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  3. Billy in the Lowground

Billy in the Lowground banjo tabs

  • Tablatures

    Scruggs Style


    The Scruggs arrangement of Billy in the Lowground is interesting because it doesn't include all of the melody notes. Accenting certain notes will help this version sound more musical.

  • Melodic Style


    Billy in the Lowground is a classic fiddle tune, especially for guitar players. This arrangement is based on the playing of Doc Watson and Tony Rice.

  • Backup


    This backup arrangement of Billy in the Lowground flows nicely from vamping to rolling. Make sure you switch out licks to see all of the great variations!


More about Billy in the Lowground

One of the most popular fiddle tunes to date, Billy in the Lowground was first recorded in the 1920s. Gotten from studies based on the examination of about 250 manuscripts, recorded versions, variants of the song, etc., the origin of this song dates back to the 18th-century fiddle music manuscripts and prints of Scottish and Irish origin.

There was a repertoire whose oral and written traditions flourished and these tunes emerged from this fashionable repertoire. Once these tunes were assimilated into the English repertoire, they were no longer as elaborate as they used to, neither did the tunes remain fashionable. To add finishing touches to the assimilation of the tunes into the English repertoire, fiddlers throughout the British isles transported the tunes into America. Field recordings from the 1920s and 30s show that Billy in the Lowground was used as a contest fiddle tune and for bluegrass performances.

On Tunefox you’ll find 3 different tabs for Billy in the Lowground. Each of these tabs will teach you how to play this tune in a different way. The Scruggs style tablature will show you how to play left-hand slurs, otherwise known as hammer-ons, slides, and pull-offs. The Melodic style arrangement of will show you how to play Billy in the Lowground up the neck using major and pentatonic scales. And finally, the Backup arrangement will teach you how to play the backup for this song, which is essential for jam sessions.

There are many Scruggs, melodic and bluesy licks in these three banjo Billy in the Lowground tablatures, which can be used to personalize each arrangement into your liking. To change measure into a different arrangement, just click on the "Original Measure" text above the measure and select a different lick. You can also click the "Shuffle licks" button at the bottom of the page to randomly change all of the licks in the tablature and create a wholly unique arrangement of this song.

You'll also find some useful tools which will help you to learn how to play Billy in the Lowground on banjo. For example, you can use the "Hide Notes" feature, which will hide some notes for you so you can learn parts of the melody by ear. The "Memory train" tool will progressively hide notes each time you play through a section or the entirety of a song. Take your speed to the next level with the "Speed Up" feature. This tool will automatically increase playback speed each time you loop the song.

Using backing tracks for practice should be an essential part of every musician’s routine. With Tunefox, you can practice Billy in the Lowground as fast or as slow as you want and mix the volume of the tracks with the instrument to your liking. There’s also a metronome so you can always feel the pulse of the song with or without the band track playing along.

Members can export their arrangements into PDF, allowing them to print and bring them to their next jam session.