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Aug 2, 2021 - 12:13:48 PM
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114 posts since 11/26/2020

Greetings!

I'm slowly trying to learn the many fundamentals of banjo (along with some related music theory), and in the process, I've been trying to relate guitar tunings and chords of a given song, to the tunings and chords likely to be played in accompaniment by the banjo.

Let's take (as an example), the age-old song Shady Grove. I first learned to play this song on guitar, tuned to Double Drop D (DADgbd), using just two relatively simple chords, D5 (000230) and Csus2? (x30030).

But my question is this . . . If I want to try to use this as a learning tool for banjo, and accompany someone (with banjo), who is playing this song on guitar in this way, what banjo tuning and banjo chords would be best to accompany them with? Would it remain D and C chords of some form in open G tuning? Or would I want to use an alternative tuning on the banjo, something like open D (?), but with the same chords? Or, would I use different chords altogether?

I assume that it all has to do with 'key', and since it's Drop D tuning (at least on the guitar), with a D chord both starting and finishing the song, I'll assume (?), that the key is D, but I'm puzzled by the other parts (i.e., tuning and chords on banjo)?

Please forgive my ignorance when it comes to such music theory (I'm still learning!), but thank you for your time, consideration, assistance, and patience. yes

Edited by - Patriot on 08/02/2021 12:14:57

Aug 2, 2021 - 1:01:13 PM

20 posts since 5/15/2018

Most banjo players use Sawmill tuning for Shady Grove gDGcd but that puts you in the key of G Mixolydian and you’d have to capo pretty high to get the key of D. I’d probably use the related tuning aDGad to get similar fingerings for the key of D but since you already know it in Double Drop D you could start by using standard G tuning with the fifth string raised to a….. aDBbd to keep fingerings your familiar with then decide later if you want to lower the b to a to get more traditional banjo fingerings later if you want.

Aug 2, 2021 - 1:07:46 PM

114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by kr. . . but since you already know it in Double Drop D you could start by using standard G tuning with the fifth string raised to a….. aDBbd to keep fingerings your familiar with . . .

Excellent! Thank you for that!

Does "5th string raised to A" mean 5th string capo'd at 7th? And did you mean to say . . . "aDGbd"?

Edited by - Patriot on 08/02/2021 13:10:32

Aug 2, 2021 - 1:27:52 PM

1198 posts since 1/9/2012

Patriot --

And here's a more abstract, music-theory type answer:

Over the centuries (!), banjo has been played in many ways and styles. Essentially all still have their proponents. I believe that the most common styles of 5-string banjo over the past 60 years or so have involved a substantial dose of droning and open strings. The droning is typically on the base notes of the tonic and dominant (I and V) chords. In the key of G, that's G and D; in C, it's C and G; and, relevant to your question, in D, it's D and A.

(By the way, 5th string raised to A should be possible by re-tuning rather than requiring a capo -- which would certainly work, too.)

Re-tuning the others is to get more opportunities of open strings and the drones of choice. The drone on the 5th note of the scale works for standard major and minor scales. The there are many others and other types of chords. Many parts of banjo culture refer to that as "atmosphere" rather than using the official music theory names.

Aug 2, 2021 - 1:41:18 PM

20 posts since 5/15/2018

Yes, I mistyped, I meant aDGbd and depending upon your banjo it may be prudent to use a fifth string capo to raise it to an a.

Aug 2, 2021 - 2:08:54 PM
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9 posts since 11/18/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Patriot

Greetings!

I'm slowly trying to learn the many fundamentals of banjo (along with some related music theory), and in the process, I've been trying to relate guitar tunings and chords of a given song, to the tunings and chords likely to be played in accompaniment by the banjo.

Let's take (as an example), the age-old song Shady Grove. I first learned to play this song on guitar, tuned to Double Drop D (DADgbd), using just two relatively simple chords, D5 (000230) and Csus2? (x30030).

But my question is this . . . If I want to try to use this as a learning tool for banjo, and accompany someone (with banjo), who is playing this song on guitar in this way, what banjo tuning and banjo chords would be best to accompany them with? Would it remain D and C chords of some form in open G tuning? Or would I want to use an alternative tuning on the banjo, something like open D (?), but with the same chords? Or, would I use different chords altogether?

I assume that it all has to do with 'key', and since it's Drop D tuning (at least on the guitar), with a D chord both starting and finishing the song, I'll assume (?), that the key is D, but I'm puzzled by the other parts (i.e., tuning and chords on banjo)?

Please forgive my ignorance when it comes to such music theory (I'm still learning!), but thank you for your time, consideration, assistance, and patience. yes


Patriot, I've seen key and tuning used interchangably a lot since I've been a member on this site.  I think that it is important to know that you can play in any key out of any tuning.  Though there may be an effect (sound) or ease of use playing out of a certain tuning, tuning does not dictate the key.  If you want to stay in G tuning at a basic level you would just sound the same chords as the guitar.

Also, this maybe helpful, the song is usually in the key of Dmin.  It looks like you are omitting the 3rd on the Dmin chord playing it as D5 which is fine as the melody is most likely stating that it is minor.  I have heard it played mostly using Dmin, C, and F.

Aug 2, 2021 - 2:50:58 PM

114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by davidppp

Patriot --

. . . The droning is typically on the base notes of the tonic and dominant (I and V) chords. In the key of G, that's G and D; in C, it's C and G; and, relevant to your question, in D, it's D and A.

Re-tuning the others is to get more opportunities of open strings and the drones of choice. The drone on the 5th note of the scale works for standard major and minor scales.


AWE-some! Very-very helpful. Thank you for that, David! I've been watching some other videos on chords and keys in Music Theory, and it's slowly, ever-so-slowly, starting to come together for me.

Aug 2, 2021 - 2:56:51 PM

114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Ethel The Cat
quote:
Originally posted by Patriot

Greetings!

I'm slowly trying to learn the many fundamentals of banjo (along with some related music theory), and in the process, I've been trying to relate guitar tunings and chords of a given song, to the tunings and chords likely to be played in accompaniment by the banjo.

Let's take (as an example), the age-old song Shady Grove. I first learned to play this song on guitar, tuned to Double Drop D (DADgbd), using just two relatively simple chords, D5 (000230) and Csus2? (x30030).

But my question is this . . . If I want to try to use this as a learning tool for banjo, and accompany someone (with banjo), who is playing this song on guitar in this way, what banjo tuning and banjo chords would be best to accompany them with? Would it remain D and C chords of some form in open G tuning? Or would I want to use an alternative tuning on the banjo, something like open D (?), but with the same chords? Or, would I use different chords altogether?

I assume that it all has to do with 'key', and since it's Drop D tuning (at least on the guitar), with a D chord both starting and finishing the song, I'll assume (?), that the key is D, but I'm puzzled by the other parts (i.e., tuning and chords on banjo)?

Please forgive my ignorance when it comes to such music theory (I'm still learning!), but thank you for your time, consideration, assistance, and patience. yes


. . . If you want to stay in G tuning at a basic level you would just sound the same chords as the guitar.

Also, this maybe helpful, the song is usually in the key of Dmin.  It looks like you are omitting the 3rd on the Dmin chord playing it as D5 which is fine as the melody is most likely stating that it is minor.  I have heard it played mostly using Dmin, C, and F.


Ethel,

Thank you for this. This is also very helpful.

So open G tuning on the banjo is compatible with standard tuning in the guitar, such that an A, B or C chord on open-G banjo is the same as an A, B or C chord on a standard tuned (EADgbe) guitar? If so, that alone is huge information for me!

And secondly, just to be clear, are you saying that Shady Grove is most often heard using Dm, C and F chords on the open-G tuned banjo?

Aug 2, 2021 - 3:56:56 PM
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9 posts since 11/18/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Patriot
quote:
Originally posted by Ethel The Cat
quote:
Originally posted by Patriot

Greetings!

I'm slowly trying to learn the many fundamentals of banjo (along with some related music theory), and in the process, I've been trying to relate guitar tunings and chords of a given song, to the tunings and chords likely to be played in accompaniment by the banjo.

Let's take (as an example), the age-old song Shady Grove. I first learned to play this song on guitar, tuned to Double Drop D (DADgbd), using just two relatively simple chords, D5 (000230) and Csus2? (x30030).

But my question is this . . . If I want to try to use this as a learning tool for banjo, and accompany someone (with banjo), who is playing this song on guitar in this way, what banjo tuning and banjo chords would be best to accompany them with? Would it remain D and C chords of some form in open G tuning? Or would I want to use an alternative tuning on the banjo, something like open D (?), but with the same chords? Or, would I use different chords altogether?

I assume that it all has to do with 'key', and since it's Drop D tuning (at least on the guitar), with a D chord both starting and finishing the song, I'll assume (?), that the key is D, but I'm puzzled by the other parts (i.e., tuning and chords on banjo)?

Please forgive my ignorance when it comes to such music theory (I'm still learning!), but thank you for your time, consideration, assistance, and patience. yes


. . . If you want to stay in G tuning at a basic level you would just sound the same chords as the guitar.

Also, this maybe helpful, the song is usually in the key of Dmin.  It looks like you are omitting the 3rd on the Dmin chord playing it as D5 which is fine as the melody is most likely stating that it is minor.  I have heard it played mostly using Dmin, C, and F.


Ethel,

Thank you for this. This is also very helpful.

So open G tuning on the banjo is compatible with standard tuning in the guitar, such that an A, B or C chord on open-G banjo is the same as an A, B or C chord on a standard tuned (EADgbe) guitar? If so, that alone is huge information for me!

And secondly, just to be clear, are you saying that Shady Grove is most often heard using Dm, C and F chords on the open-G tuned banjo?


Patriot, the tuning of the instrument just dictates were the notes are going to fall on the fretboard.  Dmin is made up of the notes D, F and A.  Regardless of the tuning all those notes are still found on the fretboard and can be played to sound a Dmin chord.

Most folks use different tunings to make something easier to play, or sound a certain way, but really they are just changing the position of the where the notes fall on the fretboard.  A Dmin is still made up of the same notes regardless of the tuning that your banjo is in.  Like I said, the tuning does not dictate the key.

No, I am not saying that Shady Grove is often heard using Dmin, C, and F chords on the open-G tuned banjo.  I am saying the most common used, at least from my experience, has been that the harmony used for Shady Grove the song is uses Dmin, C, and F chords regardless of the instrument or the tuning.  Hope that makes sense!

Aug 2, 2021 - 5:59:27 PM
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YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

375 posts since 5/11/2021
Online Now

Chords are Chords. No matter what instrument and no matter what tuning, a C major chord is always C-E-G and a G major chord is always G-B-D. This is true of all chords, including the chords you play in Shady Grove.

Play the same chords that you'd play on guitar, using the banjo. The finger placement and chord shapes will be different, but the notes will be the same.

Everything else is stylistic flavor.

Aug 2, 2021 - 11:05:39 PM

banjoy

USA

9795 posts since 7/1/2006

I cannot speak to which tuning will be best for you for a specific tune, but I can add to the information already given in this thread which will hopefully be of some help.

The key a tune is in and chords in general are completely independent of any instrument. Any instrument, whether it's a string instrument, a woodwind or brasswind, even keyboards, can play any chord. Any chord is the same across all instruments. There is no difference.

What IS different is how you obtain those notes. That is unique to every instrument. String instruments have the unique ability to change tunings, which will change how you find those notes. But the notes never change. The instrument has nothing to do with that nor does how that instrument is tuned. All that changes is how those notes are made.

Others have already made those points in this thread so I hope this helps drive home the idea. Some musical ideas are universal and apply to all instruments, and that includes keys and chords, rhythm and time. As with musical notes, any instrument can play any rhythm, in any time signature, all that changes from instrument to instrument is how you do it.

As far as your question mark (?) asking if "transposing" is the correct term, no it is not. Transposing refers to changing from one key to another -- something that can be done on any instrument. For example, if you learned a tune in the key of C, and want to play it in the key of A -- that's transposing. If you learned a tune in C on one instrument and want to play the same tune in the same key on a different instrument, that's not transposing. It's just learning a different instrument to play the same thing. That's all. Probably an appropriate musical term that comes close would be "transcribing" but that's not entirely correct either as that implies it's all written down. There is no musical term to describe just changing instruments in the same key to play the same song. It's just changing instruments. Nothing technical about that!

Edited by - banjoy on 08/02/2021 23:15:18

Aug 3, 2021 - 12:53:17 AM
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2910 posts since 4/19/2008

The O.P. wants to make what I would call a "musical adaptation" from the guitar to the banjo. Being that a banjo is known to use many open tunings a multitude of possibilities arise. To start this process I always break down the pitches needed to play all the chords in the song and determine if one of them is a drone. Most of the time this information has an added benefit in that it will spell out a key and it's mode. The two chords in question here only contain four pitches between them, DGAC with D being additionally used as a drone on the upper strings ( notice there are no E, F or B notes to help spell the mode). As an example, here are two possible ways to go: If you tune the banjo to dropped C the two chords could be fingered D5 x2230, Csus2 o0030. Secondly, If you want to go for the most open strings, tune to aCGAD and finger the chords D5 o2200, Csus2 x0010.

Edited by - mmuussiiccaall on 08/03/2021 00:57:57

Aug 3, 2021 - 7:21:33 AM
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3866 posts since 3/28/2008

You could tune aDGBD (standard G tuning, but with the 5th string capo'd up two frets). Then use the two-fingered D7 chord (fingered 0210, low to high) and a C chord. (If you like, you can modify the C to a Cadd2 by leaving the 1st string open: 2010.)

That D7 fingering is actually ambiguous--neither major nor minor--because it has no 3rd in it (the third would be an F note for Dm, or an F# for Dmaj). This gives it a more open feel that'd be suitable for a modal tune like "Shady Grove".

And I second what's been said above about the meaning and relationship of key, chords, and tuning.

Aug 3, 2021 - 9:20:29 AM

114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by YellowSkyBlueSun

Chords are Chords. No matter what instrument and no matter what tuning, a C major chord is always C-E-G and a G major chord is always G-B-D. This is true of all chords, including the chords you play in Shady Grove.

Play the same chords that you'd play on guitar, using the banjo. The finger placement and chord shapes will be different, but the notes will be the same.

Everything else is stylistic flavor.


Why in the WORLD I didn't make this connection before now, is beyond me, because this is so simple, so basic, and makes such perfect sense. Of course, as you've indicated, depending on the banjo tuning used, those same chords might involve convoluted, uncomfortable positioning of the fingers on the fingerboard, but this posting and the information it has provided, has been very helpful. From here on in, no matter which instrument, or which tuning, all I have to do is make sure that I'm fingering the same three notes of the triad. Duh! What a revelation! Thank you!

Aug 3, 2021 - 9:26:48 AM

114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

I cannot speak to which tuning will be best for you for a specific tune, but I can add to the information already given in this thread which will hopefully be of some help.

The key a tune is in and chords in general are completely independent of any instrument. Any instrument, whether it's a string instrument, a woodwind or brasswind, even keyboards, can play any chord. Any chord is the same across all instruments. There is no difference.

What IS different is how you obtain those notes. That is unique to every instrument. String instruments have the unique ability to change tunings, which will change how you find those notes. But the notes never change. The instrument has nothing to do with that nor does how that instrument is tuned. All that changes is how those notes are made.

Others have already made those points in this thread so I hope this helps drive home the idea. Some musical ideas are universal and apply to all instruments, and that includes keys and chords, rhythm and time. As with musical notes, any instrument can play any rhythm, in any time signature, all that changes from instrument to instrument is how you do it.

As far as your question mark (?) asking if "transposing" is the correct term, no it is not. Transposing refers to changing from one key to another -- something that can be done on any instrument. For example, if you learned a tune in the key of C, and want to play it in the key of A -- that's transposing. If you learned a tune in C on one instrument and want to play the same tune in the same key on a different instrument, that's not transposing. It's just learning a different instrument to play the same thing. That's all. Probably an appropriate musical term that comes close would be "transcribing" but that's not entirely correct either as that implies it's all written down. There is no musical term to describe just changing instruments in the same key to play the same song. It's just changing instruments. Nothing technical about that!


Very good! And yes, all of this helps underscore what has already been said just previously (immediately above). It's helped to reinforce it, and I can't possibly overstate how fundamentally 'clarifying' this has been.

Also, thanks for clarifying the terms "transposing" vs. "transcribing". This too makes perfect sense. So my thanks to you for the added education.

Aug 3, 2021 - 9:32:35 AM
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banjoy

USA

9795 posts since 7/1/2006

Patriot

I think everyone here is helpful in their own way. Different folks have different ways to describe things so it's always good to ask questions as you have and see answers from so many different points of view that pretty much say the same thing.

Also, while not a musical term, I really like mmuussiiccaall 's description of "musical adaptation" which is exactly what you're doing. Adapting. Works for me.

All of this will become more clear to you over time, it will sink in. Some ideas quicker than others, but it's all there, it's all good.

All the best to you.

Aug 3, 2021 - 9:38:53 AM
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114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by mmuussiiccaall

. . . As an example, here are two possible ways to go: If you tune the banjo to dropped C the two chords could be fingered D5 x2230, Csus2 o0030. Secondly, If you want to go for the most open strings, tune to aCGAD and finger the chords D5 o2200, Csus2 x0010.


Yup, this is precisely the kind of specific information that I was hoping to solicit when I first opened (or wrote) this thread. The idea was to collect different banjo tunings, along with compatible chords in those tunings, that would allow me to play alongside a guitarist playing the same song (Shady Grove), on a double drop D tuned guitar. But to my surprise, I've learned much-much more here along the way. It's been incredibly helpful, and now, I've got DAYS ahead to sit with the two instruments, to assimilate all of it, which is where the learning truly begins. I'll be mapping-out the principal triads, for each banjo tuning, in each key, and studying them all until the cows come home!

So, thank you, sir! I'm grateful to you and everyone here, for these many insightful contributions.

Aug 3, 2021 - 9:41:38 AM
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114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

You could tune aDGBD (standard G tuning, but with the 5th string capo'd up two frets). Then use the two-fingered D7 chord (fingered 0210, low to high) and a C chord. (If you like, you can modify the C to a Cadd2 by leaving the 1st string open: 2010.)

That D7 fingering is actually ambiguous--neither major nor minor--because it has no 3rd in it (the third would be an F note for Dm, or an F# for Dmaj). This gives it a more open feel that'd be suitable for a modal tune like "Shady Grove".

And I second what's been said above about the meaning and relationship of key, chords, and tuning.


Another (alternate) approach to playing this song, which I will most definitely try to work with. Everything I've said here (above), applies to you as-well, Ira! Thank you for responding to this thread. yes

Edited by - Patriot on 08/03/2021 09:50:49

Aug 3, 2021 - 9:48:38 AM

114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

Patriot

I think everyone here is helpful in their own way. Different folks have different ways to describe things so it's always good to ask questions as you have and see answers from so many different points of view that pretty much say the same thing.

Also, while not a musical term, I really like mmuussiiccaall 's description of "musical adaptation" which is exactly what you're doing. Adapting. Works for me.

All of this will become more clear to you over time, it will sink in. Some ideas quicker than others, but it's all there, it's all good.

All the best to you.


Thanks, Frank! And yes, you're absolutely right! It's ALL beginning to sink in, ever-so-slowly. What I've learned here yesterday and today, no matter how simple it may seem to others, has been absolutely revolutionary and "eye-opening" for me as relative beginner.

Late yesterday, I also encountered (and viewed) the "Music Theory for Banjo Lesson #4 (Chords)" offered by banjo instructor Eli Gilbert, and the timing could not have been better, because it synchronized with, and further reinforced, what I was learning from others here. So it truly has been a great day or two!

Thanks again, and best of luck to you as well!

Edited by - Patriot on 08/03/2021 09:53:51

Aug 5, 2021 - 7:35:38 AM
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12160 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

...If you learned a tune in C on one instrument and want to play the same tune in the same key on a different instrument, that's not transposing. It's just learning a different instrument to play the same thing. That's all. Probably an appropriate musical term that comes close would be "transcribing" but that's not entirely correct either as that implies it's all written down.


I'd call what Patriot wants to do "translating" or "transferring."

These are also not necessarily musical terms. But I think they describe the goal.

Aug 5, 2021 - 7:43:41 AM

12160 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Patriot
Why in the WORLD I didn't make this connection before now, is beyond me, because this is so simple, so basic, and makes such perfect sense. Of course, as you've indicated, depending on the banjo tuning used, those same chords might involve convoluted, uncomfortable positioning of the fingers on the fingerboard, 

Are you familiar with the concept of chord  "voicing" on guitar?

Voicing applies to banjo chords, too, of course.

That's what this is all about.

Aug 5, 2021 - 9:43:02 AM

114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by Patriot
Why in the WORLD I didn't make this connection before now, is beyond me, because this is so simple, so basic, and makes such perfect sense. Of course, as you've indicated, depending on the banjo tuning used, those same chords might involve convoluted, uncomfortable positioning of the fingers on the fingerboard, 

Are you familiar with the concept of chord  "voicing" on guitar?


In a word . . . "nope".

Aug 5, 2021 - 10:27:16 AM

114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Patriot
quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by Patriot
Why in the WORLD I didn't make this connection before now, is beyond me, because this is so simple, so basic, and makes such perfect sense. Of course, as you've indicated, depending on the banjo tuning used, those same chords might involve convoluted, uncomfortable positioning of the fingers on the fingerboard, 

Are you familiar with the concept of chord  "voicing" on guitar?


In a word . . . "nope", and frankly, I'm not quite sure what inversions have to do with transcribing guitar chord for banjo (?), but oddly enough, this very question has surfaced as one of my key questions for music theory instructors . . . what purpose do inversions actually serve?

In other words, if it's the same two, three or four notes being played on the same instrument, but just located at different positions or different sequence on the fingerboard, then how is that useful? Is it done simply to add a different flavor to the same chord? No clue!


Aug 5, 2021 - 12:27:59 PM

12160 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Patriot
... I'm not quite sure what inversions have to do with transcribing guitar chord for banjo (?), but oddly enough, this very question has surfaced as one of my key questions for music theory instructors . . . what purpose do inversions actually serve?

In other words, if it's the same two, three or four notes being played on the same instrument, but just located at different positions or different sequence on the fingerboard, then how is that useful? Is it done simply to add a different flavor to the same chord? No clue!

You have a lot to learn and I am not a lot of a teacher! So you could get a quick introduction by reading here.

What inversions has to do with transferring guitar chords to banjo is that by having two fewer strings on banjo, you may have to put chords elsewhere, depending on the sound you want to make.

The choice of voicing or inversion always comes down to the sounds you want to make (or maybe what's conveniently playable at any moment). There are subjective, expressive, creative and practical reasons for choosing the "stack" (or order of chord tones) that we play. Maybe it's to put the harmony above the melody. Or to put it below the melody. Often, it's to put the chord's defining "color" note at the very top. Think C Major 7, for example. There's ways to play it with an open B string, with or without the root note C. But they don't convey the feel of C Major 7. Fingerings/voicings/inversions that put the B on top of the stack (such as 1st string 9th fret) tend to sound like C Major 7.

As the linked article says, inversion choices can make for more pleasing chord changes.

I think inversions is one of those aspects of theory that people know to some extent without knowing they know it. 

Aug 5, 2021 - 2:07:34 PM

5842 posts since 6/30/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Patriot

Greetings!

I'm slowly trying to learn the many fundamentals of banjo........Let's take (as an example), the age-old song Shady Grove. I first learned to play this song on guitar, tuned to Double Drop D (DADgbd), using just two relatively simple chords, D5 (000230) and Csus2? (x30030).

But my question is this . . . If I want to try to use this as a learning tool for banjo, and accompany someone (with banjo), who is playing this song on guitar in this way, what banjo tuning and banjo chords would be best to accompany them with? Would it remain D and C chords of some form in open G tuning? Or would I want to use an alternative tuning on the banjo, something like open D (?), but with the same chords? Or, would I use different chords?

 


So.....unless I'm not correctly understanding your question, I read that you are trying to accompany a guitar with your banjo. If in fact this is the case wouldn't you simply play the same chords on your banjo as are played on the guitar. Tunings and fingers are different on each instrument but if you play a C chord on either instrument it will still be a C.

For what it's worth, your open G banjo tuning is gDGBD so disregarding the drone string the tuning is the same as your Double Drop D.....DGBD. Just don't play the drone g on banjo. The chord fingering would be be the same on the high four strings on both instruments.
Also note the the banjo is tuned gDGBD as opposed to standard guitar tuning of EADGBE, so the top four strings are the same on each instrument except for the G on banjo and E on guitar. Play any guitar chord you know on banjo but move your finger up two frets on the banjo high D and there you have it. By doing this you have effectively changed the top string one full tone (two frets of 1/2 step each) from G to E and the guitar chords work. 
 

Edited by - Pick-A-Lick on 08/05/2021 14:12:15

Aug 5, 2021 - 2:20:42 PM

114 posts since 11/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Pick-A-Lick
quote:
Originally posted by Patriot

Greetings!

I'm slowly trying to learn the many fundamentals of banjo........Let's take (as an example), the age-old song Shady Grove. I first learned to play this song on guitar, tuned to Double Drop D (DADgbd), using just two relatively simple chords, D5 (000230) and Csus2? (x30030).

But my question is this . . . If I want to try to use this as a learning tool for banjo, and accompany someone (with banjo), who is playing this song on guitar in this way, what banjo tuning and banjo chords would be best to accompany them with? Would it remain D and C chords of some form in open G tuning? Or would I want to use an alternative tuning on the banjo, something like open D (?), but with the same chords? Or, would I use different chords?

 


So.....unless I'm not correctly understanding your question, I read that you are trying to accompany a guitar with your banjo. If in fact this is the case wouldn't you simply play the same chords on your banjo as are played on the guitar. Tunings and fingers are different on each instrument but if you play a C chord on either instrument it will still be a C.


Yeah, it took a while, but this basic and seemingly "obvious" fact finally got drummed into my thick skull by others here (above). I'm not quite sure why it was escaping me? As a relative beginner, I think I was just getting too caught-up in the fact that the two instruments had different tunings, with different fingering patterns, and different numbers of strings, etc. I'm beginning to think a little clearer now. But thanks! yes

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