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CBG Tabs

So you built your CBG and now you need something to play on it, right? Well, if you're not completely musically inclined or can't read traditional music, tabs are your answer. If you're like me, you read tabs and sometimes make them. Paste'em here.

Members: 453
Latest Activity: on Friday


Tabs here is as a learning tool -- NOT for profit.

I'll also upload some blank tab sheets. Just let me know what you think and if I need to add anything.

Discussion Forum

Summer Wine

Started by Graham Alibone Jun 29. 0 Replies

Muddy Waters tab please

Started by J Lee. Last reply by Paul 'PapaHogg' Smith Apr 9. 1 Reply

Comment Wall


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Comment by TN Twang on April 24, 2014 at 1:18pm

Oops. To clarify, I'm talking about getting the Robert Johnson transcriptions.


Comment by TN Twang on April 24, 2014 at 1:18pm

Looks great. I'm gonna' try to get a copy...

Amazon only shows one transcription and it's using standard tuning (minus a half step to get to Eb). However, the preface implies that the other transcriptions explore other tunings. I'm hoping to find stuff in open D, E, G, and A tunings so I can steal the top half for my 3-string CBG. Also note that most (or all) of the transcriptions likely use frets instead of slide.

Somebody at Hal Leonard Distribution has been very savvy lately about reviving good stuff from bygone days. I hope they grow and prosper.


Comment by Oscar Myer on April 24, 2014 at 4:20am

I noticed that you can get  a copy of "Bluegrass Songbook" by Peter Wernick. [ISBN 978-0-8256-0164-4] at Walmart for $17.74 shipped to the store for in store pick up. That is if there is a Walmart near you.

Comment by Blind Lemon Cello on April 23, 2014 at 8:29pm

Has anyone tried this Robert Johnson tab book? Thanks

Comment by TN Twang on April 23, 2014 at 7:43pm

*&^*% fat fingers...

Make that "DGb tuning that Keni Lee Burgess has been teaching."

Sorry, Keni Lee!!


Comment by TN Twang on April 23, 2014 at 7:33pm

Found some good 3-STRING BLUEGRASS TABS--tuned DGb

Get a copy of "Bluegrass Songbook" by Peter Wernick. [ISBN 978-0-8256-0164-4].  Published in 1976 but brought back to life by Music Sales/Hal Leonard. I paid $30 USD, but Amazon will sell for $20.

He actually uses a 3-string tab notation for 50-60 good traditional tunes like "Wabash Cannonball" and "O Come, Angel Band." He says play melody on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings of either a guitar or a banjo, but these fit perfectly with the GBd tuning that Keni Lee Burgess has been teaching.

The 40-year-old commentary is fun. He's got interviews with the Stanley Brothers and Jim and Jesse back when they were just starting out in the business. Says that a Martin D-28 might cost as much as $500!!


Comment by J Lee on April 8, 2014 at 7:05pm

Really keen to learn how to play Muddy Waters "I Can't Be Satisfied" - does anyone out there have tabs for that?

Comment by TN Twang on March 24, 2014 at 12:11pm


Many thanks for the feedback. I had seen your references to ABC, but haven't tried it yet. If I have to start "publishing" tabs, that's probably the best hope--although my Finale notation software will make most of the changes for me if I enter the tuning revisions in the "setup" page. I can create a TAB document and save it, then change the tuning and save it again, etc., etc. (Finale's expensive and difficult. I wouldn't recommend buying it just for this purpose.)

I've been fishing for feedback from The Nation, and it seems that the common tunings, in order of popularity, are DAd (or Gdg), DGb, and G#be--with several other interesting approaches out there. 

I prefer G#be, but I've been studying Keni Lee's method and I see how a "real" guitarist would prefer to use the (DGb) strings that they already know from playing lead on a guitar in standard tuning. Honestly, studying Keni Lee has helped my 6-string playing a lot, but I don't use it as much for 3-string cause I like a low harmony note down there under the lead. If I get around to building a 4-string, I'll probably tune it Keni's way with an extra low G on the bottom.

I find the complexity fascinating, but I'm fairly fluent at reading, transposing, etc. I STILL don't have a quick glib answer for the poor neophyte who gives me a sad look and says, "but how do I tune it?"

I feel for these guys who want a simple answer, but the truth seems to remain complicated. Guitar is not my primary instrument, so I'm using myself as a test sample to see what works and what doesn't, but I still keep coming up with the answer "It depends..."

Thanks again,


PS I've played dulcimer for lotsa' years, but I typically tune Daa instead of Dad, so I'm staying out of all of the diatonic "strum-stick" discussions. As with the 3-string guitar, I find that Daa gives me complete 3-note chords without the open-fifth drone effect or power chords, and I like to hear that baritone harmony note. Besides, I believe Daa is more historically authentic. (but that's just me!)

Comment by jamie bark on March 23, 2014 at 3:58pm

El Paso - Verses (standard fretted)

0 0  4         7      5 4      5   5  7  9   5

out in the west Texas town of El Paso 

0  2  4   5    4    2   5  4  2   0

I fell in love with a Mexican girl

I'll try to add more soon, feel free if anyone else wants to jump in as well-

Comment by jamie bark on March 23, 2014 at 10:39am

After seeing Streets of Lorado I thought this would be a fun one to pick out as well... El Passo- gonna work on it a little today.


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