Jack of Diamonds

As played by Benny Thomasson from the Texas region

Reel or Breakdown in A

From the Benny Thomasson Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


Recording on the album Benny Thomasson: Legendary Texas Fiddler


I believe that this tune is a staple of modern Texas fiddling.  Jack of Diamonds may be a floating title, as I have seen it applied to three tunes: this Texas tune, a modal (mixolydian) breakdown recorded by Melvin Wine, and the widespread waltz Rye Whiskey (AKA Drunkard’s Hiccups).  This particular Jack of Diamonds almost has a delicate, dainty sound, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it originated as a hornpipe or schottische.  Look out for Thomasson’s signature triplet run that appears in both parts, as well as triplets over sixteenth notes.


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