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Banjo tablatures for I'll Fly Away

The Carter Family

Recomended level: Intermediate

Tags: #gospel music, #medium-tempo, #vocal song

As always, you should start with the Melody when you can. It's the heart of a song. Try to sing or say the lyrics as you play the basic melody on your banjo. Learning to "play the syllables" like this is an important skill that helps connect you to the music and your instrument in a very natural way. It will help with memorization as well. The licks will show you how to create basic three finger banjo variations and embellishments using the melody notes.

The foundation laid when learning the melody will pay off when you start learning the Scruggs Style version. You'll know where the important notes lay and be able to bring them out in a more musical way. It's very common for people to lose the melody amidst the flurry of rolls and licks when learning Scruggs style banjo, but if you start with the melody first, you'll be in much better shape and will more likely avoid that pitfall

Never neglect learning how to play Backup! If you plan on playing with other musicians this skill id by far the most important. It is even more important than playing lead and in some ways more important than knowing the melody.

The Melodic arrangement of this tune is pretty tough. It also combines elements of Scruggs and Single String technique. All of the arrangements have licks you can switch out. You'll learn new musical vocabulary and be able to complete completely new arrangements of a tune.

  • Banjo I'll Fly Away Melody


    Start with the melody - that's what Sonny Osborne says. Learning to play the melody and "play the syllables" is very important when learning a tune. It helps with memory, understand...

    Banjo I'll Fly Away Melody
  • Banjo I'll Fly Away Scruggs Style

    Scruggs Style

    This simplified Scruggs arrangement closely follows the melody. Pay close attention to the words. Play the syllables and remember to accent that note when it is re-contextualized wit...

    Banjo I'll Fly Away Scruggs Style
  • Banjo I'll Fly Away Backup


    This arrangement of I'll Fly Away shows you how to fluidly move from vamping to rolling in a way that tastefully accompanies the vocalist or soloist.

    Banjo I'll Fly Away Backup
  • Banjo I'll Fly Away Melodic Style

    Melodic Style

    This is a really fun arrangement of I'll Fly Away that features some single string licks mixed in with the melodic break. Watch your right hand fingering on those passages!

    Banjo I'll Fly Away Melodic Style