1. Tunefox.com
  2. Banjo songs
  3. Cripple Creek

Cripple Creek banjo tabs

Back
  • Tablatures
    Banjo Cripple Creek tab

    Scruggs Style

    Earl Scruggs

    • Difficulty
    • Key
      G
    • Tempo
      90 bpm
    • Tuning
      gDGBD

    This version of the Cripple Creek is designed to teach you how to play slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. Take each one slow at first to get them sounding nice and clean.

    Learn
  • Melodic Style

    Earl Scruggs

    • Difficulty
    • Key
      G
    • Tempo
      90 bpm
    • Tuning
      gDGBD

    A classic arrangement of "Cripple Creek." The B section features some fancy up-the-neck melodic work, so practice slow for cleanliness!

    Learn
  • Backup

    Earl Scruggs

    • Difficulty
    • Key
      G
    • Tempo
      90 bpm
    • Tuning
      gDGBD

    This is a forward roll driven backup variation of Cripple Creek based on Earl Scruggs's playing on the original recording.

    Learn
  • Licks

    Vamping #4

    Backup Lick

    This is a classic vamping pattern where you move from the root position chord to the first inversion (F and D positions).

    Learn
  • Vamping #3

    Backup Lick

    This is a great vamping to rolling transition lick over a I - V - I chord change.

    Learn
  • Tony Rice #2

    Fill Lick

    This bluesy lick is largely inspired by the great guitarist, Tony Rice.

    Learn
  • Melodic #6

    Fill Lick

    This is a great Melodic/Scruggs blend lick to use for a I - V - I chord change.

    Learn

More about Cripple Creek

This old-time Appalachian folk song was originally written on the fiddle and is one of the first songs students of the 5-string banjo learn.

Nobody knows when this song was composed. Some people think that it is referred to the town in Colorado, but it may also be a reference to the small town of Cripple Creek in Wythe County, Virginia. This area was settled in the middle of the 17th century while the gold strike in Colorado began in 1891. The first recordings of this song appeared in the early 1900s.

Those who argue that the Cripple Creek in the song is that of Virginia believe so because the year 1654 and mid-1700's witnessed the exploration of the area. The area came to house farmers as the land was fertile and a settlement was built at Fort Chiswell. There were also natural resources in Virginia such as iron ore. According to Bob Coltman: "My opinion is that the tune probably is earlier than the Cripple Creek gold strike (1891 in Colorado), but that the words, and thus the song title, could have been put to it afterward, say at the turn of the century." Mike Yates (2002) validates that "most Virginia musicians believe that it relates to a location in Wythe County, Virginia."

"Cripple Creek" is widely known as a banjo tune due to Earl Scruggs's recording of it on his record, Foggy Mountain Banjo. Beginner banjo pickers typically start out with this tune because it includes many of the elements involved in combining right and left hands when playing the banjo.



Here on Tunefox you’ll find 3 versions of Cripple Creek for banjo. The Scruggs style tablature will teach you how to play slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs. In the melodic arrangement of Cripple Creek, you’ll learn some fancy up-the-neck melodic work. The third variation of this song is a forward roll based-backup arrangement.

Use the Tunefox Lick Switcher to explore improvisation and creativity inside the Cripple Creek 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 Cripple Creek 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 Cripple Creek 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.

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

Cripple Creek lyrics

Traditional

I got a girl and she loves me
She's as sweet as sweet can be
She's got eyes of baby blue
Makes my gun shoot straight and true

Going up Cripple Creek going in a run
Going up Cripple Creek to have some fun

Cripple Creek's wide and Cripple Creek's deep
I'll wade ole Cripple Creek before I sleep
Roll my breeches to my knees
I'll wade ole Cripple Creek when I please

* Refrain

I went down to Cripple Creek
To see what them girls had to eat
I got drunk and fell against the wall
Ole corn likker was the cause of it all

* Refrain

Alternate Refrain:
Goin' up cripple creek, goin' in a whirl,
Goin' up cripple creek, see my girl