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Raleigh and Spencer banjo tabs

  • Tablatures

    Scruggs Style


    This is arrangement of Raleigh and Spencer is very close to the way Billy Failing has played this tune. Billy is the banjo player for flat-pick phenom Billy Strings. Don't be fooled by his name. Billy Failing can set the 5 string on fire. Take this one slow at first. While we all want to play as fast and clean as Billy, we should focus first on being clean banjo pickers. We're be better off practicing slowly and clean--instead of fast and sloppy. Accuracy should be put before speed whenever possible.

  • Melodic Style


    A mostly straight forward melody version of Raleigh and Spencer with a few ornaments and hot licks. What? You say that melody is not enough? Well...not everyone agrees, but since you asked, check out the lick switcher to find some tasty riffs for this bluesy number.

  • Single String Style


    Triplets, cross-picking make this arrangement of Raleigh and Spencer a smoking hot single sting arrangement. It also makes it a challenge, especially at higher speeds. Remember to learn slowly and cleanly so your building good muscle memory habits. As you speed up try to stay relaxed and not tense up. If you feel tension slow the speed down. After you feel relaxed again, bump the speed back up and challenge yourself.


More about Raleigh and Spencer

"Riley and Spencer," or "Ryland (d) Spencer" is a tune that was learned by Thomas Jarell from his brother-in-law, guitarist Jim Gardner, who had learned it from a black guitarist called Jim Raleigh, in the early 1920s. The tune had some popularity in the Galax(Va.)/Mt among white musicians, especially guitarists. The district of Airy (N.C.) There are two towns in North Carolina, called Raleigh, and Spencer; however, the tune may refer to a defunct rail line named Raleigh and Spencer running in central North Carolina, which the Southern Railway Company absorbed. The community of Spencer, North Carolina, was, in reality, a train junction with substantial railroad services (the Spencer shops) and a large roundhouse, once the largest steam locomotive plant of the Southern Railway Company. Also, the name of the Raleigh was one of the region's first steam locomotives, built-in 1836. The lyrics may apply to a barrelhouse (a make-shift bar built with boards on top of barrels) or similar establishment along the road, maybe in Spencer's city.

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

Use the Tunefox Lick Switcher to explore improvisation and creativity inside the Raleigh and Spencer 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.

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 Raleigh and Spencer. 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.

Use the Tunefox backing tracks to practice the solo you’re working on or improvising over the chord changes for Raleigh and Spencer. The backing tracks are recorded samples of real instruments to help simulate practicing with an actual band. You can adjust the volume of the instrument, band, and metronome to your liking.

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