I decided to work up the Hank Garland song, “Sugarfoot Rag.” The first break is taken largely from Hank’s melody and the rest is my own creation. I am playing it in A Mixolydian without a capo, leaving the 5th string tuned to G. A mixolydian is one of my favorite keys to play in sans capo. I find that the mode (A B C# D E F G) lends itself well to the banjo because you have so many open strings you can hit (B, D, G). You can also get some nice sounds by holding partial chords down while including open strings.
This song was of course covered by famous artists such as Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Johnny 5, and more. The first time I ever heard this on banjo was by a local guy named Michael Haygood and then I later found out Bill Keith had recorded it.
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