Arkansas Traveler, Soldier’s Medley Part Two

As played by Clayton McMichen from the Georgia region

Reel or Breakdown in D

From the Clayton McMichen Collection

5 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)
Melody-Only Transcription of Entire Medley (PDF)
Full Transcription of Entire Medley (PDF)


78rpm Record


This transcription is sponsored by Dr. Fiddle contributor Patrick Towell.

Georgia fiddler Clayton McMichen recorded this medley of Soldier’s Joy, Arkansas Traveler, and Mississippi Sawyer in 1939, during a session in which he recorded a total of six medleys. He played similar phrases in all three of the tunes in this medley, with Soldier’s Joy and Mississippi Sawyer sharing more phrases than does Arkansas Traveler with the other tunes. In fact, McMichen injected so much hornpipe phrasing into Sawyer that it made the tune crooked. I strongly suspect that McMichen played this medley tuned to ADAE, but the only benefits in doing so are that it prevents stray low Gs and makes unison Ds on the third and fourth strings easier.

McMichen’s fiddling throughout this medley is quite aggressive, but nowhere moreso than in Arkansas Traveler. There is an awful lot of sawstroke bowing here. Also be careful of a high D in the A part the second time through. That repetition also features a B part that is mostly bowed with Spiccato strokes. Notes to be played Spiccato are marked with an X.

Tune to ADAE (optional).

This tune is a member of the following groups:


Arkansas Traveler

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