More about Bill Cheatum
Bill Cheatum is known under many names, some include "Cheatum," "Cheat 'Em," "Old Bill Cheatum." This fiddle tune is common throughout the southern part of the country, which is where it found its origin. The name “Old Bill Cheatum”, was first heard in the Ozarks mountains and was compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph. It was published in 1954 by Randolph. The earliest recording of the tune was done by Texas fiddler Eck Robertson in 1922 and it was part of his “Brilliancy Medley”. Other versions includes “Cheat Em” by the Allen brothers and "Fiddlin' Arthur Smith" from Tennessee did his own rendition in 1940. “Bill Cheatum” has no doubt experienced a long bout of popularity and bluegrass and old-time music and is a staple at fiddler's conventions and jam sessions.
Learn 3 different versions of Bill Cheatum, which are all shown on this page. We recommend that you get started with the Scruggs style version, where you’ll learn basic roll pattern and left hand articulations like slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. Next, move on to the Melodic arrangement to learn how to play the melody for Bill Cheatum using scales and up the next positions. Lastly, you can check out the Backup arrangement, which shows you how to play behind others while they are soloing.
In every Tunefox tablature arrangement you'll find measures where you can switch out licks to see different options to use for your improvisation. This feature is called the Lick Switcher. How do you find the Lick Switcher? Look for text that says "Original Measure" over different measures in the Bill Cheatum tab you are learning and click on that text. It'll open up the Lick Switcher where you can select a substitute measure for that spot in the song. You'll find that there are different styles of licks like Scruggs, Melodic, Bluesy, and more. Want to see a completely different version of this song? Click on "Shuffle Licks" on the bottom of tool panel to randomly shuffle the licks in the song.
Be sure to check out all of the great learning tools that Tunefox has to offer such as "Hide Notes", "Memory Train", and "Speed Up". These tools can be found in the "Tools" menu at the bottom right of your screen. Want to learn some of Bill Cheatum by ear? Use "Hide Notes" to hide some or all of the notes in the tablature. Once you’re finished learning with the tab use the "Memory Train" tool to commit the song to memory. Then practice with "Speed Up" to improve your technique and speed in no time.
Each Tunefox banjo Bill Cheatum tab contains real-sounding backing tracks. These backing tracks allow you to practice the arrangement you’re learning with an entire band and you can change the volume of the band, banjo and metronome to suit your liking.
Members can export their arrangements into PDF, allowing them to print and bring them to their next jam session.