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Banjo tablatures for Sailor's Hornpipe


Recomended level: Intermediate

Tags: #fiddle tune

"Sailor's Hornpipe" or "Sailors ' Hornpipe" is known by many alternative titles, including the "School Hornpipe", and of course, it has many different arrangements. The usual tune for this dance was first published in 1797 or 1798 by J as the "College Hornpipe." London's Dale. Before that, it was included in collections of documents–for example, the excellent syncopated edition in the journal of William Vickers published on Tyneside in 1770. At the time, I was in a folk band called Kevin Ayers and the Whole World, and that tune always made the audience jump and clap, so it ended up being the last piece of music on Tubular Bells. He told The Daily Mail: "The first really difficult thing I learned to play on this mandolin was The Sailor's Hornpipe, which I purchased for a tenner in Reading when I was 16, where I grew up." The dance became a common on-board ship because of the small space that the dance needed and no need for a partner. But the 19th century saw the introduction of the more familiar form of the "hornpipe of sailors." The dance imitates a sailor's life and aboard the ship's duties. The dance gestures are supported by nautical tasks (e.g., rowing, rowing, scaling rigging, and greeting).

  • Banjo Sailor's Hornpipe Scruggs Style

    Scruggs Style

    A fun and slightly challenging Scruggs interpretation of this complex fiddle tune.

    Banjo Sailor's Hornpipe Scruggs Style
  • Banjo Sailor's Hornpipe Melodic Style

    Melodic Style

    This tune is not nearly as challenging as it sounds. Move into position at the seventh fret near the end of measure two. Get the note on the D string at the 9th fret with your pinky...

    Banjo Sailor's Hornpipe Melodic Style
  • Banjo Sailor's Hornpipe Single String Style

    Single String Style

    Elements of melodic and Scruggs style have been interspersed with the single string style to capture the melody accurately and with more ease.

    Banjo Sailor's Hornpipe Single String Style