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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Simple Turnarounds

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Rob MacKillop - Posted - 12/14/2020:  01:04:55

I'm just working out a few good old turnaround cliches for myself, and thought some of you might find them useful. Three-note chords, two beats per measure, except for the Dm and Passing Note in the first, which share one beat each. No open strings. Let me know if these are of use. And if anyone wants to add more, be my guest - just a simple fret number system, such as 0023 for C major, would do.

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 12/14/2020:  01:24:43

I did a quick phone video, which I hope you can view:

banjopaolo - Posted - 12/14/2020:  02:11:32

I like the 2nd example with the top C remaining still and the other voices going down chromatic, I would resolve the dominant with a G7b13 with the Eflat on top 5456 (number of fret from C to A)

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 12/14/2020:  03:03:43

Sure, Paolo. As you are well aware, there are hundreds of variations. That G7b13 sounds delicious :-)

aintbrokejustbadlybent - Posted - 12/14/2020:  05:17:00

Nice Rob. 2nd example is new for me. Tasty. Hopefully you’ll have time for a few more?

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 12/14/2020:  05:46:58

Cheers, Mike. Probably will. Happy to see contributions from others too.

Tom Bzk - Posted - 12/15/2020:  08:05:56

All of this info , and in this format, is exactly what I am needing in my learning with limited time.
thanks again. Keep this stuff coming.

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 12/15/2020:  09:03:00

Cheers, Tom. I didn't invent this stuff, so it's good to share. And the software is a breeze to use, they only take me minutes. Have fun with it!

aintbrokejustbadlybent - Posted - 12/15/2020:  10:02:09

I think one of the most common turn arounds is the 1 6 2 5. So in the key of C that would be C, A7, D7, and G7.

4 7 6 5
5 6 5 4
5 7 7 5.

Or you can simple play the two lowest strings which is highly effective

4 7 6 5
5 6 5 4

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 12/15/2020:  11:20:11

Hi Mike. So your C chord has the notes from bass upwards: E D G# D which is out there :-)

I think you mean:


We read the numbers left to right usually. "x" = don't play this string

The main problem with this notation system is when we want to indicate frets from the 10th upwards, but for anything below that it is okay, as long as we all read the right way. I thought you were being very avant-garde for a moment! :-)

Now that I'm playing it correctly...very nice! :-) That two-bass-strings movement is fun to do.

banjerpicker47 - Posted - 01/10/2021:  20:19:30

Rob, Thanks for all of your very informative posts ! I am new to tenor banjo (one month or so), but old to music, been playing guitar (chord melody and Chet style) for 58 years, so my ears tell me what I want, but my tenor tuning chords are not up to par yet....but it is great fun learning the tenor...I almost went with guitar (chicago) tuning, but decided nope, I need to learn it as a me the tenor tuning sounds perfect....besides its good for this 74 year old brain ! thanks again for all you do...I have been working through Eddy Davis's tutorials and am having a blast with them ! Thanks again

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 01/11/2021:  01:13:04

Hi Larry. Yes, coming to tenor from guitar takes a bit of head work, and charts like the ones I present here did help me initially.

I tried Chicago tuning briefly, but it just didn't have the right sound: the chord spacing is so important to the overall effect.

Once your ear expectations meet your finger anticipations, you'll be alright. Keep at it!

Jim Yates - Posted - 01/11/2021:  08:23:56

[ C / Em Ebm |Dm / G7 / ]

C - 455X Em - 688X Ebm - 577X Dm - 466X G7 - 545X

[ C / A7 / |Dm / G7 /]

A7 - 767X

Transposed from mandolin - I hope I got these right Rob.

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 01/11/2021:  08:48:36

That's the spirit, Jim. Now, let's see what you've got:

C = 455x = ECG
Em = 688x = F# D# A# - or Gb Eb Bb - as my theory teacher would say, while peering over his glasses: "Explain." :-) Surely Ebm? or Gb6?
Ebm = 577x = F D A - ? Surely Dm?
G7 = 545x = F B G - yes :-)

The chords sound okay, Jim, but the analysis has me scratching me head.

The A7 thing works really well, if you do it this way:

C 455x
A7 767x
Dm 577x
G7 545x

I like that one! It's the old I VI ii V7 I

Maybe I'm not thinking straight with that first one, Jim. What is your understanding of it?

banjopaolo - Posted - 01/11/2021:  10:37:13

Rob I usually play the seventh on the II so in C it could be

C 455
A7 767
G7 545

actually the Dm like this sound like a F triad but if you're playing with a guitar or a bass that are playing the root that's better so you have the Cnote on the Dm going down to the B of the G7 chord

also I would say it is not forbidden to use the frist string where you can play 9th and 13th so it could be:

C 4455
A7 7678
Dm 5577
G7 5456

actually would be Cmaj7/9-A7b13-Dm7/9-G7b13
sounds more Bill Evans like!

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 01/11/2021:  10:46:36

Sure, Paolo. I was using Jim's chords.

That's the thing, there are so many variations. It's interesting to explore all this, and I thank you and Jim for contributing.

Jim Yates - Posted - 01/13/2021:  18:30:40


Originally posted by Jim Yates

[ C / Em Ebm |Dm / G7 / ]

C - 455X, Em - 799X, Ebm - 688X, Dm - 577X, G7 - 545X

[ C / A7 / |Dm / G7 /]

A7 - 767X

Transposed from mandolin - I hope I got these right Rob.

Sorry Rob.  Did I get it this time?  I tried to do it without grabbing an instrument.  I should never do that.  I think I was two frets low.

How about [C / C#dim / |Dm / G7 / ] ?  Lots of variations long as you start on the C and end on the G7.

Edited by - Jim Yates on 01/13/2021 18:36:21

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 01/14/2021:  01:23:48


Originally posted by Jim Yat

How about [C / C#dim / |Dm / G7 / ] ?  Lots of variations long as you start on the C and end on the G7.



In classic jazz three basic I-V7 progressions are used - here C -> G7:

- C / C#dim / Dm / G7    (as suggested by Jim above)

- C / Cdim / Dm7 / G7

- C / A7 / D7 / G7

Do try them and do notice the differences in sound - and if you want to somehow mix them - make sure that e.g. your piano and your bass player are aware of this - otherwise the band sound will become somewhat "strange".


Ag_econ_man - Posted - 01/16/2021:  13:07:04

This is a great discussion topic. it is motivating me to write down some of the turn-arounds Eddy Davis used in his videos.

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 01/16/2021:  13:12:32

Great idea, Joe, and maybe share some if you can.

Jim Yates - Posted - 01/17/2021:  09:06:36

Thanks for starting this thread Rob.

Ag_econ_man - Posted - 01/18/2021:  16:47:46


Originally posted by Rob MacKillop

Great idea, Joe, and maybe share some if you can.

Definitely share. Maybe I will start these in the next couple of weeks.

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