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Level 1: Beginner
Level 2: Intermediate
Level 3: Advanced
Old Time Fingerpicking
Classic Style Banjo
Celtic Tunes
30 Day Challenge
Playing Backup
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Banjo Lessons: Playing with Others Part 2: Beginning Back-up

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So, I mean you could just.
You could just do something like this if
you're really, just to get started.
Like if you're playing Boil em Cabbage
Down and
someone else can play a break on it and
you need to back them up.
You can just, without doing anything
fancy, just hit the fourth string and
then pick the first three strings so
you're using your thumb twice.
[SOUND] And these would be quarter notes.
Pick the first three strings
together as a chord.
So you can go G.
And then do it on the C chord
D seventh.
D seventh
Just something like that is plenty.
It gets you in there doing it.
Another thing that you can do,
and this is.
Getting a little fancier.
I talked about the F chord before.
We used it a little bit on Boil 'em
Cabbage Down.
Right there.
That little spot right there.
Where you have your pinky on the third
fret of the first string.
[SOUND] Your index on the first fret of
the second string.
[SOUND] Now to get a fuller F chord put
your middle on the second fret of
the third string.
And to really get it full.
[SOUND] Put your ring finger on the third
fret of the fourth sting.
[SOUND] Now you may say, why are you
making me do this?
This hurts so much.
It may be very uncomfortable for you.
[SOUND] To do what, I want you to do here.
[SOUND] It's important to be able to play
that full thing.
But you can also do backup with just the
partial F, just the,
fretting the first three strings.
[SOUND] But let's say you're working at
getting that ring down on the third fret
of the fourth string.
And if it's not really clear,
remember you wanna be close to the frets.
You don't wanna be back here where it can
You wanna be up close to the frets.
[SOUND] And one thing that sometimes
happen when, happens when people play with
certain chords, this part of their hand
will be touching the first string and
they'll get a slightly damp sound.
[SOUND] But since you're fretting all
four strings that probably won't be
happening to you, that won't be an issue.
[SOUND] Now that's F.
If you move it up two frets.
You get a G chord.
And I'm not gonna talk about theory right
now, but.
[SOUND] That's F.
[SOUND] This is F sharp.
[SOUND] And this is G.
If you know the piano you can check that
The F sharp is the black key on the piano
and then back to the white key of G.
[SOUND] And one kind of backup you can do
involves this chord position.
And for starters,
let's say you're doing Boiling Cabbage
Down again, just three chords.
It goes, so it would be boil them.
[SOUND] And again, you're hitting the
fourth string and
then the first three strings, [SOUND], so
the thumb is doing double duty.
If that's a little bit hard for you, you
can just hit the four string and
just pick the first two strings.
With your index and the middle.
That's okay, too.
[SOUND] Just got to slightly follow your
sound when you're using three strings.
Now you're gonna go to the C chord.
Now, the C chord.
When you're going up the neck, you go up
one, two, three, four, five.
[SOUND] You go up five frets, so you're
hanging out between the eighth and
tenth frets.
Back to G.
And then go two past the C up to D.
Now on, not all banjos, but
many banjos, there are two dots on the
binding along the side of the neck here.
And that tells you where the 12th fret is.
So you're gonna want your ring right even
with those two dots.
And that's how you know you're in D chord.
[SOUND] Like I say, you may not have it on
your banjo but
generally, most banjos have a double dot
[SOUND] So it's G.
It's a lot of jumping around, but
we can it's nice cuz it's just one chord
everywhere you go.
Okay, when you're playing this chordal
back up.
It's really nice to move away from
the bridge so you're not coming out of a
solo going.
And then go into this.
[SOUND] I know you're not playing that
yet, but you will be.
But, just so you will have a little tone
of differentiation.
It's a little sweeter here.
[SOUND] You get to here, just kinda move
around a little bit and
see where you like the tone.
[SOUND] But do move a little bit away from
the bridge, just to give people's ears
a break from that
That hard driving sound.