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  3. Church in the Wildwood

Church in the Wildwood banjo tabs

  • Tablatures

    Scruggs Style


    The Gospel is strong with this one. A nice Scruggs arrangement with a strong melody. It would be good for you to learn the lyrics and sing this song. Why? Because if you can sing this song with the lyrics you have memorized the melody. If you've memorized the melody, you will more instinctively know which notes to accent in this Scruggs arrangement to bring that melody to the forefront.

  • Scruggs Style-2


    Going back to the key of G for this one. It's always good to learn songs in multiple keys and be comfortable in all of them.

  • Melodic Style


    A melodic arrangement that stays very true to the original vocal melody. Try using a sweeter tone by picking closer to the neck. Really try and make this melody sing. Remember, just because you are playing a banjo doesn't mean you have to play loud and obnoxious all the time :) If a sweet melody isn't enough then the lick switcher will have some great options for you to customize this arrangement.

  • Backup


    This backup would fit nicely behind a vocal or fiddle. Remember not to play louder than the singer or instrument you accompany. Try moving your picking hand closer to the neck when playing backup. You will get a much sweeter sound.


More about Church in the Wildwood

The 'Church in the Wildwood' is a song written by Dr. William S. Pitts sometime around 1857. He wrote it during a coach ride to visit his fiancée that lived in Fredericksburg, Iowa and they had to make a brief stop at Bradford. Dr. Pitts wandered around and found a particular beauty in the wooded valley that formed by the Cedar River. It was during the beautiful view he had of the spot that he had a vision of a beautiful church occupying it. So, he wrote the 'church in wildwood' for his own self. However, in 1862, after marrying the fiancée he visited years back, he moved to Fredericksburg to be near his wife’s elderly parent. But one thing that surprised him was finding a church erected exactly where he had envisioned it. Since he was a music teacher at that time, he had his student come to sing at the opening dedication of the church in 1864 and that was the first time anyone ever heard the church in the wildflower been sung publicly. Series of events occurred after this time, especially the moving of Pitts and the decline of the population of the village. This made the church close and the song all but forgotten. But in 1914, a revival happened especially with the enactment of a society to preserve the little brown church. Once again service was held and the song came back to live. Some of the recent performances of the song were by Dolly Parton, the Carter Family, and even Bill and Gloria Gaither found a way to tune the song into a beautiful one.

On Tunefox you’ll find 4 different tabs for Church in the Wildwood. Each of these tabs will teach you how to play the 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 Church in the Wildwood 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.

Use the Tunefox Lick Switcher to explore improvisation and creativity inside the Church in the Wildwood tablatures. The Lick Switcher will allow you to create your own arrangement using pre-built licks that are handmade by professional musicians. To use the Lick Switcher, click on the text above specific measures that says "Original Measure" and select between a variety of new licks for that measure. You'll find that there are different style licks such as Scruggs, Melodic, Jazz, and more. At the bottom of your page you'll also find a button that says "Shuffle Licks." Click this button and watch the licks randomly shuffle throughout 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 Church in the Wildwood 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 arrangement of Church in the Wildwood for banjo features real-sounding backing tracks. Use these backing tracks to polish up the solo you’re working on. You can mix the banjo, band, and metronome up or down so that you have several options for your practice.

Once you’ve settled on an arrangement of Church in the Wildwood using the Lick Switcher, export your arrangement to a PDF file so you can print it out and take it with you. This is a member-only feature.