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Turkey in the Straw banjo tabs

  • Tablatures

    Scruggs Style


    Mixing in some melodic elements, this Scruggs style version gives you some options as far as up-the-neck and down-the-neck variations.

  • Melodic Style


    A classic fiddle tune. This is arrangement is great for practicing dropping your thumb to the 2nd string when playing melodic style.

  • Backup


    Imagine playing duo with a fiddle player, and your job is to play rock-solid backup. This arrangement is great for cultivating that classic fiddle/banjo sound.


More about Turkey in the Straw

Turkey in the Straw is a famous American folk song that is iconic of rural America in pop culture. It was extracted from "My Grandmother Lived on Yonder Little Green" which shares some similarities with the Irish ballad "The Old Rose Tree". Although this tune was composed for fiddlers, it was able to serve the thanksgiving season, and gradually, it became a song for thanksgiving. Aside from being a song for thanksgiving, it was part of the songs used by George Washington to organize a black minstrel. It addressed issues regarding expectations and satisfaction. If you are curious as to what this lovely tune sounds like, here's a version wrapped in a beautiful Story; Elmo Newcomer entered into the lives of John A. Lomax and his wife, Ruby, through his habit of collecting folk music in Texas. Precisely, he was in the act of collecting folk music in Texas in 1939 when he met the Fiddler, Elmo Newcomer. When he met Lomax, he was consumed with pleasure because he was a fan, having got himself a copy of Lomax's first book Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads directly from Lomax by mail. Generally, the "Turkey into straw" became the foundation of classical and jazz compositions such as Otto Bonnell's "Ragtime Fantasy."

Here are 3 killer arrangements of Turkey in the Straw for you to share with friends at your next jam. The Scruggs style arrangement will get you started learning slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. Once you’re feeling confident with that try your luck with the Melodic style solo, which will teach you how to play the melody for Turkey in the Straw using up the neck scales. Finally, the Backup arrangement will show you how to play this song with others a...nd sound like a pro doing it. In every Tunefox tablature arrangement you'll find measures where you can switch out licks to see different options to use for your improvisation. This feature is called the Lick Switcher. How do you find the Lick Switcher? Look for text that says "Original Measure" over different measures in the Turkey in the Straw tab you are learning and click on that text. It'll open up the Lick Switcher where you can select a substitute measure for that spot in the song. You'll find that there are different styles of licks like Scruggs, Melodic, Bluesy, and more. Want to see a completely different version of this song? Click on "Shuffle Licks" on the bottom of tool panel to randomly shuffle the licks in the song. Tunefox also features useful tools that will help you learn this arrangement of Turkey in the Straw. 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 Turkey in the Straw 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. Once you’ve settled on an arrangement of Turkey in the Straw using the Lick Switcher, export your arrangement to a PDF file so you can print it out and take it with you. This is a member-only feature.

Turkey in the Straw lyrics

Well, I had an old hen and she had a wooden leg
Just the best old hen that ever laid an egg
Well, she laid more eggs than any hen on the farm
But another little drink wouldn't do her any harm Turkey in the hay, in the hay, hay, hay
Turkey in the straw, in the straw ,...rkey in the straw Well, I hitched up the wagon and I drove down the road
With a two horse wagon and a four horse load
Well cracked my whip and the lead horse sprung
And I said goodbye to the wagon tongue * Refrain Well, if frogs had wings and snakes had hair
And automobiles went a flying thro' the air
Well if watermelons grew on a hucleberry vine
We'd have winter in the summer time * Refrain Oh, I went out to milk and I didn't know how
I milked a goat instead of a cow
A monkey sitting on a pile of straw
A-winkin' his eyes at his mother in law * Refrain Well, I come to the river and I couldn't get across
So I paid five dollars for an old blind horse
Well, he wouldn't go shead and he wouldn't stand still
So he went up and down like an old saw mill * Refrain