How to Play Cripple Creek on Banjo?

Banjo is another member of the stringed instruments family. So let us see how to play cripple creek on banjo. It consists of a thin membrane stretched along the frame to create a resonator. The banjo is prevalently used for folk and country music. However, some modern rock bands use the five-stringed banjo in some of their albums. Usually accompanied by a fiddle, banjo finds frequent usage in the traditional jazz music styles.

Cripple Creek is now like a standard song among bluegrass musicians. Moreover, it is one of the first songs taught to banjo beginners. Many theories suggest that this folk song is about the Cripple Creek from Colorado or Virginia. Though the original time of this song is unknown, the early country musicians frequently recorded it during the 1920s. 

The following is a peek into how to play cripple creek on banjo

How to play cripple creek on banjo? 

how to play cripple creek on banjo

Cripple Creek is a folk song from Appalachia of the Eastern United States. Traditionally played with fiddle, this style is also famous with the banjo. It is often the first learning and the easiest song on a banjo for most people, as mentioned above. Check here how to play cripple creek on banjo. The 5 steps to playing a cripple creek using the banjo are as follows:  

  • Cripple Creek is played in two parts A and B. 
  • The A part is the beginning of the song, while the B part follows it. 
  • The whole song is played in 5 stages with repetitions. 
  • Once the banjo is tuned, you can start playing the notes of the A part. 
  • Continue with the other notes and finish off with the B part. 

In general, there are different versions of the cripple creek with some additions and modifications. The notes remain the same with slight changes. However, if you are looking for how to play cripple creek on banjo, you need to be careful with some aspects. They are – hide notes, speed up, memory terrain, etc. These are some famous learning tools that can help play the song easily.


1. Is it possible to play Cripple Creek on the violin? 

Cripple Creek can be played using any stringed instruments like banjo, violin, guitar, etc. Though it was famous with the fiddle in the earlier days, we can play this song using stringed instruments in the present day. 

2. How did the song get the name Cripple Creek? 

Though there is no evidence of the same, various theories suggest that the song Cripple Creek refers to a town in Colorado. Some researchers also suggest that the song could have been about a place with the same name in Virginia. The song is still quite famous and crucial to date with the same name. 

3. How long does it take to play the Cripple Creek song on a 5 string Banjo? 

It depends on the person who’s playing it. If you are learning it for the first time, it might take 15-20 minutes to understand all the notes. However, in general, it almost takes around 2-3 minutes. 

4. Is Cripple Creek very hard to play?

The chorus of the song Cripple Creek consists of a low melody + roll which is played fully in the thumb lead style. It is one of the most authentic as well as the oldest styles of playing. This is also referred to as the easiest way to a beginner who wants to start playing a Banjo as it always is on the beat.

Also, check out How To Play Clawhammer Banjo? if you are just starting out and want to learn the basics.