In Part 1 of the Essentials of Music Theory for the Clawhammer Banjoist, it’s all about keys, scales, and chords. Any time you’re playing the notes C, E, and G together, for example, you’re playing a C chord. How exactly do you figure out the allowable notes in a particular key? Armed with the rules of chord construction, you can now find any chord you want on the banjo fretboard; however, where we find those chords will depend on the particular tuning we’re in. Evie’s version for clawhammer banjo is in C major tuning, which is slightly different than double C tuning, with the first string tuned up to E from D. Evie’s playing on “I Love My Honey” is based on a steady fast bum-ditty rhythm with her thumb hitting the banjo head on the downbeats. To create these chords, all we did was take the root note of the chord (so a C chord would have C as its root note), skip one note in the scale, play the next note, skip another note in the scale, and play the next note. Now that we understand the rule of scale creation, we can also understand the rule of chord creation. Cripple Creek. Let’s now try creating a D major scale. All of the text and diagramÂ from the “Essentials of Music Theory” can also be downloaded as an ebook, in PDF format. To find the notes of the C Major chord, we need to locate a C, E, and G note. Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast. Meredith Moon - Cumberland Gap (Clawhammer Banjo) - YouTube The closest chord tone to our open 2nd string is the D note, found at the 3rd fret. Now, if we were to play a song thatÂ indiscriminately used all the notes on the keyboard, it would sound horrible. Like the subject of math or science, many folks have talked themselves out of understandingÂ before they even take a real shot at it, in so doing depriving themselves of the benefits that come with that understanding. Conveniently, these can all be found on the open strings of the banjo in this tuning. Copyright 2020 - Brainjo LLC, Owner of clawhammerbanjo.net Genre: Old Time Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time Key: C Tuning: Double C (gCGCD) Difficulty: Intermediate Posted by dbrooks, updated: 2/7/2010 Download: PDF Notes: This is tab written by Tom Berghan based on the ABC version of Coleman's March by … That being said, there is one C tuning that is much more chord friendly if you're willing to spend the time to get comfortable with it. Let’s take the example of the C, F, and G major chords. As such, the above tab represents what I tend to play for both parts. These 7 notes are the scale in that key. Music theory simply explains the logic behind those rules. Working on the new railroad with mud up to my knees, Working on the new railroad with mud up to my knees, We’ve decided to call a string that vibrates at 440 vibrations per second, for example, an A. We’ve decided to call a string that vibrates at 523Â vibrations per second a C. What we choose to call them is arbitrary. Just start with any note on the banjo fretboard, and play the “do-re-mi” scale. In this case, we’ll use the chorus of “Old Molly Hare.” Normally, each song will have the lyrics under each line of tablature. I first heard it via the New Lost City Ramblers, who performed a version impressively faithful to the original, as they were known to do. You’llÂ note that the open 2nd through 5th strings are all Gs and Cs. I tuned my tenor to FCFG, found a tutorial for the song on YouTube and kind of adopted it to four strings. I played an instrumental-only version (in the tuning of ) as part of the Steve Martin’s clawhammer … For this song, I tend to play the same thing on the banjo both while backing up the vocal line and when “solo-ing”. Lastly, it’s not important that you memorize the material here. These songs typically deal with prison chain gangs or railroad construction. We’ll be building the fundamentals first, and then learning how to apply them to specific situations on the banjo. To illustrate, let’s return to the piano keyboard again: So let’s create our C major scale. I sounds good but I have yet to get it entirely up to speed. 80 Kb per image) To View Online: Click the links. Double C tuning. “Nine Pound Hammer” is a prison and railroad work song dating back to the late nineteenth century. Now we know that every key has a set of chords that sound good in that key, and those chords are constructed from just the notes of the scale. The most convenient location to find it is at the 4th fret on both the 1st and 4th string. Cripple Creek is simply a banjo classic and is super easy to play, we think that all … So every key is going to have 7 primary chords that sound good. The bits of theory that aren’t practical, that are more about intellectual curiosity and truth seeking, are primarily the domain of academicians (though feel free to dig further on your own into the esoterica should you so desire!). Too many times music theory is taughtÂ with little or no regard to what parts are useful, or how to actually MAKE it useful. That’s it! To find the pattern, what we need to focus in on are the spaces, or the gaps, in the keyboard between the notes. Here’s what that sounds like. We won’t be covering the bits of theory that are purely of academic interest. Another alternative here, which will also give you all 3 notes of the full D Major chord, is to leave the 4th string open, like this: As you can see, knowing a bit of music theory, and how chords are constructed, gives you several options you might not have realized were available to you. Most tunes use the gDGBD tuning. But, understanding a bit of that logic can actually make your life easier as a musician. The following tabbed arrangement is written out for clawhammer banjo in what’s commonly known as double C tuning (gCGCD). And if anything is still unclear after going through this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. The harmonies are the notes that sound good when played alongside the melody notes. Music that fits within those rules you find pleasing. To find the 3 notes of the G Major chord, we need to locate a G, B, and a D on our banjo. 2) I’ll only be covering the parts that are USEFUL (and that’s not a contradiction in terms!). This is unlike the guitar, where the standard tuning is not “open” (if you strum the open strings of a guitar in its standard tuning, it’ll sound quite terrible), which allows the guitarist to play in any key out of this tuning. Also, you may think that to understand theory you need learn a bunch of symbols and Latin sounding names. The Level 2 This is an easy-to-read, large-print tab lesson book for 16 great traditional tunes, all in Double C tuning. Here, we can’t just stick to the white keys. So, in double C tuning, all we must do to finger a C major chord is finger the 1st string at the 2nd fret. You just need this if you want to write or talkÂ about music theory, as these labels help create a common language. It looks like this: These are essentially all the notes in the “Western Chromatic Scale”, so this is the set of possibilites you’re choosing from when you’re playing music on the banjo (though if you’re playing a FRETLESS instrument, you can choose to play sounds in between these scale notes). Music that doesn’t you find unpleasant (unless you’ve cultivated unusual tastes). That’s it. My primary objective here is to dump all the useful banjo-relevant bits of theory out from my brain and into yours. Inspirational and heart-lifting, I can't recommend this podcast (or Banjo Hangout) enough. By convention, we use Roman numerals to refer to these chords, as follows: I, ii, iii, IV, V, vii, vi. You can then review the concepts presented in the video with the subsequent transcript (plus diagrams) of the video, or proceed on to the Part 2 video.The very concept of “music theory” is associated with a lot of baggage. Click here, or on the book image below, to get it. As I said earlier, all music has 3 main elements: melody, harmony, and rhythm. To find the notes of the D major chord, we need to find the notes D, F#, and A. But there’s a couple of things I want you to keep in mind: 1) It’s probably not nearly as complicated as you think. As it turns out, some of these chords (I, IV, and V) are major chords, some of these (ii, iii, and vii) are minor chords, and one chord is neither major or minor (vi).Â So, the major chords are designated byÂ capital letters, the others a lower case. And that’s a really good place to start. You use this tuning for the old-time favorite “Soldier’s Joy.” (TABrite file) Can only be viewed with TABrite. for full listings. So now we’re fingering a C chord, EGCE (strings 1-4). Written by Cliff Carlisle, a country singer who gained considerable fame in the 1930s with suggestive, animal-themed ditties, Tom Cat Blues tells of the escapades of a promiscuous feline.. This podcast is fantastic for those who love to listen to the old-time and frailing/clawhammer styles of the banjo. As you may know, the two tunings I spend the most time in are standard G and double C. Standard G tuning, gDGBD, is used for songs in the key of G. Double C tuning, gCGCD, is used for songs in the key of C. If we wish to play songs in other keys but still use the same tuning relationship between the strings as these tunings (and not have to alter the way we play the tune in any way), we must use a capo, which we’ll discuss more about in a bit. Symbols and other arcana will only be discussed on a “need to know” basis. Zip file includes midi and text file. It can be heard on "Dave Douglass - Old-Time Banjo Tunes" CD. We find those sounds appealing because there’s an order in the way they’re put together. Now, for much of banjo playing, especially clawhammer style, memorizing scales isn’t that useful, and so the return on investment is low. An original song by Bart Veerman; Homesteader's Reel Melodic We’ve covered a bit of theory in some of the other modules, so if you’ve been through those, some of this may be a review. This is why if we wish to play a tune in another keyÂ but still use the same tuning relationship of the strings, it’s best to use a capo instead. Arranged by Dave Douglass; For A Friend Clawhammer style. Why, you ask, are some chords represented as a capitalized number, and some as lower case? It's Open C tuning (gCDCE) and has a lot in common, as far as fingerings are concerned, with G … Western Gem - this tune actually modulates, starting in “A” and then going to “E.” But to understand it, you just need to understand the concepts, which is what we’ll cover here. Disorganized sound, on the other hand, we callÂ noise. Visit Website ... (totw 1/10/2020). Here’s an example of what a typical song in the Ignoramus looks like. Working on open-c Clawhammer banjo scales and riffs with C, F, and G7 chords. A scale is the set of notes that define a particular key. So, here are all of the chords in the key of C. Again, the notes of the chord are highlighted in blue. Now, if we were to just finger these notes and leave the 4th and 1st strings open, we’d have DADD. Again, we’ll start on a D, and play “do-re-mi”. One definition for music is “organized sound”. If you’re playing a song in a given key, these are the notes you’ll be using (with occasional exceptions). I play Annabelle Lee in clawhammer by Sarah Jarosz on my tenor banjolele or uke - whatever I have out. We can also map this exact pattern to the banjo fretboard, as the frets on the banjo correspond to the keys of the piano. It spells out exactly what notes will sound good played alongside the melody notes at any point in time during the tune. Now, those of you who have any piano background likely know that the notes of the C major scale are simply the white keys of the piano. a#D#A#D#F (“Double C” capo 3) tuning, Brainjo level 3. Other tunings used in this book are gCGCD and gDGCD. In Part 1 of the Essentials of Music Theory for the Clawhammer Banjoist, it’s all about keys, scales, and chords. And, just as we only really have 7 primary notes to choose from when playing in any particular key, we also only have 7 primary chords to choose from when playing in any particular key. The very concept of “music theory” is associated with a lot of baggage. The song, along with “John Henry” and “Take This Hammer”, belongs to a group of songs that music scholars refer to as “hammer songs” or “roll songs”. Those chords would be G major, C major, and D major. 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