Tablature is a great way to "remember" tunes that you love but haven't had the chance to play that much. Sometimes just a glance at the tab gives the kickstart you need to play the whole tune; sometimes more than a glance is needed. Often tab provides a way to play and learn a totally unfamiliar tune. Not many folks beyond the "beginner" level rely entirely on tab to play their tunes, but it can be beneficial to almost anyone in some situations. Although old-time clawhammer banjo is far from being the most popular musical genre, it is remarkable that a number of books of tablature for it have been written in the past few decades, and that many of them are still in print or at least for sale some- where. With so many volumes, a busy player encounters the prob- lem of remembering exactly where a desired tune can be found. These indexes by (1) Title and (2) Tuning were compiled to help out in that regard. Further benefits are evident: The ability to see all the var- iations of the same tune that are available. The ability to view all the other tunes that are in the same tuning, in case one wishes to play more such tunes, before undergoing that dreaded *retuning* process. Caveat 1: There may be a very few tunes listed which are in old-time 2- or 3-finger picking styles, rather than down-picking which seems usually to be called "clawhammer." Most tunes in most books listed aare, however, downstroke clawhammer. A few books are, upfront, a mixture of styles, in which cases only the clawhammer tunes are listed in this index. Caveat 2: Some Irish, Scotch, and other such regional tunes may be listed, which may be an earlier form of some American- ised versions or which may not have a corresponding American tune at all. It is not always easy to separate these tunes from "old-time Appalachian," for obvious reasons. Caveat 3: Many tunes have more than one name. Some are listed by their alternate names; in other cases the "See ... " method was employed. No attempt is made to include all possible names. Caveat 4: There are a number of different tablature styles rep- resented in these books. In most, the differences are pretty obvious, so just read the author's explanation if you have any questions. Not so obvious (unless you read the author's explan- ation first) is Brody's "Banjo Picker's Fakebook," in which every tune is tabbed so that the note is the space between the lines, not on the line or the line under the number. Caveat 5: Some tunes state the need for a capo to alter the tuning from the stated tuning, and are recorded under the stated tuning. A few tunes state a tuning which is clearly a capoed tuning. Those are generally recorded under the uncapoed tuning, though this is clearly an area with much room for error. Caveat 6: Although it might have been nice to do so, "key" in- formation for capoing these tunings (generally for playing along with other instruments) is not included. That information can, of course, sometimes be determined by looking at the actual tab page in the book. Some final words about the books: If you find them, buy them - support the folks who give us real value for our bucks. And what can be said about those who just post their stuff freely on the web, but "thanks." The books covered were all actually purchased somewhere within the recent past, so most should still be available for sale somewhere. The "web books" are, of course, available at the online source indicated to which you may simply click and down- load. Others are also strongly encouraged to set up their own websites of old-time clawhammer banjo tab which we can all enjoy. Most of us just play for the enjoyment of the music, and we can all benefit from a greater variety of tunes. WARNING: The lists are in tables within ordinary text files. This means that if you are using a variable or proportional type font for display or printing, your tables will not be neat. Switch to a monospaced or non-proportional font before viewing or printing.
*No longer in print nor available from normal sources; so listed here separately for those interested.