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  3. The Old Spinning Wheel

The Old Spinning Wheel banjo tabs

  • Tablatures

    Scruggs Style


    This version of The Old Spinning Wheel is a transcription of a Sandy Rothman solo from a recording he made with Larry Sparks. Use the lick switcher to make your own unique version of The Old Spinning wheel, based on a legendary recording!

  • Melodic Style


    Learn the basic melody of The Old Spinning Wheel up the neck using the melodic style. It is simple, but good tone and timing is not. It's a constant journey. Try to make this basic melody sing! Then, use the lick switcher to add exciting variations. It's always important to learn the core melody before you go trying to add 1000 notes to your solos.

  • Single String Style


    This a simple, and for the most part unadorned, melody. This gives you a chance to really try to make the banjo sing. It also gives us more of a blank slate to work with. Use the lick switcher to get some ideas for possible variations. Then, try and make up your own. Write them out or record your ideas on your phone.


More about The Old Spinning Wheel

"The Spinning Wheel" is a song that dates back to the 1800s, the romantic era in art history. No doubt, there was an abundance of literary works during this time as art flourished endlessly. Tapping into the spirit of art, the Irish lawyer and poet named John Francis Waller penned down this tune in the mid-1800s. It's a beautiful ballad written in 'waltz.' There are certain words deployed in writing the tune that might make it difficult for you to understand what he is saying. For example, the word "a chara" means "dear", "The Coolin", which refers to a traditional Irish air called "A Chúilfhionn", which translates to "The Fair", etc. The tune flows in slow waltz time with its beat giving off a rigid yet gentle vibe that makes it easy for listeners to picture the girl spinning the wheel. Through this tune, he tells the tale of family love with the central character being a woman. The young woman in question happens to be in her home in Ireland, spinning while she caters to her grandmother, who is blind and is sitting by the fireside.

On Tunefox you’ll find 3 different tabs for The Old Spinning Wheel. Each of these tabs will teach you how to play 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 The Old Spinning Wheel up the neck using major and pentatonic scales. And finally, the Single-string arrangement.

Each Tunefox arrangement teaches you how to create your own solos by using a feature called the Lick Switcher. The Lick Switcher features different style licks such as Scruggs, Melodic, or Bluesy and you can swap out measures in The Old Spinning Wheel to learn about improvisation and creating arrangements. To use the Lick Switcher, click on the text "Original Measure" above certain measures in the song. Then select the lick you'd like to insert into the song. You can also click on "Shuffle Licks" at the bottom of the page to see a fully new version of the tablature.

Tunefox also features useful tools that will help you learn this arrangement of The Old Spinning Wheel. If you select the "Tools" option in the bottom bar you’ll see "Hide Notes", "Memory Train", and "Speed Up" features. Hide notes will help you train your ears by hiding some of the notes on the page for you to figure out as opposed to looking at the tab. "Memory Train" will help you retain the melody of the song by gradually hiding notes so you can rely on your ears more for memorization. Finally, the "Speed Up" tool will automatically increase the playback speed each time a measure or the song loops.

Using backing tracks for practice should be an essential part of every musician’s routine. With Tunefox, you can practice The Old Spinning Wheel 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 The Old Spinning Wheel, export your song arrangement to PDF file. This feature is for members of Tunefox, only.