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Banjo tablatures for Devil's Dream

Bill Keith

Recomended level: Intermediate

Tags: #fiddle tune, #up-tempo

Even though 'The Devil's Dream' has had some appearance in the south, it is famously rendered as a northern tune. The fiddle tune doesn't really have any known origins, but that hasn't stopped it from been played as a jig or reel from around 1834 in England. Scottish reel has the tile as "The De' il Among the Tailors" and this version was composed in 1790 as it appeared in Kerr's collection. The first time that the song was seen in America is in the music manuscript of musician M.E. Earners on August, 22nd 1859. It was also cited by Lettie Osbourn (New York Folklore Quarterly), as commonly played in orange county new york. Kenner Kartchner had something to say about how knowing how o play the tune can make it possible for you to be accepted ion the Arizona fiddler clan with ease. There were some rumors about the sing, and some were even as extreme as saying it was a song composed by the devil himself. It was recorded early around the 1940s by Ozarks Mountain fiddlers and musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph for the Library of Congress. Also, in 1951, malvin Artley had a dissertation on the west Virginia county fiddler.

  • Banjo Devil's Dream Scruggs Style

    Scruggs Style

    This Scruggs arrangement of Devil's Dream shows you how to play different roll patterns to accent the melody notes you hear in the melodic style version.

    Banjo Devil's Dream Scruggs Style
  • Banjo Devil's Dream Melodic Style

    Melodic Style

    This is the song Bill Keith first perfected his new style of playing with. He took scales and scale patterns using open strings to invent a wholly new sound on the banjo.

    Banjo Devil's Dream Melodic Style
  • Banjo Devil's Dream Backup


    This is a classic fiddle tune so with this backup arrangement of Devil's Dream, imagine yourself backing up a fiddle player. You're the drummer!

    Banjo Devil's Dream Backup