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Oct 2, 2022 - 6:59:28 PM

wormworman

Canada

2 posts since 10/2/2022

I’m specifically talking about Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves’ version. I can’t for the life of me figure out what tuning they’re in and it’s bothering me! Someone help?

Oct 2, 2022 - 10:38:14 PM
Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

41941 posts since 3/7/2006
Online Now

Here is a live link to a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiJuc20cUgY

As I hear it after a quick hearing, they are playing in the key of B and it seems to be an open tuning, so my guess is that it is open C (gCGCE), tuned down a half step (to f# B F# B D#).

Edited by - janolov on 10/02/2022 22:39:25

Oct 3, 2022 - 1:52:29 AM
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465 posts since 9/9/2006

I can see why it’s hard to figure out - because Tatiana and Allison are playing in different tunings! I looked at the liner notes on their CD, and it says:
BANJO 1: f#BF#BC
BANJO 2: bF#BEF#

Watching the video, I think Tatiana is playing Banjo 2 and Allison is playing a harmony part on Banjo 1, though it’s hard to separate the parts and be sure who’s playing what notes. Also, this is assuming they're using the same tunings on the video as they do on their CD, which I can't be sure of!

So Janolov, your guess was very close, though I think for Allison’s tuning rather than Tatiana’s tuning on the melody (?) banjo. If I’ve got that right, Tati’s tuning is the equivalent of A modal tuning (aEADE) but tuned up a whole tone.

On a side note, before thinking to check the album notes, my first thought was, “Oh, I wish you’d asked that question a week ago!” - because Tati was staying with us while she was here for the Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention, and I could have just asked her.

Among other events at the BOTMC, my wife Maxine Gerber played banjo for a square dance set with Tati on fiddle and Reed Stutz on guitar - now, that was one kickass dance band! I have to say that one of my favorite parts of the festival was having Tati, Reed, and Alice Gerrard rehearse their concert set in our living room. What a treat!

Edited by - BrendanD on 10/03/2022 01:59:41

Oct 3, 2022 - 9:34:31 AM
Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

41941 posts since 3/7/2006
Online Now

I think Allison is playing the second banjo. She seems to have a capo on fifth fret (/watch the last seconds of the video) and she is playing above the fifth fret all the time. The tuning bF#BEF# is equivalent to gDGCD or sawmill.

I doubt that Tatiana really is playing f#BF#BC, but I may be wrong. The first string (C) seems to be a little misplaced. A D#, as I proposed above, seems to be more logical. As I can see she uses the first string open (also ASPO) on the third fret and on the fifth fret, which seems to right when playing in open B tuning (equivalent to open C tuning). I have seen other liner notes where the tuning have been written (or printed) wrong..

Oct 3, 2022 - 3:16:11 PM

465 posts since 9/9/2006

quote:
Originally posted by janolov

I think Allison is playing the second banjo. She seems to have a capo on fifth fret (/watch the last seconds of the video) and she is playing above the fifth fret all the time. The tuning bF#BEF# is equivalent to gDGCD or sawmill.

I doubt that Tatiana really is playing f#BF#BC, but I may be wrong. The first string (C) seems to be a little misplaced. A D#, as I proposed above, seems to be more logical. As I can see she uses the first string open (also ASPO) on the third fret and on the fifth fret, which seems to right when playing in open B tuning (equivalent to open C tuning). I have seen other liner notes where the tuning have been written (or printed) wrong..


I think you're right about Allison playing the banjo listed as "BANJO 2" on the CD. She's actually capoed at the fourth fret, but that does correspond to gDGCD (G modal or sawmill) raised two whole tones to bF#BEF#.

I'll have to slow down the video and examine a little closer what Tatiana is doing. I think there's some fingering happening on the first string that doesn't seem to correspond to either the listed tuning (f#BF#BC) or to having that first string tuned to D# (instead of C) - but maybe she's not playing the notes I think she is. Hmm - I'll chime in again if I have any bright ideas!

Oct 8, 2022 - 6:39:06 PM
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wormworman

Canada

2 posts since 10/2/2022

Thank you so much for the replies guys! I can figure out how to play it now :)

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