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The banjo is a timeless instrument whose rich history dates back centuries. While it’s tempting to start your banjo journey with more modern songs, it oftentimes pays off tenfold to first look backwards in time and dissect the tunes that laid the foundation for today’s music. Let ArtistWorks banjo master Tony Trischka take you back to the past with his lesson on the classic Septimus Winner tune “Rattling Clog.”

 

Septimus Winner was a 19th century American songwriter, performer and music publisher who is best known for composing several popular short songs, including “Listen to the Mockingbird” and "Oh Where, oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone,” Septimus often wrote his tunes under the pseudonym Alice Hawthorne, leading many to call his works “Hawthorne Ballads.” “Rattling Clog” appears in Eureka Method for the Banjo, which was released posthumously in 1923.

 

Ready to dive in and learn this classic banjo tune? Check out Tony’s video below to get started.

 

This piece is written in drop C banjo tuning, which Tony admits can take a bit of time to reach. To achieve this, start off in G tuning and drop your fourth string down one whole step. “You’ll find that things will go a little out of tune because the pressure on the head is changing,” Tony says. “You’ll probably find that you’ll have to retune the whole banjo, so grab your tuner and get ready to tidy your tuning up.”

 

Watch the video below for Tony’s full lesson on “Rattling Clog.”

 

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play the banjo? Try out some free sample banjo lessons from Tony and get started on the right path. You’ll quickly see what makes ArtistWorks some of the best online music lessons around. 

 

 

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