It's not likely you would become decently proficient and start amassing a decent repertoire before you then learn an "alternative" tuning. Many of these jams, they stay in one key for a long time. If you only know G and they are all D tunes, you sit out for a very long time. So most instruction books, teachers start you in one tuning, but after just a few tunes, quickly get you to another tuning.
Some books, generally toward the end, show some "cool" tunings that are indeed more alternate that are a bit more limited use, I think just to show you possibilities.
The three main ones mentioned will be plenty to work on for a long time, some folks only know those and find that's all they need. And they aren't that much different from each other, and the right hand action is basically the same. IMO the right hand is what clawhammer is about. I surprised myself last night by frailing Dear Old Dixie almost without thinking what I was doing. I have used them for 30 years Mediums on my bluegrass banjo and Lights on my frailing banjo. It does use all the tunings but starts simple and gives you some chord charts for the different tunings and works its way into clawhammer.
Several copies on ebay right now. I'm in about the same situation as you with respect to different tuning s- except I have been playing for a couple of years now. I do wonder if I am missing a lot by not venturing into other tunings, and also sometimes I am unhappy when I search for a particular TAB and find it only to find that it is for double C or some other tuning.
Maybe I'm wrong in that? Very impressive. There are reasons for using different tunings. Others have mentioned what some of those reasons are. But my advice to you is, you don't need to know or understand all of the whys and whatfors right now.
What you do need to understand is that your banjo playing tool box will be much better equipped if you learn to use the tunings. As they say, jump in, the water's fine. Edit addressed to moderator: How come this thread runs out of the regular size window?
Can if be fixed. I agree with that. Most of the time I play in open G, at least for two reasons: First I'm too lazy to change the tunings all the time. For me, tuning and retuning is not a part of having fun with a banjo.
Second, I want to explore the patterns and structure of a tuning, so that one day I am able to play by ear. Like Wingeezer wrote, other tunings with other patterns and chord-forms will messed me up. On the other hand, I understand people who choose different Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo to gain certain flavours of musical textures.
But that's not my goal - maybe it will be in five years. Who knows? Hey CB, just wanted to chime in and give you some encouragement. I'm a beginner myself and thought.
Beyond some of the excellent responses to "why multiple tunings? I teach from the beginning that learning to tune and change tunings is simply part of learning to play banjo.
And yes, I do this with to? I do switch to Sawmill, thence 2C fairly early in the game, though. I certainly admire Dan's approach, and have threatened to switch to it for the reasons he mentions.
I also encourage my students to practice tuning by ear. The B then becomes a matter of "just make the chord sound right. They're done. I've got nothing against electronic tuners, but I really think it's a good idea to learn what these intervals sound like--it's a lot quicker, and works even if your tuner's battery is dead Oh, on an unrelated note, I do believe the wide screen effect on page 2 is a function of John Gribble's quote, above.
Wow and hear I Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo it was my computer screwing up or something!!! I like your idea on Plant43 - Grey Sky Cracks EP I might not always have the tuner with me or the battery might go out then I would be in trouble for sure.
Well, as you all probably know I am a proponent of using the tuning Time - R.J.W* Meets Chica Colombiana - R.J.W Meets Chica Colombiana fits the tune. As Kitt mentioned, there really is nothing to "know" about the tunings, it is a really matter of knowing the tunes.
If you simply put the banjo into Sawmill tuning you will quickly find that Kentucky tunes like Shady Grove and Pretty Polly are really only going to work in a Modal Tuning. In G tuning the banjo is actually crippled when you try to play these tunes because the 2nd string 0pen the B is so wrong.
Meanwhile if you play them in Round Peak style they work better in Major tuning. You are not learning an instrument in Old Time so much as you are learning a mostly lost culture or set of cultures. I'll be back. I wonder how people who are Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo in folk music can get caught up in the Single Tuning thing.
For many of the Old Time tunes the tuning is Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo of the tune. If you have been playing in G tuning or any other tuning for more than 3 months it is time to break out of that cell. All you need to do is tune your banjo to a different tuning and try reading a tune or two in that new tuning.
If you are sticking to one tuning because you think it is better for learning by ear - you are hurting your playing in order to stick to a erroneous principle. I learn tunes by ear in ALL of my tunings.
If you have trained your ear the tuning is simple. If you haven't you are just frustrating yourself anyway. Your ear Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo the instrument you want to train. Holding your banjo to one tuning does not teach it a thing. Everyone wants to do things fast these days and frequently they lose sight of what they wanted to do originally. You probably started by wanting to play like someone you heard play the banjo - Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger, Ritchie Stearns, Frank Lee, Someone younger, it doesn't matter.
Whoever you started out wanting to play like - plays in multiple tunings. Bluegrass is bluegrass they stick to G and God bless them. Folk music is as much about tunings as it is about tunes. I suggest and strongly recommend those who have played in only one tuning for a long time get a book Or use my free stuff that has other tunings and learn a half dozen tabs in another tuning Don't approve of tabs - you might as well quit reading because Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo tab you are probably going to remain stuck.
Now dig out a cd with some other Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo tunes you can ask here -there are a lot of people who would be happy to write you a list Listen to these tunes that you don't know, and you might start to hear some of the things you've learned from the tabs. You are training your ear to hear in a new tuning.
If someone has convinced you that you have to know all the chords in G and know the neck like Les Paul did - they have led you down the garden path and dumped you in the well. If you spend all your playing time working on doing D Minor scales out of G Major tuning you don't have time to have any fun - unless that is your fun. If that is your idea of fun -- why have you read this far? I can only speak for myself, but I don't feel that " it is time to break out of that cell".
I simply don't need to play in another tuning than open G to have fun and to take an inspirational musical journey on the banjo. At the moment I don't want a new alphabet to find my own voice. I'm totally satisfied with the old alphabet called open Lets Love - Melanie C - Reason. Maybe that's the kind of guy I am - I don't need a zillion tunings nor a zillion banjos.
I own only one banjo and I am playing in one tuning. That's enough to enrich my life. I don't think there is a book on the subject but The Old Time Herald is a worthwhile read, and there are a number of articles on the web. Google the terms you hear here like Clawhammer banjo, Frailing banjo, Old Time Music and spend an evening looking for interesting stuff. Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo think you can download the liner notes to the New Lost City Ramblers even if you don't own the albums.
Go to the Smithsonian folkways site. They came to OT the same way I did - only I had their Jacques Loussier - The Best Of Play Bach to start with because of the pioneering they did. I noticed that a musician who you named as one of your favorites is Sarah Jarosz.
I'm not familiar with her music, but I searched and then enjoyed what I heard from her. But there was something specific to this discussion that I heard her say in a video that I watched of her. What she said might give you something to think about. I co-wrote it with Alyssa Bonagura. It was our first time writing together, and she showed me this different tuning on the guitar. And basically, right when we both got into that tuning I haven't been playing for all that long, but I had the same struggle you are having.
To me,a lot of the banjo sound is the way strings open strings resonate against each other. A problem with "standard" tuning is that closed chord inversions will start making you sound like a lousy guitar. Other elements of tunings have been mentioned, such as the fact Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo most songs are played in one position. Don't be overwhelmed by the tuning lists.
As Woodchuck says in his book, you don't have to learn the tunings. Search WorldCat Find items in libraries near you. Advanced Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo Find Sou Louco Por Voce - Peso - Em Busca Do Tempo Perdido Library.
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The name field is required. Please enter your name. It also includes Eric Muller's concise teaching. Online Audio. Add to cart. The minimum purchase order quantity for the product is 1. Clawhammer Banjo Book by Shady Grove - Eric Muller - Frailing The 5-String Banjo Perlman. Frailing the Five String Banjo Book. The Banjo Cruise The Banjo Cruise Workshop is held in a large private conference room that is essentially sound proof and separate from all other passengers.
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