Rat Cheese Under The Hill (Pike’s Peak)

As played by Clark Kessinger from the West Virginia region

Rag in C

From the Clark Kessinger Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


78rpm Record


“Rat Cheese” must be a corruption of “Natchez,” as I can’t imagine that such a dairy product could actually exist. I originally learned this tune under the name Pike’s Peak, and the version I play is somewhat of a hybrid between Kessinger’s excellent version and Gary Lee Moore’s Texas-style version. Regardless of name, this is one of my all-time favourite tunes.

Kessinger’s version is moderately challenging. He played some nice variations. As with all rags, be careful of the timing. As the alternate title Pike’s Peak implies, there are high notes; the B part goes up to a high C, and briefly to a high D. I would recommend that you try playing that high C with your ring finger, which would put you in third position. Then, when you slide down to an A, you’re back in first position. There are a few difficult double-stops, such as an E on the second string and a G on the first string. Kessinger also used some vibrato, which is denoted by squiggly lines to the left of notes to be played vibrato.

This tune is a member of the following groups:

Dr. Fiddle's Favorite Rags

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