This Scruggs arrangement of Wayfaring Stranger follows the melody arc closely, adding a lot of bluesy and modal touches throughout. There is a slight re-harmonization(chord change). The chord goes to an F at the end of the verse. This helps add to the modal and bluesy feel. It also makes the impact of going to the D7 more powerful and unique. Whenever you change the chords you need to change the melody so the notes match that chord, and vice-versa. We've done that here.Learn
A beautiful challenge. Changing the tuning is common among banjo players. Earl did it for Reuben, Sammy Shelor often plays out of double-C tuning, and a lot of pickers go to this minor tuning for songs like Kentucky Mandolin, Jersualem Ridge, and other songs in a minor key. Tune the B string down to a Bb and you're ready for this one. Changing the tuning helps to make the stretches for some melodic runs easier, and sets you up for open rolls over the root chord. Please, enjoy this tune. This new tuning will open up a new world of possibility and color for your musical journey.Learn
This arrangements of Wayfaring Stranger mimics the way a flat-picker might cross-pick some parts of this melody. There are some great melodic ideas here, and a good challenge/workout for your single string technique. The slower pace helps make it very achievable. Slow it down at first, and focus on getting great tone and dynamics. Enjoy :)Learn
More about Wayfaring Stranger
"The Wayfaring Stranger", also called "the poor walker", is an American folk and gospel song that spoke of the travels of a stranger around the unknown places. As with most folk songs, many variations of the lyrics exist. Members of the Western Writers of America selected it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. Some historians traced its roots to the 1780s and the early 1800s. Depending on the conversation, the song may be a pictured black spiritual lifting native hymn or even it could have originated from nomadic Portuguese settlers from the southern Appalachian region. The song became famous at Appalachian revivalist sermons right before slowly spreading westward with the pioneers. Although the sing has remained a gospel tune ever since what has probably done better to set its place in the American musical tapestry is its continuous rediscovery and renewal in the near-secular and famous musical worlds. In the 1940s, famous actor and singer Burl Ives made "Wayfaring Stranger" evolved over time as it used as signature beats by Joan Baez, who introduced the free love set to the song. Emmylou Harris, who turned it into a minor hit in 1980. Sunday school teachers and folk festival third- stagers churn out entirely competent versions of the song for decades, British pop star Ed Sheeran has turned it into Cappella-and-vocal loops.
Here are 3 killer arrangements of Wayfaring Stranger 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 Wayfaring Stranger using up the neck scales and finally, the Single-string arrangement.
There are many Scruggs, melodic and bluesy licks in these three banjo Wayfaring Stranger tablatures, which can be used to personalize each arrangement into your liking. To change measure into a different arrangement, just click on the "Original Measure" text above the measure and select a different lick. You can also click the "Shuffle licks" button at the bottom of the page to randomly change all of the licks in the tablature and create a wholly unique arrangement of this song.
You'll also find some useful tools which will help you to learn how to play Wayfaring Stranger on banjo. For example, you can use the "Hide Notes" feature, which will hide some notes for you so you can learn parts of the melody by ear. The "Memory train" tool will progressively hide notes each time you play through a section or the entirety of a song. Take your speed to the next level with the "Speed Up" feature. This tool will automatically increase playback speed each time you loop the song.
Using backing tracks for practice should be an essential part of every musician’s routine. With Tunefox, you can practice Wayfaring Stranger 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 Wayfaring Stranger 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.