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Guitar Tab Oh Susanna Intermediate

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  • Oh Susanna Tab 1
  • Oh Susanna Tab 2
Guitar Tab - Oh Susanna - Intermediate:

Oh! Susanna” is a song written by Stephen Foster. It was first published on February 25, 1848. Popularly associated with the California Gold Rush, the song is occasionally (incorrectly) called “Banjo on My Knee”. It is well suited for the guitar and we have come up with a wonderful arrangement of it here for you.

This is an old timer and it is fun to play and fun for people to listen to. So have fun with it and look forward to the more advance versions coming along shortly.

This lesson is available in the following formats:

    Oh Susanna Guitar Pro File - Note: This is a free download for you! The file has all of the notation, TAB, left hand fingering, rhythm chords and more. Turn on RSE and you can enjoy listening to the song as if it was really being played! Amazing sound.

    Oh Susanna Tab Notes PDF File - Note: This is a free download for you ! This will include the full tablature of the song, notation, rhythm tracks, fingering and lots more. Plus you can rearrange the song to suit your tastes and playing level. We also include the Tab Notes teaching system.

    Oh Susanna Intermediate Video Lesson - (coming soon) Go to the video page of this lesson. On this video I have included 3 videos at different speeds so you can easily follow along on the slower video and understand what the song will sound like on the fast video.

    The rhythm for this song is located on the second track of the Guitar Pro file above. It lists all of the chords, chord diagrams and timing for the song. You can use that file to practice your lead for this song.


All of these files were authored in eMedia's Guitar-Pro. This is the favorite tab and notation authoring software for us here at Ultimate Guitar OnLine. It is filled with features and is simple to use - even without a manual. It is compatible with PC and Mac. We use it on the Mac here and it is a pleasure to use. To see a full review click HERE. Otherwise if you would like to try a free copy of it, you can download the demo HERE and use it for 15 days.

I will have three breaks of Oh Susanna TAB available.

Oh Susanna Beginner Tab - The First Break, This page is the first version of this song and, is a beginner version of the song, but don't let that mean it is easy. It is a fairly straight forward break and sounds really nice when played up to speed, which is about 220 bbm. You will be challenged by the syncopated timing and cross-picking in this beginner version too. If you can master this break, you will have a much easier time in the intermediate and advanced areas of this song that are to come.

This song is played in the key of D Major. We will not capo the 2nd fret like we usually do for songs in the key of D Major. What we will do is play this in what I call open 2nd position. This means you shift your left hand fingering up one fret and shift your left hand fingering as well. The reason I call it 'open' is because we still make use of the open strings, wherever possible. You will find that you will do most of your work with the first and third fingers of the left hand.

The Link to the Beginner Version is: Oh Susanna Beginner

Oh Susanna Intermediate Tab - Second Break: I am going to take it easy on you for the second break of Oh Susanna. What you will learn from this break is how to take the first or beginners break and build notes around it. In the music world this is called improvisation, and in the guitar world it is called noodling. Now officially improvising and noodling is done 'on the fly' or at the moment. If you noodle around on the guitar, you try different things until you come up with an arrangement that sounds cool and zero in on it.

I Recommend that you do this with this song. Use my arrangement as a seed and see what else you can do to 'spice it up'.

Oh Susanna Advanced Tab - Third Break: Okay, I was easy on you for the second break. This break may or may not give you trouble. We are going to play the break one octave higher. This means you will be spending most of your time playing in the 5th position and occasionally slide up to the 7th position. So you may be challenged by this. It is fun and you can really play fast in the upper positions. Just pay close attention to the left hand fingers, slides etc.

One thing I would like to point out here. This song played at 180 beats per measure is not the full up to speed version that you ultimately should play. While it sounds great at that speed, the song is usually played somewhere around 230 beats per measure, depending on the arrangement.

The link to the advanced version is: Oh Susanna Advanced Tab.

Beaumont Rag - Guitar Tab Notes on the lesson:

If you are not familiar with reading Guitar Tab, click HERE for a quick tutorial. If you are not familiar with reading notation click HERE for some online lesson material we have put together. There are a few more areas that you can brush up on to really get going on this song. I have summarized them below. Just click the links and you can go to that particular article.

Having trouble with Crosspicking technique? We have a great article on Learning How to Crosspick.

Having problems with that flat pick? This article gives you lots of info on proper techniques - Right Hand Techniques.

Having trouble with the fingering? Take a look at Left Hand Techniques and get some help there.

Ultimate Guitar Tab Tips on This Selection:
    Watch your up and down strokes carefully. It is critical that you keep them consistent. Down strokes are almost always on the downbeat and upstrokes are often on the upbeat, but not always. We have clearly shown the down and up strokes below each note in the tab. The down-up strokes are shown on the tab below the Guitar Tab staff.
    If you are being challenged by crosspicking, this song will be hard for you at first. It is however an excellent song with which learn crosspicking and you will get much satisfaction once you master it. If you need help click the link above on Learning How to Crosspick.
    Beginners should start this song at about 120 to 140 bpm until fully memorized and mastered. Then gradually work up to about 180 to 200. The 220 to 240 gets you into expert status territory.
    Guitar Pro has a really cool feature called speed trainer. you can set a loop of accompaniment chords to be played and after each loop the speed increased by a percent that you specify. I love this feature and it gives you milestone very clearly as to you speed conditioning.
    Each quarter note = one beat in the measure so there are 4 quarter notes in just about every measure.
Memorize Your Ultimate Guitar Tab:

Make sure to memorize your songs. What is the easiest way to do this? Unless you have perfect pitch, you will have to learn one section or measure at a time. Once you can play flawlessly move on to the next measure and add it to what you have memorized. Continue this and make sure you can play the first half of the song, including the second ending.

Once you have the first half memorized, move on to the second half, doing the same thing with the second half of the song.

Oh Susanna
Oh Susanna