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Soldiers Joy/Spotted Pony

Posted by AndyW on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

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Today's banjo practice has so far been a quick guerilla session of 20 minutes starting to learn Soldiers Joy. The fingering has come reasonably easily within that 20 minutes. 

And it's amazing how some things fall into place. The A part of SJ is a banjo lesson in hammer ons, alternate string hammer ons, and pull offs using the ring and pinkie fingers of the left hand.

This means that a lot of the 'off banjo' practice I put in over the last few days on guitar is directly transferable. 

 If course it's difficult to gain that feedback directly, but I'm pretty sure I've picked up the fingering much quicker than I would have done otherwise. 

Additionally, playing slowly I'm discovering makes you pay a lot of extra attention to getting off beat hammers and pulls at the correct timing. Something that would be very difficult to practice at higher speeds. 

Edit. A further half hour put Soldiers Joy in the bag. And another half hour saw Spotted Pony off too.

I think getting the patterns into my fingers is quicker now for two reasons. Firstly I am now reading the tab easier,  and am recognising hammers and pull offs straight away as the obvious things to do. Secondly, I am getting better at them physically.

West Fork Girls looks as though it has a couple of trickyish bits. Only it and Year of Jubilo and I'll be moving onto the completely different skill of memorising all the tunes.  

4 comments on “Soldiers Joy/Spotted Pony”

WayneConrad Says:
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 @11:09:40 AM

It's nice that your off-banjo practice paid off. Can you please describe what off beat hammers and pulls are?

AndyW Says:
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 @11:15:22 AM

Sorry, I just mean the 8th note hammer-ons and pull offs.

Maybe it's just from guitar, but I see the quarter notes as 'on beat' and inbetween 8th notes as 'off-beat'. Maybe I've got my terminology wrong. (Given our recent discussion of cut-time I probably have).

WayneConrad Says:
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 @8:11:44 PM

If I strike an eighth note on the beat (e.g. counting "1") with my right hand and then the next eighth note (e.g. counting "and") using a hammer-on or pull-off, is that what you're talking about?

AndyW Says:
Thursday, November 9, 2017 @12:50:59 AM

Yes, that's right.

I think I'm right to say that in 4/4 time playing in eighth notes there are 4 on-beat notes and 4 off-beat notes every measure. (I'm wrong to call those on beat eighth notes quarter notes though).

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