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Dec 7, 2018 - 4:43:11 AM
15 posts since 3/21/2018

I'm trying to work up an arrangement of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas in G tuning. At one point the melody descends in 8th notes from the B (9th fret) on the first string.

I suppose the proper way to play is to alternate T/I/T/I, but that is very clumsy. I've been playing the notes with repeated downstrokes (I/I/I...). Is there a reason not to do that on occasion?

D.H.

Dec 7, 2018 - 6:06:07 AM
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dbrooks

USA

3489 posts since 3/11/2004

I think I know the phrase you are asking about, but I'm not totally sure. ("Your troubles will be out of sight"?) Here's some quick clawhammer tab up to that point to show how I would play that descending phrase. Maybe I'll finish the tab when I have a little more time.

David


Dec 7, 2018 - 6:16:43 AM

15 posts since 3/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by dbrooks

I think I know the phrase you are asking about, but I'm not totally sure. ("Your troubles will be out of sight"?) Here's some quick clawhammer tab up to that point to show how I would play that descending phrase. Maybe I'll finish the tab when I have a little more time.

David


That's the phrase.  Thanks for the suggestion - I  really appreciate your writing it out.  I'll have to take it home try it on the instrument; I'm not a good enough tab reader to "visualize" what that would sound like.  Looks like it won't be too hard to play, though (I've only been playing about a year).

D.H.

Edited by - Dave Hicks on 12/07/2018 06:19:07

Dec 7, 2018 - 6:19:59 AM

beegee

USA

20968 posts since 7/6/2005

I have never played it, so I just picked up my banjo and tried it. I could find no place where I had to single-string anything.

Which notes are you playing in what phrase?

Dec 7, 2018 - 6:35:55 AM

15 posts since 3/21/2018

It's the phrase below - the B is actually a quarter note. Now that I see it, I realize I could play the G on the 5th string, but I still have an adjacent F# and E to get into the D7 - slide, maybe?

D.H.


 

Edited by - Dave Hicks on 12/07/2018 06:38:15

Dec 7, 2018 - 7:09:03 AM
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janolov

Sweden

39054 posts since 3/7/2006

I would play te sequence at the Am7 as

  • downstroke first string seventh fret
  • thumb fifth string
  • downstroke first string fourth fret
  • thumb (drop thumb) second string fifth fret

Then downstroke at open first string at the D7 chord, and so on
This meand a T I T I ..... pattern and it is according to David's tab above.

An alternative is to simplify the melody:

  • downstroke first string seventh fret (use the pinky or ring finger on the left hand to fret)
  • pull off 7-5 fret first string. Use index finger to fret first and second string at fifth fret
  • downstroke second string fifth fret (use the index finger to fret both the first and second string)
  • thumb the fifth string


When you play the simplified alternative way I think that nobody will discover that you don't follow the melody to 100%.

When making arrangement of non-banjo tunes the solution is to avoid playing every melody note and find simplifications so you can concentrate on keeping the rhythm and playing the essential melody notes.

Edited by - janolov on 12/07/2018 07:19:56

Dec 7, 2018 - 7:21:25 AM

15 posts since 3/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by janolov

I would play te sequence at the Am7 as

  • downstroke first string seventh fret
  • thumb fifth string
  • downstroke first string fourth fret
  • thumb (drop thumb) second string fifth fret

... [omitted a bit]

When making arrangement of non-banjo tunes the solution is to avoid playing every melody note and find simplifications so you can concentrate on keeping the rhythm and playing the essential melody notes.


Thanks, that sounds good (and I see it's what dbrooks suggested, too).  I agree about stylizing melodies.  I think what I'm going to do for the middle 8 section is to play chords which suggest the harmony but don't follow the melody - let the listener do the work.

Unfortunately, I'm not going to get a chance to try this out until this afternoon.  (Maybe I should keep an instrument at work? wink)

D.H.

Dec 7, 2018 - 7:22:53 AM
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JLouis

France

11 posts since 3/7/2006

Two ways to do it - JLouis


Dec 7, 2018 - 9:54:26 AM

15 posts since 3/21/2018

Thanks to all for helping me think banjoistically* rather than linearly.

D.H.

* You would think that that word wouldn't be a typo on this site.

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