth pass at the chinese buffet… I probably bit off more than I can chew. But then again, I’ll probably try to eat it all anyway.

Oh man, Larry, thanks for putting that up - where have these guys been all my life? Fit a bit of samba in as well. Have now been looking at more of their clips, great stuff, a bass player’s dream.
The dead still live and moved on, even sing in tune now! :laughing:

— Begin quote from "ozicaveman"

The dead still live and moved on, even sing in tune now!

— End quote

I’ve heard fans say SCI sounds like the Dead would have sounded if they practiced. :smiley:

— Begin quote from "mreiz"

Man I’d love to go there for a show

— End quote

Yeah, but the audience doesn’t get to watch the awesome sunset. I want to go there and play on-stage! (I figure if I’m gonna dream, it might as well be a big one.)

— Begin quote from "ldpayton"

(I figure if I’m gonna dream, it might as well be a big one.)

— End quote

I am right there with ya. In that dream, do you mind if I spend the earlier part of the day climbing on the nearby cliffs, then I get to eat some Las Palapas tacos instantly teleported from San Antonio, and then I get to back you up and watch the sunset while playing my newly acquired 1937 D-18 that someone gave to me in trade for a few of my tacos?

And in addition, I demand a shrubbery.

I dunno Mike, a shrubbery can be dangerous - look what happened to Macbeth… :wink:

Ha! To tell the truth, I had to go look up the Macbeth reference. :laughing: :blush: :laughing: It’s been probably 30 years since I read it. Of course, it’s been a long time since I have seen Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”, but I can still remember quotes from it. I am getting more illiterate the older I get.

Always great when someone from the US is familiar with British material. The unfortunate thing was that successful British shows were bought by the US then remade in a local context and often missed the whole point - generally got watered down and lost their edge. eg: Sanford & Son was a US version of Steptoe & Son, All In the Family was Till Dead Us Do Part.
Did Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett ever go to air on TV there?

Uh oh, looks like I’ve hijacked the thread - sorry, no more said :blush:

I haven’t seen Ronnie and Ronnie, but I am not an expert on what plays over here. I kind of lead a sheltered life. I watched the blackberry skit. Good stuff!

Mike you forgot to say “nee”.


I uploaded a half break. I recorded it to follow the mando, but it can go wherever you like. I am going to try to get a better take. There were a some spots it could use a little mo betta playing. I figured I’d put up what I have anyway, I’m not sure when it will get better. I can record something for an hour and I never know when the “good” take is gonna happen. I probably had close to 100 where I didn’t get past the first dozen or so notes. I attached the tef in case anyone wants to take a peek.

I did start the break as the mando is finishing. I kind of like the two overlapping slightly, but if that is not desired, you can kill my part in the overlap.

When the mixdown gets up there, I’ll send it to John, the fiddle guy. I think he’ll enjoy it, but with his schedule he might need a few reminders to get him going.

I think that sounds good Mike.

I just may revisit my guitar part as I just recorded a backing track with no effects, then recorded my guitar break with no effects and shoved the two together…so Larry mix’d um’ down and he had little to work with as they both my lead and rhythm were the same file (plus I get off a bit/out of time on the B part).

“100 takes”…man before I got serious about guitar 5 or so years back I did not realize how much effort you have to put into something before you “really learn it”. I’d say that 50% of the fiddle tunes I play I don’t even have to think about and I breeze right through them, can actually look around the room, make faces and act stupid and not miss a beat…now on the other 50% I still have those “tough spots” where I say to myself “self that tricky spot is coming up…get ready…damn it self you messed it up again”

Nice break, Mike. Is that your arrangement? Now we need the other half! :smiley:

You get some nice vibrato at the end of the break. What guitar are you using?

Here’s a with the new track.

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shoved the two together…so Larry mix’d um’ down and he had little to work with as they both my lead and rhythm were the same file

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I was just going to suggest that you upload the separate tracks.

Thanks to both of you for the kind words. Thanks for putting up the mix. Jesse, you mention “self… that tricky spot…” That might be my biggest problem playing. I train myself to stumble. I know the part is coming up I need to nail and then I probably tighten up. I seem to play best when I am just a little distracted.

That is my arrangement. That is, as much as I can call anything “mine.” There’s borrowed phrases I have picked up over the years modified for the situation. The start of the C shape slide lick I got from Ben. I am gonna have to keep playing that one over and over… more often than not, it’s not exactly right. It’s not quite “right” in the recording… the notes are there, but when you get it just right it’s neat… maybe I could just get Ben to play it for me :smiley: . Larry, you’ve got a good ear picking up on the vibrato and such. The vibrato just felt right with what I was envisioning for the fiddle coming in. I used the D18GE with stereo micing, close miced at the 12th fret angled in towards the body and at the lower bout very slightly angled in as well. That was the first time using it angled in and I think I like that mic setup for breaks. I might put some new strings on the OM when I try another stab at it… I like the way it sounds on that live and I suspect I’ll like the recorded sound as well.

You want the other half? I hold my breath when I play and that’s about all I can fit in… that’s why I am trying to get John to jump in and play the fiddle so I can breath again. :laughing: I’ll ping him to try to encourage him that this is much more important than things like his job.

Nice pickin’ fellers! There are some sweet licks in there.

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I can record something for an hour and I never know when the “good” take is gonna happen

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I’m the same way. If I ever get to pick with you guys in person, you’re in for a big disappointment. I’m usually not too smooth on the first attempt.

When I’m recording, I usually set up the backing track to loop over the break, play through the loop 3 or 4 times, then listen to what I’ve got. If I get lucky and get an early keeper, that’s it. Otherwise I save the best take as a baseline, record another 3 or 4 takes, and A/B them again. I repeat until I get a take that satisfies me or I get frustated with trying.

Oldhat, I’m not sure on which thread you told me you were sending the Dick Boak guitar print, but I got it today. Many thanks. It’s way cooler up close. Lots of nice detail. I have a picture frame jig in my shop, so I’ll whip up a custom frame for it once I get the trees cleared out of my yard.

Mike, I notice you are approaching the 1000 post milestone. Are we going to have a party?