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Banjo versus TV week 71: Two instruments, one capo

Posted by jrjenks on Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A check-in on the Banjo versus TV project — J.R.'s ongoing plan to spend more time on his banjo than on TV. This post covers 7/5/2009 through 7/11/2009.
Banjo 437 hrs, TV 406 hours

My banjo instructor, Dave, was the featured performer at the Old Town School's First Friday this month. It was good to see his performance, in part because it gave me a chance to see him practicing the things he's been preaching.

When Dave played with his partner Marian (of David & Marian), for example, I saw something that Dave had told me about back in week 47. Check this out:

Capo versus no capo

This is a trick that Dave often uses when he's playing the same instrument as another musician: two instruments, one capo. Both musicians are playing in the same key, but the fact that only one of them has a capo forces them to use different fingerings from one another. This means that the instruments sound complimentary, not duplicate-ey.

Also in the last week:

  • I was in Berkeley, California, on business this last week, about 6 minutes away from Bill Evans' place. Bill is one of the instructors at Midwest Banjo Camp (among his other accomplishments). He welcomes drop-in students so I had hoped to be able to set up a session with him. But unfortunately for me, Bill and his fiddle-playin' partner, Megan Lynch , spent the week in Colorado, playing with Steve Smith and Hard Road with Bill Amatneek and teaching workshops at the Big Horn Mountain Festival. I'll try again the next time I'm in the Bay Area.
  • My practice buddy switched from mandolin to guitar this week, on account of he got a spiffy new blue guitar. We found some Foggy Mountain Breakdown guitar tabs online and played it together. And, dang, we sounded good!

Cross-posted at J.R. Jenks' blog

1 comment on “Banjo versus TV week 71: Two instruments, one capo”

Banjov1 Says:
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @9:36:34 PM

Two guitars - one capo... What a great idea!!!

I never thought about it before. Thanks for the tip JR


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