Jackson C Frank – Blues Run the Game (Tab)

Blues Run the Game (Tab)

Blues Run the Game is the up there with World Turned Upside Down as the best modern folk song. Both those songs are widely covered and not best known for the original versions (a defining characteristic of a great folk song).

Blues Run the Game was written by Jackson C Frank but has been more heard in its many cover versions by the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, Nick Drake, John Renbourn, Sandy Denny, Eddi Reader John Mayer and Laura Marling.

But my favourite is Bert Jansch’s version. And that was the strongest influence on my ukulele version of the picking.

The first thing to say about my take is that it uses the capo on the fifth fret. Usually I wouldn’t capo that high up but it was the only way I could get it onto the ukulele and keep it in the same key as Jansch’s version.

The second thing is the alternate picking. The thumb alternates between the g and C strings thumb and two finger style.


Buy the Jackson C Frank version
Buy the Bert Jansch version

View Comments


  1. tioma May 22nd, 2014 9:09 pm

    That is absolutely lovely! Is there any chance that you will arrange Rolling Stones’ ‘Wild Horses’ too?

  2. Woodshed May 22nd, 2014 9:47 pm

    tioma: Thanks! I’ll keep it in mind.

  3. tioma May 22nd, 2014 9:50 pm

    I’ll be sitting tight and hoping! :)

  4. Alec May 23rd, 2014 7:55 pm

    Fantastic. And it’s fun occasionally to have a song that uses a capo that high up; nice for a change of tone.

    If anyone hasn’t seen the Inside Llewyn Davis concert documentary Another Day Another Time, it’s fantastic and there’s a great version of this song in it (I’d neither heard the song or any of these artists before watching it) plus Avett Brothers, Gillian Welch, and lots of others vaguely in this genre. And Woodshed will be putting up a tab of Green Green Rocky Roads anytime, so get hip before then.

  5. Woodshed May 24th, 2014 9:22 am

    Alec: I haven’t seen that yet. I have terrible news: this post is sort of me making up for deciding not to do GGRR. Sorry!

  6. Alec May 24th, 2014 9:46 am

    Ah, I wasn’t really expecting you too. I just thought I’d try badger you into it. This will do, and it’s really fun to play!

  7. Bill April 3rd, 2018 10:14 pm

    I put a link to this on the Jackson C. Frank Facebook page, “Just Like Anything: The Jackson C. Frank Story.” Hope that’s ok.

  8. Woodshed April 4th, 2018 7:14 pm

    Bill: Of course! Thanks very much!

Sorry, Comments Are Broken Right Now