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Banjo Lessons: D Chord

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[MUSIC]
Let's
talk about another chord right now, that's
hugely important.
You need to know this if you're playing
Bluegrass, or
any kind of music on the banjo for that
matter.
It's the D chord.
We've had the D seventh chord.
[MUSIC]
But now,
we're gonna talk about the D chord.
[MUSIC]
And,
to get the D chord you're gonna put your
pinky.
[SOUND] On the fourth fret of the first
string.
[SOUND] Middle on the second string, third
fret.
[SOUND] Index on the third string, second
fret.
[SOUND] And, the ring on the fourth
string, fourth fret.
[MUSIC]
Now, you're not always gonna have to be
using this full chord in Bluegrass, but
for backup you will wanna use that.
[MUSIC]
But,
in Bluegrass, sometimes you'll just use
one note.
Earl Scruggs will sometimes do something
like
[MUSIC]
They'll literally just play one note out
of the full chord in the second fret of
the third string.
Sometimes people will just go in the lower
two notes of a D chord
[MUSIC].
Sometimes it'll just be the third string
[MUSIC].
I'm sorry, the third fret of the second
string.
[MUSIC]
So, there's a lot of shorthand used for
the D chord.
But, you should be comfortable with the
whole D chord.
And, it is sometimes hard to get that
whole chord down and be comfortable.
And again, you want to be up close to the
frets.
[MUSIC]
So,
I just put together a very short little
exercise to get you used to doing this.
And I will play it for you now.
[MUSIC]
So, slowed down it sounds like this.
[MUSIC]
Now, on the first D chord.
[MUSIC]
I'm doing an alternating thumb.
[MUSIC]
This is something that you hear a lot
in Blues music, this kind of thing.
This is just a very short snippet of it
but.
[MUSIC]
So, that's one thing that's going on
that's, you're alternating the thumb
between the fourth.
[SOUND] And the third.
[SOUND] And just, first they're isolated.
[SOUND] And then, they're integrated into
the alternating thumb roll.
[MUSIC]
It's a real strong sound.
Again, a lot of the Blues, Blues musicians
of days gone by and, currently,
do that kind of a thing, fingerpicking
players, that is.
And the other thing is I'm approaching the
D chord.
[MUSIC]
I start by just putting the index down,
and then the middle, rather than having to
grow, grab the whole chord at one time.
[MUSIC]
And, at the last minute I add the pinky.
And, for this particular exercise I'm not,
at least for that part of the exercise I'm
not using the full D chord.
[MUSIC]
So.
[MUSIC]
Just these two fingers, and the pinky.
[MUSIC]
And, coming into the slide out of that, so
if the index is already on the second fret
of the third string,
[MUSIC]
I'm using that for the first slide.
So the, it's nice to be flexible.
This is a, just a good example of
sometimes you have to
do something a little differently than the
way you would ordinarily do it.
As I was developing this exercise I
realized this would be a good way to
point this out.
[MUSIC]
Your index is right there so
why switch to the middle finger?
Slide once with the index
[MUSIC]
And then, if you want you can
go back to the middle finger.
[MUSIC]
And, for
the second half I do add the ring finger
so you have the full D chord.
[MUSIC]
So,
as I'm coming down I'm adding just the
index and middle.
[MUSIC]
I'm sorry.
[MUSIC]
And I add the ring and pinky.
[MUSIC]
After that.
[MUSIC]
So, at least we're getting started.
It's good that you,
to be able to do it in stages rather then
having to grab the whole thing at once.
So, that's the D chord.
[MUSIC]