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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: John Hartford "Gentle On My Mind"


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: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/348399

Phil - MO - Posted - 11/19/2018:  06:16:40


I'm trying to behave myself since breaking my hip after a hip replacement. I am playing my Dobro Dojo a lot so I don't bother the wife so much.
I found that John Hartford first recorded "Gentle On My Mind" with the same brand Dojo (supposedly purchased from Gruhn's for $1500) on a single cd in 1967. I found this recording on a 1968 vinyl and purchased a download.

My question is "did he tune the Dojo down to open e (3 frets down?") like he liked to do on his 24 fret banjos. I have heavier strings with a wound 3rd somewhere. I would like to know if anybody knows what key he is tuned to so I can play along.

Evan Swin - Posted - 11/19/2018:  09:33:33


If I remember everything correctly, the low tuning was something he didn't really start using a lot until more the early 70's, around the time of Morning Bugle. Along with that, the 24 frets were mainly used for low Eb and D tuning's in the 90's, and he had another one tuned to G which he would play songs like Foggy Mountain Landscape on.
On his banjo DVD, he talks a bit about Gentle on My Mind and does some versions which relate more to the earlier ways he played the song, including the original recording. The way he played Gentle on My Mind later in his career is a bit different, and was tuned low to E, Eb, or D. He also explains how he wrote it using a banjo just tuned to plain Drop C.
So, a regular tuned banjo or dojo played in C should be fine, and you could play it in either drop C or you could probably play along in G tuning as well to the original record. The way he played it later on was also done in C, but tuned down.

stanger - Posted - 11/24/2018:  11:16:22


quote:

Originally posted by Phil - MO

I'm trying to behave myself since breaking my hip after a hip replacement. I am playing my Dobro Dojo a lot so I don't bother the wife so much.

I found that John Hartford first recorded "Gentle On My Mind" with the same brand Dojo (supposedly purchased from Gruhn's for $1500) on a single cd in 1967. I found this recording on a 1968 vinyl and purchased a download.



My question is "did he tune the Dojo down to open e (3 frets down?") like he liked to do on his 24 fret banjos. I have heavier strings with a wound 3rd somewhere. I would like to know if anybody knows what key he is tuned to so I can play along.






Nope. John played in standard pitch for quite a long time, throughout the 60s and well into the 70s.  He eased in to tuning to low pitches, and tuning low seems to have have roughly corresponded to his experimentation with the dry, thumpy tone he came to prefer. 



John made many recordings of Gentle On My Mind, and each sounds quite different than the others. My favorite version was the one on "Glittergrass" a record he released on Flying Fish in the early 80s. 



regarfds,



stanger

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 11/24/2018:  19:30:41


Whenever I do Steam Powered Aeroplane I like to tell the audience that after Glenn Campbell recorded Gentle on my mind, John could afford to play bluegrass the rest of his life. ;)

flyingsquirrelinlay - Posted - 11/25/2018:  06:10:01


FWIW there is a very nice version of the song on Country Road TV, here's the link

://youtube.com/watch?v=5UwdhqEFbQU; Carl Jackson and Geln's daughter Ashley on banjo do a great job. Ashley, BTW, is a real piece of eye-candy.


Edited by - flyingsquirrelinlay on 11/25/2018 06:10:21

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