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Through the Fence

Here’s the my tune ‘Through the Fence’

Here’s a link to download the track:
Download ‘Through the Fence’

Here’s a link to download a PDF of the music that was printed with the article. (This version includes notation, the BNL version is Tab only)
Through The Fence – melody Tab and Notation PDF

Here is the article published by ‘Banjo Newsletter’ in February 2016:

Through the fence is a tune I wrote for the exclusive purpose of getting a capo 4 song on my new album ‘Bobcat’. The project is almost all original compositions, and I knew that I wouldn’t be recording ‘Train 45’, but of course no banjo record is complete without at least one 4-banger, right? So this is it. Nothing too fancy going on with this tune. It’s based around a few licks that I use often, and some fun rhythmic ideas. The two licks I use a lot are phrased over the 5 chord here (F#), in measures 5 and 16. Sort of blues influenced with chromatic passing notes. And then the second and third parts get into some fun push-and-pull type feels.

You’ll notice that the melody over the B chord is a standard forward roll-y banjo idea, and the response to each of those, being the melody over the F# chord, involves some angular single string based lines. Beats 2-4 of measure 5 are much like a Don Reno lick out of the “D position” chord shape. I like that pattern because it’s easy to modify for several different types of chords/scales. Similarly, measure 16 and it’s two pickup notes from 15, is another single string idea based around the “D Position” chord shape. This line is more similar to something that might be played on mandolin. (I like to borrow things from other instruments). This pattern can also be modified harmonically/rhythmically to a large degree while keeping its framework.

The second part is like a riff that the band all plays together, and it has a funny feeling syncopation to it. Starting with measure 25 the slides from 3-4 are the focus of the melody, accenting those notes really drives the syncopated feeling. Its mostly done through a forward roll, and actually beats 3-4 of measure 27 and all of 28 can also be played with a forward roll for more consistency, but this is what I happened to play on the record, so that’s what I tabbed out.

Next in the tune is the mandolin and guitar solos over the first part of the form, where Jenni Lyn Gardner and Dustin Benson totally lay it down. Then the “third part” happens, which has some fun ‘stops’ or ‘hits’ or whatever. Then the banjo solo over the first part of the form, then the riffy second part again. And now the third part happens again, and this is the version I’ve tabbed out. It’s a simple 4, 1, 5 chord progression. The tricky part is that the 4 and 1 chord are on downbeats in measure 43, but fall on off-beats in measure 45 and 47. Keeps the pickers on their toes, haha! And then the “Jimmy Martin Ending”. Again, on the checklist of things that have to occur at least once on any good banjo record, this one is a given. And I wrote it in the chart, but just to be clear, it must be an upward rake of the index finger pick hitting the 5th string last and hardest, and immediately silencing the instrument. That’s the only way.

The title “Through the Fence” was inspired by a puppy. My neighbor in Nashville is a dog walker, so there are often a crew of dogs in their back yard. I was watching this little fluffy white one get bigger over a few months, and working out this tune during that time. Then one day I realized that the tune is probably pretty close to what would be going through that pups mind if it could break through that fence and run free for a few minutes (2 minutes and 38 seconds, exactly).

The album recording of my tune “Through the Fence” will be available for download as well as the PDF from this article at KyleTuttle.com. It’s also part of my new release ‘Bobcat’. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at Kyle.Tuttle.Banjo@gmail.com

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