Attention Banjo CBG builders. I have an idea.


As you might know, I recently released CD 6 for 3 string CBG.

In it I teach a method of movable chords that functions very similar to the way you play a guitar or banjo.

Using standard strings ADg, you tune ADf# (Open D Tuning).

It occured to me the other day, if you use a high e string for a drone and tune it down to d, it would make a great little 4 string banjo (dADf#). Major scale tones (1513).

Tuned like this, you can play in the key of D or tune the drone up to e and play in the key of E.

If you added the toy train rail road spikes in the fingerboard before frets 3 and 5 (a common method used by bluegrass banjo players to hook the drone string and fret the note) you can play in the keys of G and A too.

Now I don't want what I say to be taken wrong, but did you ever have an epiphany?

Although you might find it quite amazing, when you share it with others, they are sometimes less than interested.

Well, when I discovered the ADf# tuning that can be achieved from the GDg tuning, it was very exciting for me.

Maybe it is not quite the Rosetta stone, but I feel it offers a great way to approach playing CBG. You can use a fake book, make simple song covers and just strum chords. It is my hope that other players embrace this approach and discover it's full potential for themselves.

I appreciate your interest and look forward to any feedback about this discussion that you may choose to share.

Enjoy your build and practice, Keni Lee

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Comment by Keni Lee Burgess on June 26, 2011 at 6:29pm
Thank you Michael for your response. Please keep me in the loop if you do built this 4 string banjo and utilize this tuning. Please consider CD 6. I believe in it's approach and I would greatly appreicate seeing and hearing your experiments and explorations. Enjoy your build and practice, Keni Lee
Comment by Keni Lee Burgess on June 26, 2011 at 9:30am
Thank you Rand for passing along the info. Please keep me posted if you do build and play the banjo using the dADf# tuning. I am interested in your discoveries. Also, please consider CD 6, if you are interested. I believe you will find it vey helpful. Enjoy your build and practice, Keni Lee 
Comment by Rand Moore on June 26, 2011 at 12:22am

Hi Keni,

This info is good to know. I have made a dulcijo, and my next instrument along these lines will be a 4-stringer banjo with a short 4th string and I was just trying to figure out how I might tune it, and this seems one good possibility. So, I added a summary of what you said in that thread. The link to the thread is: dulcijo thread link. Thanks for the idea.

-Rand.

Comment by Michael Benneyworth on June 25, 2011 at 6:59pm

Hi Keni Lee,

Epiphany duly noted. And appreciated.

As one who is coming at this from a non-player standpoint anything that let's me play a recognizable song is a big bonus. I have a background in experimental music, still do it and love it, but find a lot of my family and friends see it as " that MUSIC the he makes."

I've tried other instruments but find the CBG to be one that I can mess with in both experimental and more traditional music and if I can join in, play along to songs, with others more easily using your idea here I'm all for it. Fake books and movable chord forms rule for that kind of thing.

I understand the theory and will give it a try once I get things built. Life is getting in the way a bit right now but I have some holiday time coming up and some big plans for builds while I'm off work.

Thanks for sharing this, and the other stuff you have on the nation. I'm finding a lot of inspiration on here.

Michael

 

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