Arkansas Traveler Guitar Song Chords
Arkansas Traveler guitar song chords and easy guitar tabs, FREE!
This is a great flat-picking beginner guitar song from the American South. Many of your students may already be familiar with this tune but by another name, with the lyrics, "I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee -- Won't my mommy be so proud of me?"
Not a true folk song
Arkansas Traveler (pronounced "ahr-kuhn-saw") SOUNDS like a traditional folk song, but actually it was written in the 1800s by a fellow named Colonel Sanford C. "Sandy" Faulkner, according to Wikipedia.
A committee in the state of Arkansas wrote new lyrics for this song in 1947 in preparation for making the song the state song -- but I have put the traditional song lyrics in the sheet music.
Here is the key of C version:
Please scroll down the page for the links to the printable PDFs.
A violin performance in D
Here is a terrific rendition of the beginner guitar song, played on violin. This fiddler is a real pleasure to listen to. She is playing in the key of D, using double stops (more than one string at a time), a much fancier version than what I have here:
The key of G is easy
Here is what the key of G looks like, with a little bit different ending than the C and D versions.
Differences in the melody
I mentioned that the music is a bit different in the key of G.
That's because I didn't want to take the guitar tabs down to F#, fret 4, in the fast passage that comes at the end of each section. That's fine; every version you hear will be a little different from all the others!
Check out a duet version
In one of the guitar books I sometimes require my guitar students to purchase, The Hal Leonard Bluegrass Method, there are several flat-picking duets. Arkansas Traveler is one of them, in the key of C.
It is a lot of fun, and my beginner guitar students really like it. Mostly the parts move in parallel thirds, making nice harmony even if no one provides a chord background.
Here is the song on mandolin, with a lesson! I want to borrow a mandolin and try it:
The links for the guitar & fiddle PDFs, with guitar tabs:
Download easy guitar tabs "Arkansas Traveler" for guitar and fiddle in the key of C
Download guitar song chords in the key of D
Download beginner guitar song chords for guitar and violin in the key of G, with a different ending
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About the Author
Hi, I'm Dana! (Say that like "Anna".) I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.
Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.
You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.