Choctaw Bill

As played by Blaine Smith from the Tennessee region

Reel or Breakdown in C

From the Cumberlands Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


1977 field recording released on the album A Bottle of Wine and Gingercake: Traditional Music from Southeast Tennessee


Blaine Smith’s Choctaw Bill tune consists of a two-line a part with a lot of unison Es on the first and second string, and a single-line B part played between two and six times (most commonly four times) per repetition of the tune. The B part occasionally features a bowed triplet. This tune is kept interesting by a large amount of syncopation, which Smith often varied to prevent monotony.

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