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Banjo Lessons: D Tuning Part 2: “Hand Me Down My Walking Cane”

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[MUSIC]
Okay,
now it's time to play an actual tune, and
this is one that my mother used to sing to
me when I was a kid,
and it's called Hand Me Down My Walking
Cane, Pete Seeger's done it.
It's just an old folk song, it works very
nicely on the banjo.
Which often done in G not done that much
in D tuning.
And to expedite the playing of this tune,
you wanna be comfortable with a backward
forward roll.
It's just kind of the, if you take the
forward backward roll, cut it in half and
interpolate the two-halves, you'll get the
backward forward roll, which is.
[MUSIC]
So
backward to the first string, then forward
roll to the fifth string.
[MUSIC]
Try that
a little bit til you're comfortable with
that, that it's in your fingers,
and then start playing Hand Me Down My
Walking Cane.
[MUSIC]
It's very pretty in the key of D.
I really like the sound of that.
So you're starting off with two quarter
notes.
[MUSIC]
I was halfway through singing that and
realized, what are the words?
But I think whatever that was, we're close
enough.
And I'm not one to go out singing loosely,
but I'm just doing it here
cuz people have said in the past that they
like to hear the words and
hear what the melody is, so I know I don't
have a very good voice, but
hopefully it's sufficient to give you the
idea of how this tune goes.
So.
[MUSIC]
You have
the melody note on the first string, the
fourth fret of the first string, and
right off the bat you're playing a
backward forward roll.
[MUSIC]
And just quarter notes.
And I'm just using the ring.
You could, technically it'd be nice to go
ring to pinky to ring, but I'm just,
it's just folk music in this case.
So I'm just going ring, ring, ring index.
Another [SOUND]
Kind of backwards and
forwards and backwards, kind of jumping
into each other.
[MUSIC]
All open.
Hand me down.
Now the melody's on the second fret of the
first string.
[MUSIC]
Now this is that D seventh, or I'm sorry,
the A seventh that we started where we
move the D seventh position over one.
Except in this case I'm opening up the
fourth string.
[MUSIC]
I just think that's really pretty, so
I'm just taking a little bit of poetic
license here, which is a D note and
kind of like, it's a, you're playing an A
chord, but
it feels like there's a little D in there
also.
[MUSIC]
Another backward forward roll.
Another backward forward roll.
Now, you go to a G chord.
If you wanted to have a G chord just as in
the key of G,
a C chord is when you borrow the fifth,
occurs when you borrow the fifth fret
in the key of D if you want a G chord you
also borrow the fifth fret.
However, I love the sound of that open
second string.
If you're a fan of Joni Mitchell's early
work,
she used to do a lot of this sort of thing
on the guitar.
She played out of these wonderful open
tunings,
because she had polio when she was a kid
and couldn't play the regular chords.
So she would just find these open tunings,
and rather than having a full chord,
she would just use one finger or two
fingers,
which is what I'm doing here rather than
borrowing the whole thing.
I just love that sound.
[MUSIC]
And I love the way the fifth
string gets in there, the sound of that
against the G chord.
So I'm using the middle on the fifth fret
of the third ring on the fifth fret of
the first.
[MUSIC]
Back to this backward
forward roll on D with the melody note on
the fourth fret of the first string.
[MUSIC]
Down to the index.
Another backward forward
[MUSIC]
And here's your D seventh, I'm sorry,
A seventh again.
But I'm sliding up so it's index on the,
it's ring on the second fret of first,
index on the third fret, I'm sorry, first
fret of the third string.
Slide up and go back down, and then pinch
the open first and third.
[MUSIC]
You can use the thumb and
middle for that pinch.
So the whole
thing put
together is
Hand me down my
walking cane.
[MUSIC]