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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Playing in C without a Capo


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/390885

Eddie Collins - Posted - 06/06/2023:  11:21:15


I put some of the highlights from my book, The Key of C for 5-String Banjo, into a video, which has onscreen tab accompanying the various demonstrations. The biggest difference for many from playing in the normal key of G will be getting used to adding or subtracting notes as you hold your typical chords in the key of C: C, F and G7. Others may wish to share their approach, or elaborate on various elements in my presentation. The sound of playing without a capo is much richer, in my opinion.


Old Hickory - Posted - 06/06/2023:  12:15:53


Great intro and overview for those who haven't yet explored key of C in G tuning without capo.



Thanks for sharing.



Nothing to add.



 

monstertone - Posted - 06/06/2023:  13:42:10


Excellent explanation, demystifying playing in the key of C sans capo.



Thanks for sharing,

lanemb - Posted - 06/06/2023:  18:30:08


I give a personal recommendation for Eddie’s books. They are all really good. I still refer to them regularly.

Eddie Collins - Posted - 06/06/2023:  22:01:57


Thanks all for the positive feedback. Glad you are finding the tips useful.

chuckv97 - Posted - 06/06/2023:  22:30:43


Thank you, Eddie.. I bought your book years ago & it helped a lot. Many tunes at jams are in C or D so I had to learn things out of that position.
Here are a couple of ending licks I use :



 

stanleytone - Posted - 06/07/2023:  03:31:26


The first song i remember learning in C sans capo was the Stanley Brothers Just Because.A good one
to learn


phb - Posted - 06/07/2023:  04:06:49


I can also recommend Eddie's book. The whole subject seems so simple in hindsight but I had difficulties with it and the book was the tool to overcome them. I see lots of people capo high for C and D and wonder whether they do it for artistic effect or simply don't know how to do without.

Eddie Collins - Posted - 06/07/2023:  05:46:10


Exactly right Gary, Just Because is a good one in C, thanks for sharing your picking...glad you slowed it down, I can't pick it that fast anymore! And thanks to Chuck for the great tag licks!

Jack Baker - Posted - 06/07/2023:  07:02:08


Quick!


Someone call the fire Dept. Gary's on fire.....Jack   p.s. Great work Gary....




Originally posted by stanleytone

The first song i remember learning in C sans capo was the Stanley Brothers Just Because.A good one

to learn






 


Edited by - Jack Baker on 06/07/2023 07:02:27

Texasbanjo - Posted - 06/07/2023:  08:26:08


I sing a lot in the key of C, so I learn most of my songs in both G and C and that way I can either pick down the neck using C, F, G chords or capo at 5 and use G, C, D. It's according to the song and how it sounds backed up each way.

Good idea to know both ways so you can capo up or not.

Eddie Collins - Posted - 06/07/2023:  20:13:20


I agree with Sherry. A song like Rawhide, which is always played in C does sound better using a capo at the 5th fret to get more of the driving sound you'd expect in that song. In most moderate to slow vocal songs, I prefer the richer sound of playing my solo in the first position, so yes, it's good to know how to do both.


quote:

Originally posted by Texasbanjo

I sing a lot in the key of C, so I learn most of my songs in both G and C and that way I can either pick down the neck using C, F, G chords or capo at 5 and use G, C, D. It's according to the song and how it sounds backed up each way.



Good idea to know both ways so you can capo up or not.






 

Kevin S - Posted - 06/08/2023:  06:02:44


As always, great stuff from Eddie Collins. Thanks a ton!

steve davis - Posted - 06/08/2023:  06:47:38


You can pretend that the 2012 C is the 9789 G,5th fret C barre is then 12th fret G barre.

Now you can play Dear Old Dixie in C starting at the 5th fret.


Edited by - steve davis on 06/08/2023 06:48:42

monstertone - Posted - 06/12/2023:  10:31:17


Just as the capo enables playing in the keys of A, Bb, B, & C, out of G positions, being able to play in the key of C, sans capo, also allows playing in the keys of D, E, & F, with the capo. Likewise, any up the neck G licks or breaks can be moved down the neck & played in the key of C.

Rich Weill - Posted - 06/28/2023:  21:44:39


Like with a lot of things on the banjo, there’s an initial mental barrier to playing in C, but that doesn’t last long if you stick with it. Just know how to convert your chords and remember that the melody is going to be on one string higher. This poses a bit of a problem if the only rolls you know begin on the inside strings, as now a lot of the melody is going to be on the 1st string. So develop some rolls that begin with your middle finger on the 1st string. I’ve never liked a straight backward roll, so I learned a bunch of others: MITM TIMT; MTIM TIMT; M-TI MTIM; M-TI MTM-, etc.



And there's an additional bonus to learning to play in C. Because so many melody notes are on the 1st string, as the melody goes up the scale, you're forced to go up the neck using higher and higher chord inversions. Breaking away from playing on the first five frets only is another psychological barrier that's hard to overcome. Playing in C is a great way to break that barrier, too. 

NePlusUltraNo6 - Posted - 06/28/2023:  22:50:01


Coming from the plectrum banjo, I actually play in standard 5 string tuning with a C string, and since most of the plectrum banjo is chord melody, I haven’t needed a capo because I’m able to play the plectrum voicings, which eliminates the need for a capo.

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