Leather Britches

As played by Clark Kessinger from the West Virginia region

Reel or Breakdown in G

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 The Legend of Clark Kessinger


This is a decent, but not spectacular, version of Leather Britches from West Virginia fiddler Clark Kessinger’s later years. If you listen to the recording, you will find that this is an example of the dangers playing too fast: Kessinger’s timing and accuracy suffered significantly. As with many transcriptions from The Legend of Clark Kessinger and Live at Union Grove albums, I am not entirely confident of the transcription because other instruments somewhat obscured the fiddle in many places. The greatest ambiguity comes in low G drones, and I fear this transcription may suffer from false positives and false negatives regarding those low Gs.

Kessinger made frequent use of vibrato in the B part; vibrato notes are marked with a squiggly line to their left. He also played two measures in the ending using a Spiccato bow stroke; these notes are marked with an X. The final note was Pizzicato. This tune shouldn’t be overly difficult, unless you insist on playing it as fast as Kessinger did.

This tune is a member of the following groups:

Leather Britches

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