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Oct 5, 2018 - 12:28:28 PM
12 posts since 5/11/2012

I've played guitar for 35 years but am new to tenor(CGDA) and plectrum banjo(CGBD.) I've played plectrum for a few years and tenor for only a few months. I try to practice every day...I-vi-ii-V or blues progressions, and maybe a chord melody arrangement or two. I've been fortunate to gig with both instruments semi-regularly. The groups usually have sax, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, piano, bass, drums and banjo, playing early 20th century jazz. I've noticed I tend to play 4-note voicings on plectrum and 3-note on tenor. This isn't a conscious just feels right on the bandstand. At home, anything goes...single-note to 4-note voicings. What are you typically playing on similiar gigs? Note my 3-note voicings on tenor are on the CG&D strings; so, the range of my tenor vocings ends up being the same as the plectrum, but without the middle voice of the missing plectrum B string.

Thank you,

Oct 5, 2018 - 2:31:28 PM
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2274 posts since 4/19/2008

I prefer the equal and wide interval spacing of the tenor banjo, I also like that the target notes (3&7) are always directly across from each other on all string sets.

Oct 5, 2018 - 3:16:55 PM
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Players Union Member



171 posts since 11/20/2011

Many thanks for that chart!
Another Ryk

Oct 6, 2018 - 12:35:32 AM
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Polle Flaunoe


5321 posts since 3/7/2006


Yes - you´re right - on a tenor you´ll have the most natural melody/lead/solo voice on the 2nd string - of course sometimes moving up to 1st or down to 3rd string - and with underlaying harmony voices on the lower strings.

When the top note is placed on 2nd string you´ll then often use the 1st string to play some normally dampened color notes or whatever - often with up-strokes - and thus between possible on-going down-strokes on the three lower strings.

Do study the many fantastic YT recordings by the tenor master Eddy Davis - he for one knows to use this/these techniques.


Oct 6, 2018 - 3:04:48 AM

484 posts since 6/4/2015

Hi Steve,

No experience with plectrum at all here, so it's the tenor for me. And electric tenor guitar if I want a guitar sound, since six strings don't really suit me.

I have played in Trad bands quite a lot. Never been good at single-string, But the A string is usually for melody-making within the chord, most of the time, by 'pinkie-walking'. Also handy, for A-string melody making, is middle finger barré.

For melody within three-string or two-string harmonies, I'll just use whatever finger(s) most suited to 'melody-walking' second and/or third strings. Also within whatever the harmonies required, of course.

Hope this helps.

Veerstryngh Thynner

Edited by - Veerstryngh Thynner on 10/06/2018 03:12:38

Oct 9, 2018 - 4:18 PM



396 posts since 10/21/2009

Hi Rick,
Could you tell us how to read your chord chart?

Oct 9, 2018 - 10:00:17 PM

2274 posts since 4/19/2008

Start by focusing on the red intervals which are the 135 of the major triad. The chart is like a slide rule with the 12 keys to the left being the location of a virtual nut. (It looks like the chart is only laid out in C but revisualizing it makes it useful for all keys)


Oct 9, 2018 - 11:00:55 PM



396 posts since 10/21/2009

OK, I think I’m understanding this how do you play a C maj 9th? I don’t see the 9th notated on the fretboard anywhere.

( From:  Maj add 9; 1 3 5 9)

Also, is there an indicaton, in another chart, perhaps, which fingers are best to use where?

Edited by - rockyjo on 10/09/2018 23:07:37

Oct 10, 2018 - 5:19:08 AM

2274 posts since 4/19/2008

as seen at bottom of chart


Oct 10, 2018 - 10:36:04 AM



396 posts since 10/21/2009

OK, thanks, got that now.
Still not there yet.. how do I play a B? 1). Bar the 4 strings opposite the letter B on the left (has no circles); 2) and then what? Look for and play the 1s, 3s, and 5s? Doesn’t seem right.
(I could look at chord diagrams and prob back into how your method works, but it’s prob better to have it here from you for everyone.). Or maybe it’s just me who’s not getting it at first look.
If you could give a few examples I think it would help everyone.
‘Appreciate your help,

Oct 10, 2018 - 1:23:37 PM

2274 posts since 4/19/2008

Here's two virtual pieces of white paper plus a black rectangle to indicate a nut. They can be used to hide the other keys on the chart in order to help visualize the key of B. Look at the included inversions of B Major and find them on my chart.

Notice if there are a little more than athousand names of chords and seven inversions of each that's 7,000+ chords which would be impossible to memorize and that is why I developed this chart in order to work them out by knowing the theory alone. Geeze! at least it's all on one page.

Oct 12, 2018 - 1:06:11 PM

12 posts since 5/11/2012

Thank you for all the replies. Lots of good ideas in here!

Oct 12, 2018 - 5:10:29 PM

7 posts since 6/22/2012

Boy do I have alot to learn ?

Oct 12, 2018 - 6:13:54 PM

2274 posts since 4/19/2008

Originally posted by CappyBanjo

Boy do I have a lot to learn ?

Keep in mind that there are only 12 notes so it is simple math!

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