Cracking the ‘Salty Dog’ Code

I’m working on Dr. Ralph Stanley’s ‘Salty Dog’ from 1958 today, and I’ve cracked the code that makes this a lot easier to do. Here’s a graphic:


These three very similar bits are about the only thing that varies in the piece. There’s a little intro bit that walks you into this and then an exit bit that walks you out. The intro and exit is standard four times. Between them, you play A, B, A, and then C. Then there’s a funny little bit to get out of the song, which is not hard.

For me, these three phrases are the crux of the tune. So I’m working on getting these well distinguished in my mind first.



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