More Pretty Girls Than One (crooked)

Got home from work late, visited with the family before they went off to bed, and picked up the tab book recently posted in the comments section on the blog. Dwight Diller’s playing style is simply awesome. If you are listening to Diller play toe tapping will ensure. Here’s my attempt at “More Pretty Girls Than One.” This is after about 30 minutes.

According to the tab book,

Lee Hammons is the only person who played it this way that I personally know of. It is crooked because it leaves out beats at the end of phrases. Crooked like our mountain roads and streams. This tune is similar to the square tune, ‘Tempie’. Lee Hammons never played this tune with “chucks.” Like many West Virginia tunes it is crooked, having 13 measures. This, obviously, is not a good tune to dance to. In the UK they call them “leg breakers”. Diller: Lee said, “My sister hated that tune. Didn’t want anything to do with it.” She also played the banjo. As youngsters, I think they would play the banjo together once in great awhile.

Dwight Diller playing the tune.



  1. Andrew Suttles · September 20, 2014

    Wow! I can’t believe you are playing that so well already! That’s amazing. It sounds really great. I tried this very same tune a short bit last night, but it didn’t sound nearly so good.

    I just dialed up your blog to see if you’ve had a chance to play any of these yet and to recommend Richmond Falls. It’s in Sawmill and it’s really good. There are several good examples on YouTube.

    I think this Diller tab book is fantastic and his playing is great, too. I’m wondering why I’d never heard of it till recently. I think I found the link to it on BanjoHangout when I was looking for some Sawmill tunes. Diller has several.

    By the way, I adjusted my electronic tuner last night to 435 and I really think it makes these Sawmill tunes sound better. Have you ever tried that?

    • jm · September 20, 2014

      Thank you. A lot of double thumbing in the Diller tabs which makes it sound peppy. Very cool.

      I like sawmill/G model! I play a few tunes in sawmill, here’s Shady Grove. I figured this one out on my own for two finger thumb lead and it’s “crooked.”

      I also play Little Sadie using this tab as a guide:

      Not sure what you mean about the electric tuner. I have a cheap tuner that display a letter only. 🙂

      • Andrew Suttles · September 20, 2014

        I have a Little Sadie tab similar to that one. I *think* I got it from the Perlman book.

        Are you playing Shady Grove thumb lead? I have the tab from the Iverson site for Shady Grove – not sure how similar that is to what you are playing.

        My little clip-on tuner displays 440 on the top of it. I guess 440 Hz is the standard for A. I found out that when I push “the other” button on the tuner it changes this number. I learned that some old players used other standards other than 440 (like 435), so I set my tuner to that and re-tuned the strings. It essentially makes all the strings just a little lower in frequency. See if there is a button on your tuner to change the standard and play around with it a bit.

      • jm · September 20, 2014

        Interesting. I should price them, perhaps pick one up…

        The Shady Grove I’m playing is thumb lead but I used a clawhammer tab for the notes.

  2. Andrew Suttles · August 5, 2016

    jm –

    After all this time I’ve returned to this tune and decided to learn it. I’ve listed to you and Dwight play it here on your blog about 20 (or 50) times to get the tune down. This one is really fun to play! Did you ever learn any of the other tunes in Diller’s book?

    • jm · August 6, 2016

      Hey brother. I messed with most of them but that crooked tune is easy and fun so I play it most often. Good to hear from you.

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