Bluegrass Guitar Tabs
Bonaparte Crossing the Rocky Mountains
Bluegrass guitar tabs -- free! -- for Bonaparte Crossing the Rocky Mountains.
Standard treble clef notation for fiddlers along with free guitar tablature and chord symbols.
The video below doesn't feature a guitar player -- I couldn't find one playing Bonaparte Crossing the Rocky Mountains.
But both The Fiddler's Fakebook and The Guitar Picker's Fakebook feature this piece:
Please scroll down the page for the free links to the music PDFs.
A good ensemble piece - but be careful
You will be lucky if you have a little group that can play this piece together! But watch out for the unexpected chord change on part 2 from Am to A - if the flatpicker isn't backed up by the correct chord, their C# note will sound like a jarring error!
What is the origin of this piece?
It sounds like Irish fiddle music to me, and there are other tunes about Bonaparte that come from over the sea...
Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine, and Bonaparte's Retreat. I think Napoleon Bonaparte only ever crossed the Rockies in someone's imagination!
The rhythm is a bit tricky
I spend a lot of time saying, TAH, tee-tee, tee-tee etc. in this piece when working with young students who don't read rhythms easily.
But they begin to interpret the quarter and eighth notes well after a few weeks of this song.
Good left hand practice for finger 4
This piece fits nicely in the left hand, and only strays away from "first position" when the melody climbs to high A...
That requires the use of the little finger, and it is good for students to get that finger accustomed to slapping down on the 5th fret!
Here is the very same arrangement, but spread over two pages to make it easier to read.
Please scroll down the page for the download links.
Good flatpicking practice
Like Devil's Dream, this flatpicking tune has a melody made up almost entirely of eighth notes.
Your students who are new to flatpicking melodies may struggle initially with the "down,up,down,up" motion of the pick.
I like to get my students used to this technique by doing fret-by-fret scales up the neck of the guitar from string 6 to string 1, going "down, up" on each fret.
Use a simple "scale" for practice
I play along with them, singing the notes like this to correspond to frets (or no frets): "Open, open; one, one; two, two; three, three; four, four; open-open (that's the next string)," etc.
Then, with my eyes watching their pick hand, I'll switch to singing, "Down, up; down, up..."
Sometimes we try it with a metronome to even out their strokes, and I'll assign metronome work at home, too.
Enjoy this beautiful, rhythmic guitar and fiddle music!
The links to the guitar/fiddle music:
Download free bluegrass music Bonaparte Crossing the Rocky Mountains
Download bluegrass sheet music Bonaparte Crossing the Rocky Mountains in two pages
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Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!
Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. Also, IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MUSIC THAT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, YOUR REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years...
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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.