The Cuckoo (standard tuning)|
The Cuckoo is one of my favorite traditional songs. It's been
recorded by almost everyone at one point or another. Doc Watson and Bob Dylan both have versions, which
shows the diverse appeal this song has. I very often teach this song in class after the drop D practice
song. The big difference is that you play the entire melody with your right hand thumb (which is indictated,
as in all the songs in this series, with a down staff and also the letter "P"). This is a big difference
between the 3 finger style of the drop D song!
This song also introduces the "hammer-on" and "pull-off".
An example of the hammer-on in this song is when you play the 4th string, 4th fret, and with the left
hand you generate the second note by "hammering on" to the 5th fret. Make sure to keep your middle
finger on the 4th fret until after the hammer to the 5th fret is complete. The indication for hammer-on
and pull-off is a curved line between the two numbers (notes).
An example of the pull-off in this
song is when you play the 5th string 2nd fret and you generate the second note by actually pulling the
note or plucking it to the open position with the left hand.
You'll also see a variation or
harmony line that you can play instead of line one, as well as hear me singing two verses (in the distant
background) so you can hear how this tabulature would accompany the words.
Don't be shy with this
song. Play it hard.