Tennessee Waltz

As played by Clark Kessinger from the West Virginia region

Waltz in C

From the Clark Kessinger Collection

3 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)


Recording of Clark Kessinger released on the album Clark Kessinger: Old Time Music with Fiddle and Guitar


The only word I can think of to describe this rendition of Tennessee Waltz is overwrought. Seriously, if anyone ever plays a waltz like this at a fiddling contest where I’m the judge, that person will not win. I’m inclined to give Kessinger a pass, though, since Tennessee Waltz is so overplayed that he had to do something to make it more interesting. He played the A part once, then the B part four times. The last two times, he added an extra beat to the third line of the B part. He played a lot of trills, which I have expressed as sextuplets in the transcription. Technically, such a sextuplet would require you to play six notes in one beat. But Kessinger wasn’t that exact, so just play the trill as fast as you can. Also look out for slow triplets, requiring you to play three notes over two beats. Kessinger used a lot of vibrato, which is denoted in the notation by squiggly lines to the left of notes to be played vibrato. Don’t rush this waltz.

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