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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: 461
Latest Activity: on Saturday


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

Looking For Tabs For "Man Of Constant Sorrow" Soggy Bottom Boys version .

Started by Piht Bull (Delta Dawg Guitars). Last reply by Ole Christensen on Saturday. 5 Replies

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 Friday


Thanks for the ABC link. Looks like there's pretty broad support for that format in the folk/ethno/traditional community. Come to think of it, I guess that group includes CBGs.

I don't have time to download and experiment right now, but I'll save the link and look into it as soon as time permits.



Comment by Rand Moore on Friday

Hi TN Twang (and anyone else)
There's a Windows application called "ABC Explorer" which provides a pretty nice GUI to the ABC music notation standard which is well worth the free download if you are interested in exploring or using the ABC Music format. In addition to providing tools to assist you in using the ABC notation, the program provides midi support and pdf formatting. So you can listen to the tunes as you are creating or editing them, and you can also "pretty print" the finished product. Here's the URL...

I like to use "JC's ABC Tune Finder" to locate ABC music files which I can then cut and paste (or save, then open in) ABC Explorer to edit them and to adapt them into dulcimer tabs. Usually you will find several versions of the same song (especially if it's popular), so you may need to research which is the best version, and perhaps adapt the best versions to your own. It also seems that the ABC music format is particularly popular in the UK, so if you are into oldish English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish music, then this URL is for you...

Again most of the tunes are of the "traditional" or "folk music" genres. Most these tunes sound great on dulcimers and similar instruments.


Comment by Ian MC Donald on August 29, 2014 at 11:09am
Hi there
Correct I use the middle four strings
The 32 is the A string the D string I tune down half a step
To C# the G string I tune down to an E then the B sting
I tune down a whole step to an A
This is also the tuning Justin uses
It's such a cool tuning
Because you can use the bass A
As a drone and use the C# and E strings
For your double stops and the high A playing against
The low octave A string gauges are
Sounds reLly cool with a slide 32,24,16,11
Comment by TN Twang on August 29, 2014 at 10:22am

To Ian MC Donald,

I agree with what you're saying about 4-string tuning, and I use a similar tuning on my 3-string. I really like being able to provide a good major chord by just barring across the strings, but it scares me that you're cranking the tuning all the way up to high A.

I tune my 3-strings (low to high) to either F#-a-d (Open  D) or G#-b-e (Open E). As soon as I finish making that 4-string that's sitting on the workbench, I'll be able to put a low D or E on the bottom.

I'd be afraid to pull even a light high "E" string all the way up to higher A. Are you, perhaps using the "middle" 4 strings out of a 6-string set and tuning the whole thing an octave lower than what I'm thinking about?

Just curious,


PS Didn't know Justin had his stuff on a CD. Gotta' keep up...

Comment by Pete Turner on August 29, 2014 at 8:16am

Hey Gary, Here's a great way to play just about any sound by the Wizard Justin Johnson. He has a lot of great videos on youtube. Meet him @ last weeks Pennsylvania Fest & bought his new instructional CD. Here's a link:

Comment by Pete Turner on August 29, 2014 at 8:09am

Yes all are 1 string. I played w/an open G tuning GDg. I like Shane's vrsions better, just having a hard time picking out all the notes.

Here's an easy version of Amazing Grace all play on the G string.

Open G - 5fret - 9fret - 9 - 7 - 5 - 2 - Open - 5 - 7 - 9 - 12 - 12 - 12- 12 - 9 - 9 - 7- 2

0 - 5 - 5 - 7 - 9 - 7 - 5

Have Fun!

Comment by Gary Williams on August 29, 2014 at 2:19am
Pete excuse my ignorance but the tabs you posted are they on one string or more
Comment by Gary Williams on August 29, 2014 at 2:16am
There must also be tabs out there for amazing grace on one string if there is please post them
Comment by Blind Lemon Cello on August 28, 2014 at 6:33pm

An update on the Robert Johnson book I posted earlier on this thread. Excellent version of Johnson's songs, note by note, tabs & lyrics. About half his songs are in open tune & I find I can pull out little excerpts to make up my own songs & use some of his lyrics. Lots of fun, worth every penny!

Comment by Ian MC Donald on August 28, 2014 at 5:45pm
Tune your 4 string to open A ( A c# e A )
Play the open strings as follows
E , C# , Low A , C# , E high A
Then the C# on the 4th Fret high A string then the B second
Fret high A string then the high A string open
Then the open C# open string then the Eb on the
C# second fret then the E third fret on the C# string
Hopefully I can tab this out at some point
Once you get round how cool the open A tuning is
You can introduce the chord progression alternating
Between the melody notes , the cool thing about
The open A tuning is you can pluck the base A string and
The octave A is the high fourth string
You can slide and pick up the melody with
Single note passes and also slide a chord in
For example finish the melody line on an A chord by hitting all the
Open strings
You can pretty much work it out from

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