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  3. East Virginia Blues

East Virginia Blues banjo tabs

  • Tablatures

    Scruggs Style

    The Stanley Brothers

    This break is based off of the classic J.D. Crowe version of the East Virginia Blues. It's not played incredibly fast, but make sure you drive it hard.

  • Melodic Style

    The Stanley Brothers

    This melodic version focuses on bringing out the vocal melody of East Virginia Blues more than playing fancy licks. Don't worry, there's still some cool stuff!

  • Backup

    The Stanley Brothers

    This is an up-the-neck backup example of East Virginia Blues using lots of forward rolls, and classic Earl Scruggs licks with slight variations.


More about East Virginia Blues

"East Virginia Blues" is a song written by Robbert Early Keen. it was first recorded and released by Buell Kazee in 1927. The origin of this song dates back to the seventh century England. The song is linked to ‘Holler’, a song by Clearance Ashley, sung with a Five-string banjo, and was one of its first Mountain recordings. The song melody was modal neither being in a major or a minor key. She afterward sang the same tune, which though having similar text, this time to the accompaniment of guitar and bluesy harp on ‘East Virginia Blues’. The song was at about the same time being recorded by the Carter Family, however, it is entirely in Major and two-part harmony. The song which became very popular in the 1930s developed into the widely known "Greenback Dollar". It’s still a crooner when it comes to old-time blues and has several versions just like others in this category.

On Tunefox you’ll find 3 different tabs for East Virginia Blues. Each of these tabs will teach you how to play the this tune in a different way. The Scruggs style tablature will show you how to play left hand slurs, otherwise known as hammer-ons, slides, and pull-offs. The Melodic style arrangement of will show you how to play East Virginia Blues up the neck using major and pentatonic scales. And finally, the Backup arrangement will teach you how to play the backup for this song, which is essential for jam sessions. Use the Tunefox Lick Switcher to explore improvisation and creativity inside the East Virginia Blues 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 t...ext 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. 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 East Virginia Blues. 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. Using backing tracks for practice should be an essential part of every musician’s routine. With Tunefox, you can practice East Virginia Blues as fast or as slow as you want and mix the volume of the tracks with the instrument to your liking. There’s also a metronome so you can always feel the pulse of the song with or without the band track playing along. When you’ve finished creating your arrangement of East Virginia Blues, export your song arrangement to PDF file. This feature is for members of Tunefox, only.

East Virginia Blues lyrics


I was born in East Virginia,
North Carolina I did go.
There I met a fair young maiden,
And her name I did not know.

Oh, her hair was dark and curly,
And her cheeks were rosy red.
On her breast she wore white linen,
Where I longed to lay... All I want is your heart darling,
Say you'll take me back again.

The ocean's deep and I can't wade it,
And I have no wings to fly.
I'll just get me a blue eyed boaten,
For to row me over time.

I'll go back to East Virginia,
North Carolina ain't my home.
I'll go back to East Virginia,
Leave them North Carolinians alone.