Camptown Races lyrics and sheet music for guitar & fiddle
Camptown Races duet and solo for guitar or fiddle is great for guitar students who are beginning to read standard notation.
Yes, I'm talking about playing the melody, not just the chords! My students are always just a bit shocked when I make this plain to them.
Lots of open strings make it easy
This song, in this key, makes a great beginning-to-read-real-notes song for guitar players, because there are so many open strings. See the bottom of page 2, the note-reading guide and tablature for guitar.
I gave this to an 8-year-old boy last week, just the first 2 measures, and it was a bit of a struggle, but he's catching on.
This week we added 2 more measures, "Doo-dah! Doo-dah!" He can already read tablature, so the transition to notes is possible with lots of repetition.
The duet version
Please scroll down the page for the link to the printable music.
A note-reading guide
The note-reading guide is a fairly new approach I'm taking. In the past I've printed Tablature/ Standard notation guides for my guitar students to use, but I'm finding that having the notes with tab right on the music keeps my students working a bit harder!
That wasn't all we did to prepare to read notes... we also drew the treble clef note names "D - E - F - G - A - B - C - D - E" on a giant horizontal staff, and then played a game drawing cards with the letter names, and placing tiny alphabet blocks onto a large cloth board I have.
Every time he pulled a card that was an open string, he found it on his guitar. If it was a card that needed a fretted string, I played it on my guitar.
The same note names show up on different strings...
It was a useful exploratory "game" - it was the first time he became aware that all the E's on the guitar sound the same, but in different octaves. Anyway, this is only the beginning of note-reading activities...
Below is a clean-looking sheet for violin (or other instruments) of this song:
Please scroll down the page for the download links.
A good key for guitar and fiddle both
Below is a solo version of Camptown Races, with tabs. Like the duet above, this is a nice key for violin as well. With guitar, you can help your student decide if they want to be tough and use their pinky finger on the 4th fret notes, or talk to them about first versus second position.
First position and second position
Since this melody will not require using the first fret, they could just use finger one on fret 2 and finger three on fret 4. That is "second position"!
Personally, I like to encourage real beginners to stick with matching the finger to the correct fret for a very long time, in order to form good habits! That means finger one on fret one, finger two goes on fret two, etc. That would be first position.
The links to the guitar and fiddle music:
Download Camptown Races DUET for fiddle or guitar
Download violin lead sheet for Camptown Races
Download guitar solo with tablature Camptown Races
For a child who is a beginner guitar player, making music can be BAFFLING. Teach them how to play guitar in small baby steps.
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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.