Arkansas Traveler (Intermediate)

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Arkansas Traveler (Intermediate)

This is a classic fiddle tune you may know as “I’m picking up a baby bumble bee…”, although the melody of course has a deeper history. This tune became popular in minstrel shows, it’s melody and lyrics functioned as a parody of the south and black culture in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. The tune has escaped this troubling association and is now mostly known as a standard fiddle tune and children’s song. This arrangement is not for the beginner, played in open C with a capo on 2nd fret the melody has been ornamented utilizing guitar specific tricks like floating. You’ll also find two breaks within, the first in an open position and the second in a closed position up the neck. Enjoy!

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Information on Arkansas Traveler courtesy of The Traditional Tune Archive.

This is a classic fiddle tune you may know as “I’m picking up a baby bumble bee…”, although the melody of course has a deeper history. This tune became popular in minstrel shows, it’s melody and lyrics functioned as a parody of the south and black culture in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. The tune has escaped this troubling association and is now mostly known as a standard fiddle tune and children’s song. This arrangement is not for the beginner, played in open C with a capo on 2nd fret the melody has been ornamented utilizing guitar specific tricks like floating. You’ll also find two breaks within, the first in an open position and the second in a closed position up the neck. Enjoy!

(Intermediate guitar tabs include an ornamented version of the melody, chord markings above, and more often than not, a kick-off and a tag. Where the beginning guitar tabs had quarter notes expect there to now be a steady stream of eighth notes! These tabs, though more difficult than the beginning tabs, do not stray far from the melody like the advanced guitar tabs. Intermediate tabs without a bluegrass kick-off or tag generally come from other traditions such as Irish Fiddle Music (Frank’s Reel) or Spanish Folk Songs (La Borrachita).)