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White House Blues banjo tabs

  • Tablatures

    Scruggs Style

    Flatt & Scruggs

    This is Earl Scruggs's kick-off from Flatt and Scruggs's famous "Live at Carnegie Hall" recording. If you haven't heard the White House Blues, check it out!

  • Melodic Style

    Flatt & Scruggs

    This arrangement of Live at Carnegie Hall gives you a lot of nice melodic and single string licks to work into the Scruggs version, so you end up with a nice mix of styles!

  • Backup

    Flatt & Scruggs

    A down-the-neck arrangement of Live at Carnegie Hall to show you how to play behind the vocalist and fill in the spaces.


More about White House Blues

This is another American folk melody. Its first recording was in 1926 by Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers. Ever since other artists have performed this tune in their unique way, some of these artists include; Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, the Dillards, the Stanley Brothers, the Del McCoury Band, and the New Lost City Ramblers. After its first record in 1926, this tune was an instant success, gaining prominence among nation and twang artists. The tune dwells on the course of the event of President William McKinley's death. McKinley, who'd quite recently been re-chosen for his subsequent term, was meeting and welcome groups at the World's Fair in Buffalo, New York when he was gunned by the revolutionary Leon Czolgosz. He surrendered to a horrifying demise as specialists were unable to save him. In his adaptation of this tune, Poole portrays this scene in frightful detail: "McKinley hollered, McKinley squalled. The specialist stated, 'McKinley, I can't discover the ball. Will undoubtedly kick the bucket, you're bound to die." According to the verses, Czolgosz is said to have shot him twice. The first round is touching McKinley, the second hitting him dead-on in the paunch. McKinley's death began the era of Vice President Theodore Roosevelt's tenure as president.

Learn 3 different versions of White House Blues, which are all shown on this page. We recommend that you get started with the Scruggs style version, where you’ll learn basic roll pattern and left hand articulations like slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. Next, move on to the Melodic arrangement to learn how to play the melody for White House Blues using scales and up the next positions.... Lastly, you can check out the Backup arrangement, which shows you how to play behind others while they are soloing. 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 White House Blues 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. Be sure to check out all of the great learning tools that Tunefox has to offer such as "Hide Notes", "Memory Train", and "Speed Up". These tools can be found in the "Tools" menu at the bottom right of your screen. Want to learn some of White House Blues by ear? Use "Hide Notes" to hide some or all of the notes in the tablature. Once you’re finished learning with the tab use the "Memory Train" tool to commit the song to memory. Then practice with "Speed Up" to improve your technique and speed in no time. Each arrangement of White House Blues for banjo features real-sounding backing tracks. Use these backing tracks to polish up the solo you’re working on. You can mix the banjo, band, and metronome up or down so that you have several options for your practice. Once you’ve settled on an arrangement of White House Blues 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.

White House Blues lyrics

Look here, you rascal, what you've done
Shot down my husband with your lver-Johnson gun
Carry me back, to Washington He jumped on his horse he pulled on his mane
Said come on horse hotta outrun this train
Buffalo to Washington The doctor came a-running he took off h...ie There's just one thing that troubles my mind
And that is to die and leave my poor wife behind
I'm bound to die I'm bound to die Now hush up you children and don't you fret
You'll draw a pension after your pappy's dead
I'll be gonna a long long time Yonder comes a train it's coming down the line
Blowing at every station Mr.Mckinley a-dying
It's hard times, it's hard time Well, Roosevelt's in the White house, he's doing his best
Mckinley's in the grave yard taking his rest
He's gone, he's gone