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Singing With Banjo Episode 3

Posted by dennism on Friday, November 7, 2014

Practice, practice, practice. "Gotta Travel On" is making progress implanting itself in my brane.

"Gotta Travel On" sounds exactly like "Worried Man Blues" in the first couple of bars. A "Worried Man..." tab came with the Cathy Fink DVD. The Divine Ms Fink's tab has a lot of hammer ons and pull offs. My preference would be to leave them out of my  "Gotta Travel..." tab and add them later as my skills improve.

It occurred to me that I glossed over an explanation of the technique. At its most basic, Ms Fink would have us strike a banjo string with our frailing finger on the 1st and 3rd beat in the measure. Then we would frail the chord on the 2nd and 4th beats.

Which string is struck? The one that matches the tune and (I guess almost always) it's a tone that's one of the basic tones in the chord. I'm not explaining that well, but quick and dirty, if a measure in a key-of-C song you're playing wants a "C" chord, then almost always the tune will ask for a C,E, or G on the 1st and 3rd beats of the measure.

I'm betting that that rule is going to be broken a lot. I need to tab out something else to help keep the practice interesting. Maybe "Puff the Magic Dragon."


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