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Banjo tablatures for Cotton Eyed Joe


Recomended level: Beginner

Tags: #fiddle tune, #old time, #up-tempo

As a traditional American country song, this song "Cotton-Eyed Joe" (also "Cotton-Eye Joe") has received a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Country Instrumental Performance". It is a popular folk song throughout the United States and Canada. In the Roud index of folksongs, the tune is No. 942. This tune has inspired a couple of country dances like the partner dance that's commonly danced in the United States and around the world. Several versions of the song have been made after its first recording. One of the remarkable versions of this song is the version recorded by the moody brothers' In 1985. It earned them a Grammy nomination for "Best Country Vocal Collaboration" for their version of the song with lead vocals by Ricky Skaggs on their 1992 album Another Country. In 1994, a Swedish band Rednex did their own version of the song and called it "Cotton Eye Joe." This version went viral worldwide. There have been speculations that the origin of this song dates back to the era of the American civil war. According to American folklorist Dorothy Scarborough (1878–1935) in her 1925 book, the song was often rendered before the war. Another account by Scarborough states that her sister learns the song from "the workers on a plantation in Texas and some other parts from a man in Louisiana." Nevertheless, the origin of this tune is generally unknown.

  • Banjo Cotton Eyed Joe Scruggs Style

    Scruggs Style

    This is considered a beginner tune because of how repetitious it is. The A and B sections of Cotton Eyed Joe are very similar.

    Banjo Cotton Eyed Joe Scruggs Style
  • Banjo Cotton Eyed Joe Melodic Style

    Melodic Style

    Cotton Eyed Joe isn't incredibly difficult because it's a fairly repetitive melody. To be more efficient, take it measure by measure.

    Banjo Cotton Eyed Joe Melodic Style
  • Banjo Cotton Eyed Joe Backup


    This AABB form tune is a straight ahead beginner version of how to play backup over a simple chord progression.

    Banjo Cotton Eyed Joe Backup