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Nov 19, 2021 - 6:30:59 PM
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5119 posts since 4/7/2008

I just got Cynthia Sayer’s new book, and it’s great. She has meticulously transcribed all of Elmer Snowden’s tenor banjo solos on his classic Harlem Banjo! album in Snowden’s GDAE tuning as well as in standard CGDA tuning. The book also includes historical information and some transcription notes. I recommend it highly. If you’re interested in the book, go to Cynthia’s website and order it today!


 

Nov 20, 2021 - 12:02:45 AM

995 posts since 6/25/2006

@compass55 Hey Tony, I think I feel a Xmas purchase coming on...can I just check, it is transcribed to CGDA (not plectrum tuning CGBD) - thanks Carrie

Nov 20, 2021 - 1:47:42 AM

5119 posts since 4/7/2008

That’s right. She transcribed it in Elmer Snowden’s original tenor banjo tuning (GDAE) and in standard tenor banjo tuning (CGDA).

Nov 20, 2021 - 2:28:48 AM
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5119 posts since 4/7/2008

Carrie brought up the important topic of tunings used in Cynthia’s book, and on that topic here are a couple of things:

First, Cynthia’s GDAE transcriptions are in the keys the tunes were done in on the Harlem Banjo! album. The CGDA transcriptions are a fourth higher. After playing the transcriptions I figured out why she did that; a few of the tunes would have been impossible to do in the original keys in CGDA tuning because Mr. Snowden’s solos occasionally go below the low C note, CGDA’s lowest note. But like I said, it’s just a few tunes and a few notes. The majority of these transcriptions can be done in either tuning in the original keys or up a fourth. As for standard plectrum banjo tuning (CGBD), I tuned the first four strings of my guitar to plectrum tuning, and I played several of these transcriptions in the original keys and in the “fourth higher” keys in plectrum tuning with no trouble. I think plectrum players could benefit greatly from this book as well.

Nov 20, 2021 - 8:58:57 AM

995 posts since 6/25/2006

Compass56 Thanks Tony. I've always loved the Harlem Banjo album - love Elmer's inventive soloing.

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