Thursday, May 12, 2011

Exploring 'The Gold Rush' - Part 1: Straight Ahead Bluegrass Break

Last month I wrote a series of posts on Blackberry Blossom, one of my favourite fiddle tunes and a solid vehicle for exploring new vistas in banjo arranging. It was suggested on the site that further entries in the exploring series covering other songs might be fun so here we are with the second song in the exploring series: Gold Rush.

If you are not familiar with Gold Rush see if you can find a version or two played on fiddle (just pop gold rush fiddle into a search engine or check out Bill Monroe's version with Robert Bowline on fiddle at

It is a powerhouse of a fiddle tune. Generally it is played in the key of A and for this first arrangement I've kept things simple capoing to the second fret and playing as though we were in comfortable old open G. The style for this arrangement is 80% straightforward Scruggs. The bits that stand out are the hammered triplets. I love these and you can throw them into a ton of playing situations. They may be difficult to play clearly at first so try running through them alone a little bit (preferably with a metronome) before diving headlong into the tune.

Here are the triplets...

Ok, feel comfortable with the triplets? Let's dive in ...

(click to enlarge)

As usual let me know if there are any things giving you grief or that you might like to have clarrified.

NEXT: Gold Rush: Part II - Single String Break

1 comment:

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