Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

637
Banjo Lovers Online


Page: 1  2   3   Next Page   Last Page (3) 

Jan 24, 2022 - 8:48:56 AM
210 posts since 12/6/2021

I regularly visit a local jam that is made up mostly of dulcimers. There are a couple of guitars and another banjo, but many dulcimers. As a result, they mostly play in the Key of D. Other than capoing at the 7th fret and playing in the normal "G" position, what are some other options for playing in D?
Robert

Jan 24, 2022 - 9:11:58 AM
like this

213 posts since 2/27/2009

Double C tuning, capo 2. Tune the fifth string up (g to a) or use a fifth string capo. Double C is pretty common for many old time tunes, and easy to learn.

Jan 24, 2022 - 9:23:21 AM
likes this

3053 posts since 4/19/2008

Learn some of these songs the way Earl did them and you will have the keys of C with no capo and D if you capo 2.


Jan 24, 2022 - 10:06:01 AM
likes this

doryman

USA

1189 posts since 11/26/2012

Starting in the open G tuning, I just capo up two frets and play D out of the C chord position. As Henry describe above, Double C, capo 2, is also fun.

Jan 24, 2022 - 11:12:54 AM
like this
Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

41549 posts since 3/7/2006

Sometimes also ordinary G tuning with fifth string up to an a is possible. 

Jan 24, 2022 - 11:13:09 AM
like this

1594 posts since 4/13/2009

Get a set of heavier strings(such as Deering's Julia Belle) and use a lower, open D tuning. All the regular open G tuning "stuff" will work - I certainly would prefer that to a capo at the 7th fret.

Edited by - deestexas on 01/24/2022 11:13:43

Jan 24, 2022 - 11:13:13 AM
like this
Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

27160 posts since 8/3/2003
Online Now

You can also just play out of open G using D, G, A chords (some songs you capo the 5th up 2 and some you don't). I prefer capoing up 2 and using C, F, G because there are so many licks and partial melody phrases in C and G you can use and it's easier for me to play in C than in D (personal preference only)

Jan 24, 2022 - 11:36:11 AM
Players Union Member

Blackjaxe47

Canada

1638 posts since 6/20/2014

That is exactly what I do Sherry. We always have more than a couple of Mandolin pickers in our local jams and at least half of their tunes are played in the key of D. It is great if you can learn to pick a song in several keys it enables you to switch from G to D or C......songs like John Henry are a good example. I capo my 5th at 7 and find the Melody in D, G and A when playing in the key of D

Jan 24, 2022 - 12:46:30 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25898 posts since 6/25/2005

I started with the Seeger book and mostly use C tuning capo 2. Some double-C; some open D. C tuning chords more easily up the neck than double-C.

Jan 24, 2022 - 1:03:49 PM

5060 posts since 5/9/2007

Double-D Tuning.
No capo required.

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!
Jan 24, 2022 - 1:05:45 PM

5060 posts since 5/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by TN Time

I regularly visit a local jam that is made up mostly of dulcimers.  . . .  As a result, they mostly play in the Key of D.  . . .
Robert


They are trying to tell you something.

Jan 24, 2022 - 1:30:28 PM
likes this

4594 posts since 12/6/2009
Online Now

hey I have an idea.....how about just learning to play in D?

Jan 24, 2022 - 2:21:02 PM
likes this

doryman

USA

1189 posts since 11/26/2012

quote:
Originally posted by overhere

hey I have an idea.....how about just learning to play in D?


I'm not sure what you mean here.  Almost every solution presented above IS playing in the key of D.  

Jan 24, 2022 - 2:53:07 PM
likes this

4357 posts since 10/13/2005

Try tuning aDF#AD.However, I do have a banjo with Nylgut Minstrel strings lowered down from G tuning to D, dADF#A that preserves the more familiar G pattern tuning. So many folk songs, maybe as high as 90%, need that lower A note below the D third string, Red River Valley/Shenandoah etc. banjered

Jan 24, 2022 - 3:02:32 PM

2743 posts since 5/2/2012

I played dulcimer for a bit while searching for a instrument to learn to play after I retired. My memory isn't perfect, but there are some things I can remember.
As you probably know, dulcimers are usually tuned to DAD (root, 5th, octave) or DAA (root, 5th, 5th). Dulcimers are actually pretty easy to play (easier than banjo for sure), even for someone like me with only a modicum of musical talent. You can play the melody notes as well as chords. There are some moveable chord shapes (barre, slant, V).
The rest of this is just spitballing. One thing your group, with guitars and dulcimers, lacks is a "time keeper". I think I'd be tempted to do some vamping, taking the part of the bass or drum during some of the songs. And don't think it would be inappropriate to ask the dulcimer players back you up while playing in G, since with the tuning, forming a chord is as easy as making a barre chord and strumming. They could even play with some picking patterns while fingerpicking (maybe even some Scruggs style rolls *gasp*). Assuming they are an accepting group (and they must be if they let a banjo in the group), they might be willing to stretch a bit. Of course, to play nice, learning to play some of the tunes in D would be a good thing to do.

Jan 24, 2022 - 3:19 PM

115 posts since 1/28/2017

For the key of d, I capo the 5th sting at the 7th. Then use a partial full d by just fretting the 3rd string a 2 fret and 2nd string at third fret. Playing the two d strings open in this manor can give a d. Play the g open and barre the 2nd fret (A) to get chords for key of d. I do this because of Arthritis I can't make a 4-finger chord. Sometimes a make a c-position d and play as I said above.
This may not be proper but it works for me.

As mentioned above you can always Capo the second fret and play out of c position.

Jan 24, 2022 - 3:44:21 PM
likes this

4594 posts since 12/6/2009
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by doryman
quote:
Originally posted by overhere

hey I have an idea.....how about just learning to play in D?


I'm not sure what you mean here.  Almost every solution presented above IS playing in the key of D.  


open G tuning seems most are using capos or using various tunings I just suggested using plain ol' standard key of D.from G standard tuning with only a fifth string A. thats all.....no biggy.....relax

Jan 24, 2022 - 4:32:59 PM

doryman

USA

1189 posts since 11/26/2012

quote:
Originally posted by overhere
quote:
Originally posted by doryman
quote:
Originally posted by overhere

hey I have an idea.....how about just learning to play in D?


I'm not sure what you mean here.  Almost every solution presented above IS playing in the key of D.  


open G tuning seems most are using capos or using various tunings I just suggested using plain ol' standard key of D.from G standard tuning with only a fifth string A. thats all.....no biggy.....relax


I'm not accusing you of anything, I just didn't get what you meant.   For me, I think that that there are better ways to play the key of D on the banjo, ways that sound better and are more fun to play, than playing the key of D out of the open G position.  I do play D out of the open G from time to time, in jams especially when I don't feel like retuning or when we jump to the new song before I have a chance to retune or capo.  I don't always like the way the 5th string sounds, so I play with a lighter thumb when I do that.  The double C and D tuning sounds so good on the banjo (and it's easy to play and learn) especially with OT music, I think it's the better option for the OP, especially if they are going to be playing a lot of D tunes. 

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:16:25 PM
likes this

1075 posts since 5/22/2021

As Seeger and many other musicians do and did, just go to the open key of c (gCGBD), and then capo up 2 frets (a whole note), up to the key of D. And there you are!

I have found the Key of D ideal for folks songs such as Oleanna, Blue Juniata (the girl of Alfarata), Putting on the style (Catskill mts roots), Deep Blue Sea, and This land is your land, among many many many many others that can nicely fit the key of d.

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:23:29 PM
Players Union Member

TN Time

USA

210 posts since 12/6/2021

quote:
Originally posted by mrphysics55
quote:
Originally posted by TN Time

I regularly visit a local jam that is made up mostly of dulcimers.  . . .  As a result, they mostly play in the Key of D.  . . .
Robert


They are trying to tell you something.


Yeah, they are. "Don't play along with dulcimers." aka, "DULL-cimers."

Robert

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:25:24 PM
Players Union Member

TN Time

USA

210 posts since 12/6/2021

quote:
Originally posted by overhere

hey I have an idea.....how about just learning to play in D?


Simple. Because I don't like playing in the key of D.

Robert

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:32:06 PM

5060 posts since 5/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by TN Time
quote:
Originally posted by mrphysics55
quote:
Originally posted by TN Time

I regularly visit a local jam that is made up mostly of dulcimers.  . . .  As a result, they mostly play in the Key of D.  . . .
Robert


They are trying to tell you something.


Yeah, they are. "Don't play along with dulcimers." aka, "DULL-cimers."

Robert

 


Probably gonna' miss out on makin' some new friends.

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:47:29 PM
like this
Players Union Member

TN Time

USA

210 posts since 12/6/2021

The people at these jams don't give you a lot of time between songs. I just barely have time to put on the capo and then the 5th string capo. I don't think retuning all the time would work with this group. Thanks for all of your help but, at least for now, I'm going to capo up 2 frets and play out of the C position. I probably will also just play back up in D, using D, G, and A in G tuning with no capo.

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:48:53 PM

4357 posts since 10/13/2005

I had the last dulcimer made by Capitarus Music in Felton California. I got bored with its musical limitations which also reflect my musical limitations and sold it. Some people can actually play fiddle tunes on them and up to tempo and keeping the rhythm but they are very rare as far as I am concerned. An analogy is playing jigs on the 5 banger, yeah some can do it but it is so much easier with a tenor. What I eventually ended up doing was getting an octave mandolin, using the CGDA sets of strings but tuning it to DADA– so much easier to play, more versatile but with a somewhat similar sound to a dulcimer. I have a CD with a song I and a couple others did that features that tuning on the mandolin but I am too technically deficient to post it. Just some musical meanderings... banjered

Jan 24, 2022 - 6:16:49 PM
Players Union Member

TN Time

USA

210 posts since 12/6/2021

quote:
Originally posted by mrphysics55
quote:
Originally posted by TN Time
quote:
Originally posted by mrphysics55
quote:
Originally posted by TN Time

I regularly visit a local jam that is made up mostly of dulcimers.  . . .  As a result, they mostly play in the Key of D.  . . .
Robert


They are trying to tell you something.


Yeah, they are. "Don't play along with dulcimers." aka, "DULL-cimers."

Robert

 


Probably gonna' miss out on makin' some new friends.


You are probably right.

Robert

Jan 25, 2022 - 2:56:03 AM
like this

Bill H

USA

1887 posts since 11/7/2010

It is impossible to play old time or Bluergrass music without playing in the key of D. The way one approaches the key of D is most likely guided by the style they are playing. For claw hammer play, double D tuning is a fairly standard approach for fiddle tunes. For chordal accompanyment while playing and singing folk songs with claw hammer style, capo 2 and playing out of C positions may serve well. For Bluegrass, playing out of standard G tuning is a common approach with the fifth string left at g and used to catch melody notes, or tuned up to a for a more chordal approach.

I might use any of the above depending on the setting or the tune being played. It is really a matter of personal preference. There are no rules, except to play on key and in time. I would view it as a learning opportunity to explore the options to find what works best for you. As a banjo player, finding a jam that matches the style of music I favor--which is mainly fiddle tunes--is a rare occurrence. Therefore, to play with others, the banjo player needs to be adaptive to varying styles.

My take on the original question.

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!

Page: 1  2   3   Next Page   Last Page (3) 

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.265625