Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rawhide - John Duffey version

I've been thinking about this tune for a while and worked out some of John Duffey's version from the Country Gentlemen's Smithsonian Folkways live CD "On the Road (And More)", which I recommend to all bluegrass fans.

I tabbed out his first break from that, and played it slowly - I'm doing it about 105 bpm here, Duffey plays it at about 165bpm. Monroe played this up to about 190bpm. Those speeds are the true technical challenge of this tune and I'll try to work up to them and post a fast version some day. Working on tunes like this really helps when you have to play breaks in fast banjo tunes like Shuckin the Corn.

Here's the tab.

And look, here's me playing it now at a reasonable speed with the Buncombe String Band (July 2010)


  1. David, I'd say you are closer to someone who can play than to a beginner. You are waaay too humble about your mandolin playing. Compare yourself to me, who've played for years and still haven't come anywhere yet. Anyway, it's nice to hear a version of Rawhide that it's actually possible to try to imitate!

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Susi. I would say you are doing better than you think too! I look forward to hearing your version of Rawhide one day.

  3. Hmmm, yeah, one day..... !! Now you're getting me interested in trying. I should start working on it as soon as my studies let me!