The Ten-Penny Bit

The tune of the day is


This nice little jig is quite catchy to listen to and to play. Although the chords are in Am, there is a G sharp in the key signature, which makes it actually like modal type of jig. I looked up what a ten-penny bit was, and it was basically a piece of money worth ten pence. The term “bit” was used to refer to low-valued coinage. Ten-penny is also used to reference nails that are 3 inches long – ouch!

In the notation and TAB, I decided to play quite a bit (haha) of the B part up the neck because of the reaches, especially in the second measure of the B part where you jump from a high B to the G. And, as always, I feel like it is an easy way to slowly get you accustomed to not being fearful of playing up the neck.

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Ten-Penny Bit, The – Gtr TAB

I found a video of The Ten-Penny Bit being played by a banjo and a bodhran! Woo hoo!

I think you’ll enjoy learning this little jig, so go ahead, sit down for spell and try it out.:) You’ll be glad you did!


Boston Boy

Today’s tune is


This tune came across my path this past weekend and I became enamored with it! I like that it’s in the key of C. It just has an old-time sound. In researching the tune, Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s Mickey Abraham said this in the preface to his arrangement of the tune, “Hello and welcome once again to FGM’s free flatpicking lesson portion of our monthly newsletter. This month I bring to you “Boston Boy,” a tune made famous by Bill Monroe in his lyrics to the iconic “Uncle Pen.” Monroe’s song makes reference to his fiddle playing uncle and the fiddle tunes that he liked to play. “Boston Boy” was on his list! If the tune is good enough for Uncle Pen to play, and good enough for Bill to sing about, then it is worthy of being taught here.” Here is the link link to the web page that contains his version – with TAB. 🙂

Oh, I should mention that I discovered that the A and B parts are sometimes switched around. Which is right? I don’t know. You just have make sure that whoever you are playing with starts on the same part as you!

And, here is the link to the Boston Boy – Boston Boy – Gtr TAB

There were a few videos of the tune on YouTube, but I chose this one since Mickey Abraham had referred to Bill Monroe’s playing.

It’s rather an overcast day here in the Midwest, but beautifully fall weather, so it’s a great time to get out your guitar and give this shot. It’s a bit of a challenge, but worth it.:)


Hurry Up and Sneeze

Today’s tune is


This interesting tune title could cause some speculation into its meaning. So, let’s see, hurry up and sneeze from breathing in the pepper. Um, someone named Rush had a prized pepper from the garden. Oh, maybe it was a dog and cat named, respectively, Rush and The Pepper. I could find absolutely nothing that gave me a clue as to the “why” the tune was titled this way. It is a fun tune, however, especially with the up and down the scale in the A part contrasted with the half note measures in the B part. The notation used comes from the playing of Jesse Abbott.

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Rush and the Pepper – Gtr TAB

Surprisingly, there were several videos on YouTube to choose from. Here is a version that comes pretty close to the notation. They start playing at about :43.

This peppy tune will make it worth your time to get out your guitar.:)


Cold Frosty Morning….Brrrrrrrr

The tune of the day is


Cold Frosty Morning is a wonderful tune in Am that lays well on the guitar, and really just about any instrument. In my research, I found that there is a wide difference of opinion as to the origins of the tune. So far, I found that it came from Scotland, Ireland, or is an American old-time tune! Whichever is correct, it’s a very common tune, and another one to add to your list of tunes to learn that you can take to just any jam group and a lot of folks will know it.:)

The A part is played totally out of first position, but in the B part, I again took the liberty of going a bit up the neck for the first couple of measures. The hint on how to play this is to, in the first measure of the B part, use the first note of E on the open string of E to give you time to get your hand in the correct place (index finger hovered over the fifth fret on the high E string). Then, play the 2nd and 3rd notes (both A, or the fifth fret on the high string) with your index finger. That way, your fingers are in the correct position to play the next measure, using your index finger on the A (5), ring finger on the B (7), back to the A with index (5), and your ring finger again up high on the G, which is played on the B string 8th fret. The open E then gives you time to get back down into the regular first position to play the 3rd measure and following out to the end.  I haven’t tried to explain this in the past, but as I go along, I realize that some of you might appreciate a little bit of the reasoning behind my placement of notes up the neck, and maybe even the fingering that I might use. Of course, whatever I put here is just an idea, or one way the tune could played, so always bear that in mind. You may come up with a totally different way to play these same notes, or even a variation of the tune, and that’s great and part of the entire creative process!

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Cold Frosty Morning – Gtr TAB

I know that this is a longer post than usual, but I cannot resist posting two totally different styles of playing this tune.:) Here is the “standard” way that most groups will play.

But then…….I found this extremely cool version with just a fiddle and banjo that really conveys an wonderful old-time feel! I got the shivers the first time that I heard it. Sometimes I think that I must belong up in the Appalachian Mountains or something.

Well, I sure hope that this tune inspires you to learn more about your guitar. You’ll be so glad that you took the time to play!


Another Polka!

The tune of the day is


This catchy little Irish tune is fun and easy to play. According to , “Also known as 40 Pound Float, Armagh, The Armagh, Forty Pound Float, Forty Pound Floiat, Hills Of Connemara, Jack Ryan’s, John Ryan’s, Johnny Ryan’s, Keadue, The Keadue.” Most of the time when it is played, it is part of a set of polkas. At our local jam, we usually play Finnish Polka, John Ryan’s Polka, and Cheese together.

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – John Ryan’s Polka – Gtr TAB

I found this delightful video that features a polka set! John Ryan’s begins at about 1:50, and they even play it like our group does on the A part. You have to love the enthusiasm of this crowd! 🙂

Want to make your day brighter? John Ryan’s will do it.


Whiskey Before Breakfast

The tune of the day is


This is an old stand-by tune that almost every jam group plays, so if you know this one, you can play it anywhere! There are so many wild and crazy versions of Whiskey Before Breakfast, especially for the guitar, but for the purposes of this website, I chose the basic melody. You can learn this, and then embellish on it later to your heart’s content. 🙂 In the key of D, its lays well on the guitar, and is a very easy melody to remember. When I was first starting out on the guitar, the chords on this tune just were too many and went too fast, but when I made myself memorize the chord progression, then I was able to play it and enjoy it! So, just take time to learn the chords so that you don’t have to either follow someone else, or look it up in a book. You’ll be glad you did!

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Whiskey Before Breakfast – Gtr TAB

AND… is our local jam group playing Whiskey Before Breakfast. 🙂

So, grab your guitar, and learn this wonderful tune!


Big Scioty

Today’s tune is


Now, this is one wonderful tune, but there are about a million different tune titles for it, so it seems, as well as variations in the melody and chords. I found a great discussion over at Banjo Hangout, so I won’t belabor the issues here. 🙂 I must say, thought, that the chord progression I’ve used is what endeared me to this tune!

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Big Scioty – Gtr TAB In the B part, I’ve ventured up the neck to the 7th and 8th frets for the first 3 measures, because with my small hands, it’s much easier to scoot up there and play rather than try to jump from the 3rd fret to the 7th fret on the high E string. It also gives a little bit of practice for those who are a bit leery about playing up the neck.:)

As with many well-known fiddle tunes, there are lots of videos available on YouTube, so I chose one that seems to cover the melody in its basic form, which suits our purposes here very well!

It’s the weekend, so a perfect time to get out your guitar! You’ll be glad that you did.:) Don’t forget to check out the menu tab at the top of this site labeled Fiddle Tunes etc. where you will find an alphabetized PDF list that contains all of the tunes I’ve featured and tabbed – all in one spot!


Arrington’s Breakdown

Today’s tune is


This tune came across my path through our Shoe Goo camp that meets mostly at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield each year. One of the tunes we learned this year was Arrington’s Breakdown. The A part is a little bit more work, but I love the old-time sound and feel!

Here is the guitar TAB and notation –Arrington’s Breakdown – Gtr TAB

I could not find a video that I really liked, BUT…..I discovered this wonderful recording that just makes me happy listening to it. 🙂 I hope that it lightens your heart as well. Just go down the page to the last tune in the first set of tunes.

I realize that you may have had a busy week, but get out your guitar and play a bit. You’ll be glad that you did!