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Jul 18, 2021 - 3:43:28 PM
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7067 posts since 8/30/2004

Here is what I consider one of Bill Keith's finest efforts. Juan Teruel worked on this piece for a consideral amount of time--over 20 years ago--it is a gem of a tune....Jack  p.s. listen to the Paris Banjo Sessions LP and you'll hear Bill lower his 4th string to a low C....He did the same thing with Auld Lang Syne...J

Nola Bill Keith

Edited by - Jack Baker on 08/09/2021 13:46:41

Jul 18, 2021 - 7:47:19 PM

12147 posts since 6/2/2008

Great tab.

But --

Measure 36: Lower D string to C for one note? Really?

Then tune it back up to D in time for the next measure? Really?

How?

Jul 18, 2021 - 10:48:10 PM

2910 posts since 4/19/2008
Online Now

tab is modified, original is


Jul 19, 2021 - 3:29:43 AM

csacwp

USA

2905 posts since 1/15/2014

The original Nola was played in gCGBD tuning, which was the standard tuning of the banjo before the folk "revival." You can hear a recording of it here (start 7:27 into the video):

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MFbu_dT7sgY

Edited by - csacwp on 07/19/2021 03:32:22

Jul 19, 2021 - 4:48:19 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

26314 posts since 8/3/2003

That used to be one of my favorite tunes to pick. I did have a problem with some of the long stretches and had to find another way to get the same or similar sound. Haven't even thought about Nola in years. Maybe I'll see if I can still remember it.

Jul 19, 2021 - 5:49:37 AM

7067 posts since 8/30/2004

Yep,
This is how bill played this tune. He usually had Scruggs D tuners on his strings. Getting this into Tabledit was the trick for me....Jack

Originally posted by Old Hickory

 

Edited by - Jack Baker on 07/19/2021 05:51:51

Jul 19, 2021 - 6:21:08 AM

6429 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

Great tab.

But --

Measure 36: Lower D string to C for one note? Really?

Then tune it back up to D in time for the next measure? Really?

How?


During COVID Bela Fleck put up a video of this where he and his wife acted like it was to most boring thing he has ever played.  He had his wife sit behind him and change the pitch of the 4th string.

Which is really weird as, like John stated, why not just use standard "tuning"?

Jul 19, 2021 - 6:22:09 AM

7067 posts since 8/30/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Jack Baker
Yep,
This is how bill played this tune. He usually had Scruggs D tuners on his strings. Getting this into Tabledit was the trick for me....Jack
 p.s. listen to the Paris Banjo Sessions LP and you'll hear Bill lower his 4th string to a low C....He did the same thing with Auld Lang Syne...J

Originally posted by Old Hickory

 


Jul 19, 2021 - 6:24:08 AM

6429 posts since 9/21/2007

Here is the video,

youtube.com/watch?v=RTGdZ-tXDzw

I could not figure out why they did that but I guess it was to try and make everything fit the bluegrass standard of "bass elevated".

Attached below is Fred Van Eps playing it if you don't want to bother with the video that John posted.


Jul 19, 2021 - 6:42:35 AM

7067 posts since 8/30/2004

Throughout most of the arrangement, Bill plays notes on the open D string. It is quite obvious why he de tuned that 4th string down to C. I think it was pretty funny when Abagail reached over and  tuned down that 4 D to a C...Don't analyze things so much it just happened that way is all...Pretty clever of Bill in my opinion...Jack

Originally posted by Joel Hooks

Here is the video,

 

Edited by - Jack Baker on 07/19/2021 06:52:35

Jul 19, 2021 - 8:54:40 AM

2910 posts since 4/19/2008
Online Now

No re-tuning here, where else might it be?


Jul 19, 2021 - 9:46:33 AM

7067 posts since 8/30/2004

Wrong source Rick. Listen to the Paris Banjo Sessions. It is in there several times....Jack
it appears in about 1:30 and then is repeated a few times. If you don't hear it then that's fine...I took lessons with Bill for several years and he definitely lowerd that 4th string in several places...Jack

Originally posted by mmuussiiccaall

No re-tuning here, where else might it be?


Edited by - Jack Baker on 07/19/2021 09:58:16

Jul 19, 2021 - 10:04:37 AM
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7067 posts since 8/30/2004

Bill had four tuners on banjo so it was easy for him to end that phrase on a lowered C note../

Jul 19, 2021 - 12:44:34 PM

12147 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Jack Baker

Bill had four tuners on banjo so it was easy for him to end that phrase on a lowered C note../


Silly me. I should have realized Bill Keith would have had his D-tuners on all 4 strings.  I've seen a photo of Earl Scruggs where it's clear that he, too, had Keith tuners all around. I'm not aware that he ever used them to change the pitch of 1st and 4th strings. My guess is he had them because for many years they were the best tuners money could buy.

Jul 19, 2021 - 1:18:27 PM

11003 posts since 4/23/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks
quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

Great tab.

But --

Measure 36: Lower D string to C for one note? Really?

Then tune it back up to D in time for the next measure? Really?

How?


During COVID Bela Fleck put up a video of this where he and his wife acted like it was to most boring thing he has ever played.  He had his wife sit behind him and change the pitch of the 4th string.

Which is really weird as, like John stated, why not just use standard "tuning"?

 


It is called "entertainment". You do things that are incongruous so that the audience (those "in the know") keeps their interest up. Reaching up to tune the strings in the middle of a tune is one of those things. Why would you swing your banjo back and forth like a pendulum and play "Grandfather's Clock?" Why would you thump the head, bang on the bridge toss it in the air or rake the strings below the bridge?

Entertainment.

Bill Keith was well versed in the banjo neck. He could easily have played the tune out of gCGBD...but he didn't, not because he couldn't (or because of some 'elevated tuning' conspiracy theory) but because it was cooler, more entertaining to do so.  And, once he had his own tuners to sell...well, ya gotta sell them. It certainly made me consider getting two more.

Edited by - trapdoor2 on 07/19/2021 13:20:52

Jul 19, 2021 - 1:40:33 PM

11043 posts since 6/17/2003

Bill told me why he added his 1st and 4th string tuners, but I forget which song he used them on. I wish he was still around. During my limited contact with him, he filled my head with so much stuff I swear some fell out my ears.

Edited by - gottasmilealot on 07/19/2021 13:41:26

Jul 19, 2021 - 1:43:56 PM

7067 posts since 8/30/2004

Exactly Marc,
Bill did lots of things on banjo back then that no one ever thought to do...Jack
Originally posted by trapdoor2
 

Edited by - Jack Baker on 07/19/2021 13:44:44

Jul 19, 2021 - 1:46:26 PM

7067 posts since 8/30/2004

As Marc said,
He used the tuners for fun, because he could and to make money off of his new tuners. Auld Lang Syne and Nola showed off his tuners very well and Bill was like magic with those gizmos...Jack

Originally posted by gottasmilealot

Bill told me why he added his 1st and 4th string tuners, but I forget which song he used them on. I wish he was still around. During my limited contact with him, he filled my head with so much stuff I swear some fell out my ears.


Edited by - Jack Baker on 07/19/2021 13:47:35

Jul 19, 2021 - 1:49:56 PM

7067 posts since 8/30/2004

Right Ken,
I was there during this period and watched it all happen. Bill used those tuners for every string just because he could. He used to do it at our lessons and I thought iwas pretty neat...Now you know more about Bill' a true renaissance man in so many was. And, he played beautiful Pedal Steel to boot....Jack

Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by Jack Baker

Bill had four tuners on banjo so it was easy for him to end that phrase on a lowered C note../


Silly me. I should have realized Bill Keith would have had his D-tuners on all 4 strings.  I've seen a photo of Earl Scruggs where it's clear that he, too, had Keith tuners all around. I'm not aware that he ever used them to change the pitch of 1st and 4th strings. My guess is he had them because for many years they were the best tuners money could buy.


Edited by - Jack Baker on 07/19/2021 13:54:33

Jul 19, 2021 - 1:57:21 PM

7067 posts since 8/30/2004


I think John Cohen, Is coming from a more  "Classical" approach on banjo is all...Banjo is not and will not ever be for "Sane" people HA...Jack  p.s. I have most of the VanEpps recordings and he was brilliant, especially for his time period...Jack   pps. Nola is a beast to play without making a mistake. I've tried many times and got close but that was all I could take...
Tabbing out this piece was pure H e double LL 
Originally posted by Joel Hooks
quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

Great tab.

But --

Measure 36: Lower D string to C for one note? Really?

Then tune it back up to D in time for the next measure? Really?

How?


During COVID Bela Fleck put up a video of this where he and his wife acted like it was to most boring thing he has ever played.  He had his wife sit behind him and change the pitch of the 4th string.

Which is really weird as, like John stated, why not just use standard "tuning"?

 


Edited by - Jack Baker on 07/19/2021 14:06:07

Jul 19, 2021 - 2:40:05 PM
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6429 posts since 9/21/2007

Oh yeah, I forgot that Bill Keith was part of Big Banjo and everything he did was designed to get people to buy his tuners. ;-)

Jul 19, 2021 - 5:08:44 PM

12147 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

That used to be one of my favorite tunes to pick. I did have a problem with some of the long stretches and had to find another way to get the same or similar sound.


I'm sure that eliminating stretches (between 3rd and 4th strings) was the reason Bill Keith played it in G tuning.

Jumping the octave to play the C on 2nd string 1st fret is a minor accommodation for people who don't have D-tuners on 4th string or play in drop-C. Same as some players do with Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, Prelude. While many players tune to drop C, so the banjo has the low C# and C notes that come up in the first third, many play it in standard G, jumping the octave for those few notes. Who really notices?

Jul 20, 2021 - 1:31:20 AM
Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

41177 posts since 3/7/2006

I wonder how van Eps played it. Keith played it in his own style and rarely played 2 notes one after the other on the same string. He also went up the neck, but utilized open strings in order to create a very legato sound. This contrasts with the way the Reno or Single String style sought to play fiddle melodies, where you often play successive notes on the same string, rarely use open strings, and then end result is a more staccato tone. I think, but I don't know, that Fred van Eps used more single string playing and more staccato?

Jul 20, 2021 - 8:20 AM

6429 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by janolov

I wonder how van Eps played it. Keith played it in his own style and rarely played 2 notes one after the other on the same string. He also went up the neck, but utilized open strings in order to create a very legato sound. This contrasts with the way the Reno or Single String style sought to play fiddle melodies, where you often play successive notes on the same string, rarely use open strings, and then end result is a more staccato tone. I think, but I don't know, that Fred van Eps used more single string playing and more staccato?


Wonder no more!  We happen to have FVE's arrangement in his own hand.  I also have this in "A notation."   See attached below.


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