1. Tunefox.com
  2. Banjo songs
  3. Cumberland Gap

Cumberland Gap banjo tabs

Back
  • Tablatures
    Banjo Cumberland Gap tab

    Scruggs Style

    Earl Scruggs

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

    A classic Earl Scruggs arrangement of Cumberland Gap that is a must-learn for any beginner/intermediate banjo player!

    Learn
  • Melodic Style

    Earl Scruggs

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

    The melodic arrangement of Cumberland Gap features fluid melodic licks dispersed between the original Scruggs melodic. The B section is especially cool!

    Learn
  • Backup

    Earl Scruggs

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

    In this arrangement of Cumberland Gap, the A section demonstrates rolling backup down the neck, and the B section shows how to spice up your backup when playing in the high register.

    Learn
  • Licks

    Backup #1

    Backup Lick

    This lick is great for filling in-between vocal lines and melodic phrases when playing backup.

    Learn
  • Vamping #1

    Backup Lick

    This is a classic vamping pattern invented by Earl Scruggs. It's in a closed position, which means you can use it over any chord!

    Learn
  • Melodic #4

    Fill Lick

    This lick is a great one to use in Scruggs style tunes like Cumberland Gap.

    Learn
  • Melodic #3

    Fill Lick

    Another nice lick to use for Scruggs tunes like Cumberland Gap.

    Learn

More about Cumberland Gap

"Cumberland Gap" is an Appalachian society melody that reasonably dates to the last half of the nineteenth century and was first recorded in 1924. The melody is ordinarily played on banjo or fiddle, but there are two variants of the song, which are the instrumental forms and the form with verses. It is an adaptation of the tune in the 1934 book, American Ballads and Folk Songs, by society melody authority John Lomax. Woody Guthrie recorded a variant of the tune at his Folkways sessions in the mid-1940s, and the melody saw a resurgence in fame with the ascent of twang and the American society music restoration in the 1950s. In 1957, the British artist Lonnie Donegan had a No. 1 U.K. hit with a skiffle form of "Cumberland Gap." The melody's title alludes to the Cumberland Gap, a mountain hole in the Appalachian Mountains at the crossroads of the conditions of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky. The hole was utilized in the last half of the eighteenth century by westbound bound vagrants going from the first 13 American settlements to the Trans-Appalachian outskirts. During the U.S. Common War (1861–1865), Union and Confederate armed forces occupied with a year-long to and fro battle for control of the gap. North Carolina vocalist Bascom Lamar Lunsford (1882–1973), recording his "memory accumulation" for the Archive of American Folk Song in March 1949, recommended that "Cumberland Gap" might be an "accelerated" adaptation of the tune that once went with the anthem Bonnie George Campbell. There are other versions of the song done by various artists.

Learn 3 different versions of Cumberland Gap, which are all shown on this page. We recommend that you get started with the Scruggs style version, where you’ll learn basic roll pattern and left hand articulations like slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. Next, move on to the Melodic arrangement to learn how to play the melody for Cumberland Gap using scales and up the next positions. Lastly, you can check out the Backup arrangement, which shows you how to play behind others while they are soloing.

There are many Scruggs, melodic and bluesy licks in these three banjo Cumberland Gap tablatures, which can be used to personalize each arrangement into your liking. To change measure into 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.

There are a number of fantastic learning tools in Tunefox to help you memorize, learn by ear, and improve your speed. These special features are found in the "Tools" menu at the bottom right of your screen. The "Hide Notes" tool will hide a number of the notes in the tab so you can use your ears to learn parts of the melody of the Cumberland Gap. Next, try out the "Memory Train" tool, which will hide more and more notes each time the song or measure loops. This will help get you off of the tab you’ve been working with so you can play it by memory. The "Speed Up" feature gradually speeds up the song so you can hone your technique and challenge yourself to go faster.

Each Tunefox banjo Cumberland Gap tab contains real-sounding backing tracks. These backing tracks allow you to practice the arrangement you’re learning with with an entire band and you can change volume of the band, banjo and metronome to suit your liking.

When you’ve finished creating your arrangement of Cumberland Gap, export your song arrangement to PDF file. This feature is for members of Tunefox, only.

Cumberland Gap lyrics

Me and my wife and my wife's pap
We all live down in Cumberland Gap

Cumberland Gap, Cumberland Gap
Mmm ,way down yonder in Cumberland Gap

Cumberland Gap is a noted place
Three kinds of water to wash your face

* Refrain

The first white man in Cumberland Gap
Was Doctor Walker, an English chap

* Refrain

Daniel Boone on Pinnacle Rock
He killed Injuns with his old flintlock

* Refrain

Lay down, boys, and take a little nap
Fo'teen miles to the Cumberland Gap

* Refrain