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 Playing Advice: 4-String (Jazz, Blues & Other Trad Styles)
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Bix - Davenport Blues Banjo Solos

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Greenmeat - Posted - 11/03/2018:  11:45:27

On the other Bix thread they are talking about Bix's song Davenport Blues. I have put it up on my youtube channel a couple of times in the last few years. Here they are the one on my Pietsch that now belongs to the wonderful talented young Jack Ray and my trusty old OME 12" head - 17 fret Tenor.
In my Chicago years I played with several musicians that had been band members with Bix. They all had very interesting stories of what a great musician he was.
I hope you enjoy my versions of "Davenport Blues". Eddy "The Manhattan Minstrel" Davis.

davidcava - Posted - 11/03/2018:  15:48:19

 Love them Eddy. I found a piece of sheet music for a Bix solo of another song, and I want to play it on tenor banjo in single string. I can't quite figure out how to go about it, when it get's to Bix's solo. I know it changes keys throughout, but it's in Bb I'm not up on transposing this stuff to C instrument.

Greenmeat - Posted - 11/03/2018:  19:56:14

David here's me playing "I'll Be A Friend with Pleasure".
Now, a Cornet is an instrument pitched in the key of B flat -- The Banjo is what we call a C instrument -- pitched in the key of C. SO -- B flat is one whole tone below C -- SO, NOW -- for a B flat instrument to play your C scale (The Banjo's C scale) The B flat instrument (Bix's Cornet) would have to play a scale a whole step higher then his C scale.
NOW -- Bix on his Cornet would have to play HIS D SCALE to match your C SCALE. SO now -- you can understand why the Jazz music is written in the FLAT KEYS (Bb - Eb - Ab - even Db) It is because when you are playing in those keys the Bb instruments are playing in their (C - F - Bb- and Eb) GOOD KEYS FOR THEM!
So on the music on that youtube of "I'll Be A Friend" please note Bix is reading the key of the music, BUT he is a Bb instrument SO What key should you be reading the song in????? Hang in till tomorrow and I'll tell you if you haven't figured it out. Eddy

davidcava - Posted - 11/04/2018:  05:25:36

You have a great rendition Eddy, I love it, and I'll work on it. the sheet starts in the of Amaj? so I would need to play in the key of Gmaj to match it? and then when Bix starts his solo......he's playing in the key of Gmaj? so I'll have to play in the key of Fmaj to match it? So basically I'll have to lower his notes one whole step in the music to match him?

Thanks for the help Eddy......reading is hard for me, but I'll keep working on that too.

Edited by - davidcava on 11/04/2018 05:31:38

davidcava - Posted - 11/05/2018:  05:55:09

Ok Eddy, I've got it. I just sat down and played with it this morn, I was on the road yesterday. So the Key is Gmaj at the start of the sheet music, but the Bb instruments are reading it a whole step higher than my banjo, and then the key change to Fmaj when Bix starts his solo....etc.

I'm going to Work this up in both keys and see what comes out.

malarz - Posted - 11/05/2018:  06:06:52

Eddy, Thanks for that good, quick tutorial on how to match up horns--the flatted instruments--with the "C" instruments.


malarz - Posted - 11/05/2018:  06:14:26

And,, a question? If a tenor banjo player is only playing rhythm accompaniment and s/he knows chord shapes then it should be easy to play in those flat keys in which the horns play, right? I'm new to the instrument but I've discovered that if I can find the tonic chord then with a little thought usually I can find the other chords.

I don't play chord melody--yet--so I'm assuming that playing in the flat keys in that style is more challenging.


banjopaolo - Posted - 11/06/2018:  08:50:30

Great tune and great rendition Eddie... As always!
Thi is my banjo arrangement

davidcava - Posted - 11/06/2018:  14:15:17

That's a great version Paolo.

Don Lewers - Posted - 11/06/2018:  22:24:46

Sittin' here listening to Sir Eddy on tenor, and Monsieur Paolo on plectrum, playin' Bix ....... and enjoyed every minute, now, the best of both worlds!. ....... Don.

Greenmeat - Posted - 11/06/2018:  22:44:49

You said it "Lord" Don. That Italian guys really got it. Maybe we on this Hangout should have a Festival?

aintbrokejustbadlybent - Posted - 11/08/2018:  08:06:26


Listening to Eddy's version convinces me the blues were meant to be played on the banjo.

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