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Banjo Lessons: D Tuning Part 1

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[MUSIC]
Just
about everything we've done thus far has
been in G tuning,
which is home territory for a bluegrass
banjo player.
There were a couple things in drop C
tuning, with the fourth string down to C.
But another really important tuning,
even though it's not used that much is D
tuning.
And for D tuning there are a couple of
different ways, of doing it,
but right now I wanna talk about one in
particular.
First string D [SOUND] It's a D note, you
wanna keep that cuz it's a D tuning.
And again when you strum the chord when
we're done it'll be an open D-chord.
So the second string,
which is usually tuned to B in G tuning
we're gonna tune down a whole step.
[MUSIC]
To a B note,
I'm sorry to an A note, from B down to A.
Down a whole step.
[MUSIC]
And
the third string will go from G down a
half step to F-sharp.
[MUSIC]
The fourth string will stay.
As you might expect on D.
Fifth string will go from G down a half
step.
[MUSIC]
Dow to F-sharp, so.
[MUSIC]
I'm going to tune it back up to G
[MUSIC]
Now as we're doing this, we have the first
string, we want to tune the second string
down a half, down a whole step.
[MUSIC]
From B down to A.
[MUSIC]
If
you wanna compare that with the third
string, for instance,
if you don't have a tuner and wanna
[MUSIC]
Get a better sense of how to do that,
fret the second fret of the third string
[MUSIC]
And that should be the,
that should coincide with the open second
string.
[MUSIC]
And then you want to hit the fourth fret
of the fourth string
[MUSIC]
And that third string.
We'll go down to G,
down to F-sharp which should be the same
as the fourth fret of the fourth string.
[SOUND] And the fifth string [SOUND]
Should go down a half step.
It should be the same as the fourth fret
of the first string.
[MUSIC]
This
is not completely an exact science, but
it'll get you in the ballpark.
[MUSIC]
Okay, now you're in D tuning.
[MUSIC]
Okay, now we're in D tuning, and
once you're in D tuning, you already know
a whole bunch of tunes,
though you may not think so.
But the fact is that.
If you can play something in G tuning,
you can play it in D tuning by moving it
over one string.
For instance, Cripple Creek,
if you play it the way you would on the
normal strings.
[MUSIC]
It's not quite there.
If you move it over one string and
slide up two to five on the second string
instead of the first string.
[MUSIC]
And then instead of playing what you
would, what would be a C chord in G tuning
[MUSIC]
I kind of like the sound of that, but
it's not to everyone's liking.
So, if you move it over one string
[MUSIC]
That's a G chord which is
relatively the same.
When you're going from D to G, it's the
same as going from G to C.
So the fourth, it's the number four chord,
or the chord built off the fourth note of
the scale.
So.
[MUSIC]
instead of sliding two to three
on the third string, you can slide two to
three on the fourth string.
And then you've gotta futz it a little
bit.
So you can do all of Cripple Creek, just
moving it over a string.
[MUSIC]
Or Old Joe Clark.
Instead of going.
[MUSIC]
just move it over a string.
[MUSIC]
Or John Hardy instead.
[MUSIC]
Well you could say
you'd written a new tune.
But, move it over a string.
[MUSIC]
Okay, anyway, just, that's just is a
little precursor here.
Now the first chord I want to talk about
is an A-seventh chord, which you can do,
it's like if you take your D-seventh, I'm
just talking about this right now.
Move everything over one string.
Instead, instead of having your D-seventh
position being on the second and
second and third strings, move it over to
the third and fourth strings.
And that's an A-seventh.
In other words,
in G the D seventh chord is based on the
fifth note of the G scale D.
In the key of D, the fifth note of the
scale is A, and
you build an A chord off that.
[MUSIC]
And that's how you get it.
Just move it over, move your D seventh
position one string.
[MUSIC]
And
if you wanna play a fuller version of it,
[MUSIC]
You can.
Add the second fret of the first string,
because since these are both G notes.
[MUSIC]
An octave apart on the first and
fourth strings.
Whenever you're fretting on the fourth
string it's safe to fret it on
the first string.
[MUSIC]
And
in the case of well, talk about that in a
second.
There's a little, just a little exercise,
a little tiny etude.
Now that we've got those chords down, that
I want to have you play through just
to get you used to rolling around in, in
the key of D, in D tuning.
So, here we go.
[MUSIC]
All right, so it's basically it's kind of
a Don Reno thing where he would do things
like this without hitting the fifth string
very much.
In this case only on the very last pinch
of the whole thing.
He's playing two forward rolls.
I mean this isn't Don Reno, but this is
what he would do and
that's where I got this from.
[MUSIC]
Forward, forward and then two notes.
Forward, forward, two notes.
Same thing.
And a partial kind of alternating thumb
and repeat.
[MUSIC]
Hammer.
[MUSIC]
So, once more.
[MUSIC]