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Banjo versus TV: Week 30

Posted by jrjenks on Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A weekly check-in on the Banjo versus TV project — J.R.'s resolution to spend more time in 2008 on his banjo than on TV.
Banjo 208 hrs, TV 176 hours

I really enjoyed my first lesson with Dave.

I'd asked Dave if I could record my lessons with him so I could review them later. The answer was not just yes, but hell yes, because Dave really thinks it helps. I listened to the recording from that first lesson and here's what jumped out at me:

  • I want to play and sing. Dave says these are four separate skills: (1) playing, (2) playing for a singer, (3) singing and (4) playing while you sing.
  • My F form and D form are really weak. We'll work on these, since they are two of the three important movable chord forms. (The barre is the third.)
  • Dave recommends a three-fingered approach to playing backup:



    This is a little tricky for me because I keep wanting to play "The Pinch" that I learned from my Hal Leonard book:

  • At this point, Dave wants me to keep my nose out of books. He says we'll be doing a lot of playing along with recordings and playing by ear. We might look at lick books a little: Janet Davis' Splitting the Licks, for example. Dave also mentioned an out-of-print lick book by Bill Knopf that he says is really good. (Update a couple days later: Out-of-print shmout-of-print -- I found a copy online and ordered it.)

 

My homework is simple: Work on Good Old Mountain Dew, the simplest of the half-dozen songs Dave asked me to choose. Here are the ground rules:

  • Find a lot of recordings of Good Old Mountain Dew and listen to them.
  • I'm supposed to figure out my own solo without looking at any books.
  • I should use these chords: Open G, 3-finger G, 2-finger D7, G as F-form between 3 & 5, C as barre at 5 and D as barre at 7

 

Due to schedule conflicts, I'll have two weeks to work on this before my next lesson.

Remember to paste the URL.
Cross-posted at J.R. Jenks' blog


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