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Banjo tablatures for Cluck Old Hen


Recomended level: Intermediate

Tags: #bluesy, #old time, #fiddle tune, #medium-tempo

This is a popular Appalachian fiddle and banjo tune in the Mixolydian or Dorian mode (as in the score below which is in A Dorian). In short, it is regarded as an Appalachian American fiddle tune. The song comes in two versions; the instrumental or lyrical version. Depending on the artist, it can be played either way. As is the case with other ancient fiddlers tune, the earliest transcribed version of this tune emerged in 1886. This tune was published in 1922. In 1923, John Carson did a recording of the tune. As a comical old tune, it evokes funny images in the mind which inspire laughter. For example, it chronicles the experience of the persona who is an older woman in the pursuit of an aging hen. The aging hen in question has put a stop to egg-laying. The older woman switches between sweet-talking the hen to warning it. In most bluegrass and old-time circles, the “Cluck Old Hen” is played as a lively instrumental as opposed to the lyrical version. This is because it started as a fiddle instrumental tune whose lyrics were added later on.

  • Banjo Cluck Old Hen Scruggs Style

    Scruggs Style

    Traditionally known as an old-time tune, Cluck Old Hen is a fun bluesy song that sounds great with just banjo and fiddle!

    Banjo Cluck Old Hen Scruggs Style
  • Banjo Cluck Old Hen Melodic Style

    Melodic Style

    This arrangement demonstrates how to play Cluck Old Hen using more open strings than in the Scruggs arrangement.

    Banjo Cluck Old Hen Melodic Style
  • Banjo Cluck Old Hen Backup


    A bluesy backup arrangement of Cluck Old Hen that will teach you how to change chords with rolls in a fluid way, especially in the B section.

    Banjo Cluck Old Hen Backup