The Etta Baker Project

Photo by David Holt, www.davidholt.com

Etta Baker Guitar Tab Resources

Please note that any copyrighted material on these pages is used in "fair use" for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only.  The guitar tab provided on these pages are transcribed from my arrangements, which are similar in style to Etta Baker, but are not intended to be exact transcriptions of Etta’s playing.  Etta herself often took popular tunes and arranged them for her playing style.


Notes about Etta’s guitar playing

My observations about Etta’s playing come from watching the Homespun video The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker.  For acoustic guitars, Etta favored Dreadnought size guitars.  Etta plays most songs with a two finger style (index and thumb) and loosely anchors her other three fingers near the sound hole of the guitar.  Etta also will finger or cover two notes on the guitar with one finger on occasion.  For example when making a first position C chord, her ring finger will cover the E and A strings at the third fret.  When playing a first position E chord her middle finger will cover the D an G strings at the second fret.

Baby Let Me Lay It On You - click here for the guitar tab.

Bully of the Town - Etta teaches “Bully of the Town” on the The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker instructional video on Homespun Tapes.  Tab for “Bully of the Town” is included with the video.  “Bully of the Town” is also transcribed in Happy Traum’s Traditional and Contemporary Fingerpicking Styles for Guitar 40th Anniversary Edition instruction book.

Brown’s Boogie - Etta teaches “Brown’s Boogie” on the The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker instructional video on Homespun Tapes.  Tab for “Brown’s Boogie” is included with the video.

Carolina Breakdown - Etta teaches “Carolina Breakdown” on the The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker instructional video on Homespun Tapes.  Tab for “Carolina Breakdown” is included with the video.

Dew Drop -  Etta teaches “Dew Drop” on the The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker instructional video on Homespun Tapes.  Tab for “Dew Drop” is included with the video.  “Dew Drop” is one of the first tunes Etta learned from her father.

Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad - Etta teaches “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” on the The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker instructional video on Homespun Tapes.  Tab for “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” is included with the video.

I Get the Blues When It Rains - click here for the guitar tab.

John Henry - Etta teaches “John Henry” on the The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker instructional video on Homespun Tapes.  Tab for “John Henry” is included with the video.  “John Henry” is also transcribed in Happy Traum’s Traditional and Contemporary Fingerpicking Styles for Guitar 40th Anniversary Edition instruction book.

Knoxville Rag - Larry Unger transcribed “Knoxville Rag” in the Fall 1990 issue of The Old Time Herald magazine.

Mint Julep - Etta teaches “Mint Julep” on the The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker instructional video on Homespun Tapes.  Tab for “Mint Julep” is included with the video.

On The Other Hand Baby - Etta teaches “On The Other Hand Baby” on the The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker instructional video on Homespun Tapes.  Tab for “On The Other Hand Baby” is included with the .  See excerpt from the Etta Baker’s Homespun Tapes video on video page.


One Dime Blues -  Etta teaches “One Dime Blues” on the The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker instructional video on Homespun Tapes.  Tab for “One Dimes Blues” is included with the video.  Etta’s version of “One Dime Blues” is based on the Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “One Dime Blues”.

Also visit the 52 Weeks of the Blues website for a guitar tab of One Dime Blues

Railroad Bill -  Etta teaches “Railroad Bill” on the The Fingerpicking Blues of Etta Baker instructional video on Homespun Tapes.  Tab for “Railroad Bill” is included with the video.