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Jun 25, 2013 - 7:40:21 AM
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1 posts since 6/25/2013

As a beginner, I can't thank you enough for this!! 

Jun 25, 2013 - 8:32:50 AM

314 posts since 12/29/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo
 

Thanks for the compliment.  I try to help when I can and if the theory lessons are of value to people, then I'm happy. 


Hi Sherry, How do I get your Booklet

Rich Freeze

Jun 26, 2013 - 5:24:41 AM
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Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

29823 posts since 8/3/2003

Rich, look on the first page at the end of my post -- you'll find a pdf file -- click on that, download and you'll have the booklet. 

When I first posted this thread, I didn't have the booklet, so I just typed it all on the first post.  Later, a wonderful friend made up the booklet for me and I posted it on the first page so everyone could have it.

Aug 16, 2013 - 4:28:42 PM

mab403

USA

2 posts since 8/15/2013

Aug 16, 2013 - 4:29:28 PM

mab403

USA

2 posts since 8/15/2013

This is awesome. Thank you!

Aug 19, 2013 - 6:30:41 PM

34 posts since 3/25/2013

About the "< over a note", if I remember right the crescendo and
decrezcendo notation was put UNDER the note. Accents were put on top, along with sticato (sic) and such.
James
Jan 13, 2014 - 2:22:47 PM

3 posts since 10/29/2013

I think theory is good I would like to earn more it makes me understand the notes and how the work together to pay. I am a beginner and need all the help I can. I want to Pay the banjo not just strum it and I wonder if there is any dvds or lessons you can just sit with for maybe a hour a day to learn just proper rolls and improve on memorizing them and learning to pick up speed and proper tempos? Barry (Pappy) Getz PA.

Jan 15, 2014 - 1:15:47 PM
Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

29823 posts since 8/3/2003

There are many excellent beginner books out there that you can purchase and most come with CD or DVD, that will show you how to do rolls, licks, slides, hammers, pull offs, etc.. 

If you are trying to teach yourself, you might think about getting a "live" teacher.  A good banjo teacher will take you further faster with fewer bad habits to break.

If you can't find/afford a teacher, there are people here on the Hangout who teach via Skype that you might contact and see if their lessons were within your pocketbook.

And, as I said, there are many excellent beginners books out there.  Check out Jack Hatfield's Beginning Bluegrass Method Book #1 with CD and I think DVD and that is followed by books 2 and 3.  Jack  highlights melody notes so you know where they are and that's a big help to students.  www.hatfieldmusic.com.  Also check out Janet Davis' You Can Teach Yourself Bluegrass.  It also comes with a CD and I think a DVD.  www.banjostore.com.  Of course there are many other excellent books, check them all out and find one that you think you would like and take it slowly from page 1.

Don't try for speed right now,.  You need to learn the basics and get your muscle memory working before you try for speed. 

Jan 15, 2014 - 2:21:01 PM

3 posts since 10/29/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

There are many excellent beginner books out there that you can purchase and most come with CD or DVD, that will show you how to do rolls, licks, slides, hammers, pull offs, etc.. 

If you are trying to teach yourself, you might think about getting a "live" teacher.  A good banjo teacher will take you further faster with fewer bad habits to break.

If you can't find/afford a teacher, there are people here on the Hangout who teach via Skype that you might contact and see if their lessons were within your pocketbook.

And, as I said, there are many excellent beginners books out there.  Check out Jack Hatfield's Beginning Bluegrass Method Book #1 with CD and I think DVD and that is followed by books 2 and 3.  Jack  highlights melody notes so you know where they are and that's a big help to students.  www.hatfieldmusic.com.  Also check out Janet Davis' You Can Teach Yourself Bluegrass.  It also comes with a CD and I think a DVD.  www.banjostore.com.  Of course there are many other excellent books, check them all out and find one that you think you would like and take it slowly from page 1.

Don't try for speed right now,.  You need to learn the basics and get your muscle memory working before you try for speed. 


Feb 28, 2014 - 5:34:34 PM

73 posts since 10/2/2012

After reading a lot of this info I know more about why I cringe at the words music theory.

Mar 2, 2014 - 5:38:30 AM
Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

29823 posts since 8/3/2003

Yes, some of the posts on here take it much further than I intended it to go.  My little booklet was designed to get someone started on theory -- an easy to understand and work with booklet, made especially for the banjo.  I had no idea when I started this thread that it would end up being 8 pages of more than beginner theory.  

However, there's some excellent material in those posts that is worth reading, if not now, maybe later after you've learned some beginning theory.

Mar 7, 2014 - 6:21:38 AM

31 posts since 1/1/2013

Aug 11, 2014 - 6:55:21 AM

1 posts since 8/11/2014

(This is my first post here)

Is this the best thread to read if I'm a total beginner? I have been wailing on a ukulele, which I realize is a much simpler instrument. There don't seem to be many songs that I can find so far with fingering charts. Everything is in tab form, which, at this point, I don't know how to read. I can read music, just not tabs. Are there places here or elsewhere with fingering charts where a total beginner could start? I need to learn songs with simple chords before advancing to finger-picking.

Aug 12, 2014 - 12:28:08 PM

85 posts since 7/25/2014

sherry
thanks for offering the booklet ! its great! im going to take it to my next lesson. this is just what i need.

teresa

Aug 13, 2014 - 7:40:34 AM

518 posts since 5/31/2004

You can learn to read tab in five minutes. It's exponentially easier than musical notation. It is just a graphic way of telling you where to put your fingers and when. Most, if not all banjo teachers teach solo playing first. Unlike Guitar or uke, its not generally thought of as a accompaniment instrument for singing, so we do not start with chords. Chords are also used in solo playing, but since it is open- tuned, (to a G chord) often one or two finger "partial " chords are all that is required to play a particular melody passage. Since full chords are more difficult physically than holding down one or two fingers, beginning banjo left hand is PHYSICALLY easier than guitar or uke, but the right hand (in three finger banjo) is more complex.

Aug 13, 2014 - 7:49:32 AM

518 posts since 5/31/2004

…and unlike notation, the rolls we use in three-finger banjo take on a graphic shape on the page... so once you learn the finger sequences you associate them with the shapes and you do not need to look below each note for the right-hand fingering. 99% of all three- finger bluegrass teachers use tab because it is perfect for conveying this style with NO memorizing of note names and staff names. Only the timing is borrowed form notation, and there are basically only two note values eight notes and quarter notes. Sixteenths rate used slides, pulls and hammers.. but they do not necessarily have to be notated as sixteenths in order to get the point across. I do not even introduce sixteenth notes until my late intermediate/advanced books.

Aug 13, 2014 - 10:52:06 AM
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518 posts since 5/31/2004

I tried to edit that last post but it would not let me…
I incorrectly said 99% .. the actual percentage is probably more like 85%, the other 15% either too ignorant or hard-headed (unwilling to change for the better) to use the most useful tool ever invented for teaching stringed instruments to those with no previous musical training.

Aug 13, 2014 - 8:28:07 PM

5256 posts since 5/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by jackhatfield

 . . . the most useful tool ever invented for teaching stringed instruments to those with no previous musical training.


Thank you, Jack, for a strong, positive statement about tablature.  I wish I'd said that!

Aug 13, 2014 - 8:41:33 PM
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518 posts since 5/31/2004

just imagine where civilization would be today if school teachers had the same opinion about books when printing presses were first invented and thereafter as anti-tab music teachers have. Tab is to stringed instrument instruction as books are to general education.

Edited by - jackhatfield on 08/13/2014 20:48:44

Aug 14, 2014 - 11:31:21 AM

5256 posts since 5/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by jackhatfield

just imagine where civilization would be today if school teachers had the same opinion about books when printing presses were first invented and thereafter as anti-tab music teachers have. Tab is to stringed instrument instruction as books are to general education.


Again, well-stated.  

I've attached an early form of notation for chants.  How is this, for voice, hugely different than tablature for strings?


Oct 8, 2014 - 7:52:59 AM

blossej

USA

1 posts since 10/6/2014

Thank you! Having a great time with my new Banjo. Trying to get started on the right foot.. My first lesson is next week:).

Nov 26, 2014 - 9:09:25 AM

314 posts since 12/29/2010

Nov 26, 2014 - 9:27:10 AM

314 posts since 12/29/2010

jack, can you show me the difference between Tab and notation, sorry to ask a dumb question but I been off banjo for over a year because I have a bad bout with arthritis.  Thank you for your help
Rich Freeze quote:
Originally posted by jackhatfield

just imagine where civilization would be today if school teachers had the same opinion about books when printing presses were first invented and thereafter as anti-tab music teachers have. Tab is to stringed instrument instruction as books are to general education.


Nov 26, 2014 - 10:17:44 AM

518 posts since 5/31/2004

Musical notation indicates a musical pitch. It is up to the individual to find that pitch on the musical instrument. This means one must memorize the letter name of each pitch (note) on the musical staff, learn the difference in key signatures (which notes in a particular key are sharp and flat, etc) and memorize where each pitch (note) is located on their instrument, which is ambiguous on a stringed instrument because a given note can be found in several different locations...unlike a piano, for example, where there is only one place to find each pitch. So, armed with a sheet of musical notation one can decipher music on any instrument, but one must first do quite a bit of memorizing of the process first. The other advantage is that one can "hear" in one's head the melody because the notes on the staff go up and down graphically on the page just like the musical pitches go up and down in relation to one another. Therefore, one can sing or hum the melody without even having an instrument in one's hands. However, because of the melody note/fill note system of Scruggs style banjo, this does not enable one to "hear" the melody simply by looking at the sheet music.

With the tablature system, the location of each note is graphically shown on that particular instrument. It is like a map that instructs where and when to place a finger on a specific location on the instrument. Very little memorizing of the process is required in order to render an arrangement. One can learn the basics of reading tab in five minutes.

With bluegrass banjo, tablature is especially instructive because the Scruggs rolls take on a graphic shape on the page, and with one glance the right hand fingering of an entire measure can be gleaned, because one has already memorized that roll sequence in the early days of learning bluegrass banjo.

The attached page of notation and tablature from Earl's book shows a comparison. The musical notation is on top, the tablature on the bottom. Modern day tab would also have the timing stems added, in the easier to understand 4/4 meter instead of the "musically correct" 2/4 meter of the musical notation in Earl's book.

 

Edited by - jackhatfield on 11/26/2014 10:24:03

Nov 26, 2014 - 11:47:22 AM

314 posts since 12/29/2010

Thank you very much, I was a little lost at first. thank you for you insite
Rich Freeze

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