The Fiddle Tab Road to Columbus
The Road to Columbus quite likely is the National road, the first serious roadway undertaken by the US government, the first federally funded interstate highway. Started in 1811, it got to Columbus, the new capital of the new state in 1831 or 1833. It was a major boost to the development of the west, traveled by anyone who wanted to go west by land.
As a fiddle tune, it is well known and popular with the hottest fiddlers on You Tube. The example in video is from a Kenny Baker performance. Hence it is as definitive as you might want.
In the tab above the tune does not go into third position as in the video. If you can play in third position you can probably read music. Mel Bay’s Monroe Instrumentals, byTodd Collins, would be the recommended resource.
A student requested this tune after meeting Kimber Ludiker, fiddler in Della Mae, and a Mike Block String Camp faculty member. I drew the tab and discovered that it was trickier than I had thought. It’s in the intermediate area as shown and more in the advanced level when shifting to third position.
The held notes make it awkward. It might be easier to hear it a lot before tackling the tab. The notes are often held until the next beat begins, then there’s a bow change and a bunch of notes to play. Very bluegrassy.
For a pdf file of The Road to Columbus, download this.
The Incendiary Road to Columbus
Here is another video of the tune, this time by Michael Cleveland and the Flamekeepers. The way he scorches it makes me think: “The Flame Throwers.”
Notice the lick he starts with on his second ride. I did. And then I stole it. Tweaked it a little bit, too. One of the rules from The Little book of Talent: “STEAL WITHOUT APOLOGY.”
You may copy my example. There’s no rule against it.