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Written/Posted by JanetB


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- Play count: 814

Size: 2,616kb, uploaded 10/18/2016 7:47:10 AM
Genre: Other / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Sometimes an event and a new tuning combine to inspire a tune, like in Hillside. It's a tribute to my mother's neighbor, Mrs. Fields, who passed away in her late nineties. Growing up with good neighbors is a blessing, isn't it. Hillside is the final resting place for some of my family members and now for dear Mrs. Fields. The new tuning for me is f#DGAD, which I found in an Art Rosenbaum resource book. It's a "D variant" and he calls it "Little Black Train" tuning. This recording is my first effort using three tracks with Garage Band using my Mac Traynham Whyte Laydie and Gold Tone cello banjo.

4 comments on “Hillside”

banjukebox Says:
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 @1:59:38 PM

Great first effort, Janet. I love the tune - seems to fit the setting.

Don Borchelt Says:
Thursday, October 20, 2016 @3:46:38 PM

Very fine picking and composing, Janet, just lovely, very much a fitting tribute. The tuning your are using was one that was used by Doc Boggs, who used it for Danville Girls, Pretty Polly, Prayer of a Miner's Child, and some other tunes. he also played a variant (f#CGAD), with the 4th string tuned down to C, so he could hammer on to the low tonic, the D note, which was now on the 2nd fret. This is essentially the open D version of sawmill tuning (gDGCD), except for the that 5th string at f#. For Boggs, it accentuated that clash between the minor third and the major third that comes when he was actually singing the neutral tone in between, on those old ballads.

VancePants Says:
Saturday, October 22, 2016 @8:17:02 PM

Excellent composition Janet! Makes me want to learn how to use Garage Band as well!
(Ironic, worked out a Wade Ward tune in open D today... )

JanetB Says:
Sunday, October 23, 2016 @8:55:51 PM

Thanks for the kind words and expanded understanding of the tuning. Garage Band is fun to try the harmony possibilities and add a layer of background accompaniment. Interestingly, when I play the cello banjo I used a different tuning to chord along. I liked the pitch contrast -- the low and high compliment each other without one drowning out the other. There's definitely a learning curve to using GB, but I've hit and missed enough to hit something sometimes!

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