Black Mountain Rag is one of the most well known flatpicking tunes in the world, and like most all other flatpicking tunes, it was originally a fiddle tune.
I could be made as a statement, and be completely factual that flatpicking the guitar came from transcribing and playing fiddle tunes, or music that had originally been composed and played on a fiddle, or violin, on a steel string acoustic guitar. Doc Watson was one of the first flatpickers, and one of the first tunes that Doc Watson made famous on a steel string guitar was Black Mountain Rag.
Flatpicking is also, as are the playing of fiddle tunes, something most associated with Bluegrass music, and one of the earliest pioneers of bringing this music to the fore of American consciousness was banjo player Earl Scruggs.
So I'm pleased to present to you here his son Randy, who's not been a teenager for quite some time now, but playing Black Mountain Rag as a teen.
Now, I've no idea why I couldn't put the video here directly in the usual way except that not allowing me to choose a video by URL here in the settings, but having to search instead....is quite a hindrance.
But Doc Watson is directly responsible for bringing the old ragtime fiddle tune in question to the masses, so let's hear Doc Play it!
As for me personally, when I did have my fingers to where I could play this well known old fiddle tune - I played it from learning the tab on a book that I bought from Steve Kaufman. Yeah, I put cash directly into Steve Kaufman's hands for one of his instructional books - which he handed me from his other hand. You can do stuff like that at the Walnut Valley Festival.
In any case, should you wish to take part in Bluegrass music jam sessions, then this is a tune that you'd really benefit from either being able to play the leads on....or at least knowing the chords to.
Let me give you a hint here, if you're going to play the lead parts with folks, then you'd damn well better know the chords as well.
Just so that we can equally represent some legends here, let's here Clarence White play the fiddle tune Black Mountain Rag, with The Byrds.
So there's some traditional interpretations to Black Mountain Rag, but believe me, you can jazz it up and make it as interpretive as you like, and with any stringed instrument, you may surely do so!
Now, there are some great learning tools on the web for playing bluegrass music, and with the following link you can download the tab to The Black Mountain Rag. I have NOT downloaded this, so be wary as you normally would be on the web. Why am I providing a link that I can not vouch for?
I've got tab versions and music to this tune already, and I do mean several renditions of it - in magazines. I only wanted to provide the searcher of the web here with an option. The site looks reputable, and none of my bells and whistles or internet security stuff has made a peep from me viewing the site. I'm 99% sure it's all good, and when I find a direct link to tab view able on the page for The Black Mountain Rag, I'll update this.