Cape Breton & Prince Edward Island Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo from Ken Perlman

Old time super picker Ken Perlman has released his latest book for banjo players with Mel Bay Publications.

Cape Breton & Prince Edward Island Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo is now available, and its title perfectly describes what is offered in the book. Ken has transcribed 136 fiddle tunes from the island cultures of eastern Canada, which represent the Celtic fiddling tradition that was established in these regions by Scots and Irish settlers. He includes a variety of reels, hornpipes, jigs, marches, strathspeys, airs, and other fiddle tunes that bear a distinct resemblance to the old time tunes of the Appalachian states, but with a twist.

All songs are presented in easy-to-read metered tablature, and most are taken from Perlman’s own recordings of this music, with online audio samples available to anyone who purchases the book in either print or PDF form.

The author also provides some basic instruction for relatively new clawhammerers

  • Over 40 musical examples & exercises
  • Instruction on basic and advanced techniques
  • Fingering diagrams & detailed fingering suggestions
  • A systematic approach to playing up-the-neck
  • A thorough treatment of playing triplets, grace notes, & other ornaments in clawhammer
  • Guides on how to approach playing various kinds of fiddle tunes
  • A framework for understanding the modes encountered in fiddle music
  • Historical notes on the tunes and musical traditions
  • Biographical information on source fiddlers
  • Includes online access to 169 audio illustrations

A complete Table of Contents and tune list can be found on Ken’s web site, along with a link to purchase this book directly from the author.

Cape Breton & Prince Edward Island Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo is available in the print edition for $29.99, with a link to free audio samples, or as an ebook (with audio) for $24.99

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.