Breaks for Open G and D-chord position
Banjo Tab PDFStyle: Scruggs-style/Tom Adams-style 3-finger banjo playing
Key of G
G Tuning, gDGBD
Details: The tab contains 2 banjo breaks, each with the full verse and chorus. The 1st Break follows the melody as sung by Vernon Dalhart on a 1927 78 rpm record on the Victor label. The 2nd Break is a variation based on the 1st Break and moves away from the strict interpretation of the melody in several instances. Note Measures 61-62 where the melody on the words "shot Mr. Howard" is played an octave higher than the surrounding measures in that break.
Bonus Tab + Video: Jesse James played in the D chord position - break and backup - compare the way you play the tune in Open G with this version in the D chord position to learn the basis for playing other G vocal numbers in either the D chord or C chord positions.
To listen to Vernon Dalhart's 1925 version of the “Ballad of Jesse James” click the arrow on the banjo image at top of page to reveal the song posted on YouTube.