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Banjo Lessons: E Flat

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Well, as I'm filming this,
there's been a little bit of chat on the
site recently about playing in E-flat
without a capo and there, there's a lot
that can actually be done.
It's not done very much.
I recorded an album back in the 80s called
Robot Plane Flies Over Arkansas, and
recorded a song on there called Roberto's
Dream in E-Flat without the [INAUDIBLE],
kind of a swingy thing.
But anyway, so I'm gonna discuss E-Flat
here for
you now, and let's see what we can do with
I will have a version whiskey before
breakfast just to be a little crazy.
Instead of D take it to E flat on the half
To start with, let's just play a simple
scale in
E flat using the single string because
we're down so low.
You could either fret the third fret of
the second string or at the open first.
And, al, alternating thumb, index, thumb,
index, thumb, index, thumb, index, and
going down using just the index and ring
in the left hand.
As the first two measures here on the tab,
then here's a little E flat a-tude.
So, pretty much just those same
Now, for the ending of measure four,
I'm barring the index across the first
Three strings really, so
I can get the third and second strings
And then, I go back to not barring.
Barring there again.
The end of measure eight.
Here I'm,
You could use the ring,
I tend to use the pinky.
And then, grab that,
I do a little pinch on the
outside strings with the first fret
of the first.
And, the fifth string.
So, together one more time it's,.
All right there's a little to study.
Okay, now.
In addition to doing the whole single
string thing even on the low notes,
even though on the low notes you need to
be doing single string cuz you
can't get a melodic thing going.
I will play a melodic scale going up two
octaves starting with single string cuz
it's the only way to do it.
right down here, it's all single string.
middle on the fourth fret of the second,
index on the third fret of the first.
And then, shift to this position.
Which is some melodic sounding close
With a ring at the,
thirteenth fret of the third.
Middle on the second string.
Eleventh fret index on the first string
tenth fret.
Thumb on the twelfth fret of the fifth.
[SOUND] And, ending up on the e flat here
on the first string at
the thirteenth fret with a pinky.
And then, going back down.
And, since you're hit right here.
Four strings in a row.
Go middle thumb middle.
I'm sorry.
Middle thumb and then here middle thumb
index thumb.
And, there's a full two measure,
I'm sorry two octave e flat scale using
starting with the single string, and
then going into the melodic.
Here's a variation.
This is E flat scale of the Milotics Two,
instead of getting one, two, three,
four, five, six, seven, eight.
And, nine, if you will,
here on the fourth and third frets.
I'm getting them here at the eighth fret
of the third with the ring,
and the sixth fret of the second, or the
So, what you have is-
exactly the same except instead of these
two notes.
You're getting them farther up the neck,
which is actually
a little smoother instead of jumping from
down here to way up here.
I think it's a little smoother,
a smoother transition you're working your
way up slowly rather than kinda being down
here then having to jump up, way up here
very quickly.
This is a little different.
Even for me because I'm not, after playing
for all these years,
I would think that I'd played enough in
all the keys, but I haven't.
I have not done a lot of work out of E
flat at all really.
Some, but not a lot.
So, for me,
this is a good learning process also,
getting used to some of these fingerings.
And, it just makes you, in general, I
a lot more flexible when you're playing
with everything.
So, just really run these scales a lot
before you start embarking on the tunes
themselves, get comfortable with these
fingerings, cuz these are the,
this is providing the groundwork for the
tunes themselves.
Well, the tune itself actually in this
case, Whiskey Before Breakfast.
So, I'm going to do, I got just a little a
etude in the melodic E-flat zone here.
And, it sounds like this.
There it is.
So, that's a little melodic etude and I'm
I'm doing a little separation of notes
thing and
I'm keeping the E-flat note here which is
your grounding note, this.
Fourth fret of the second string.
That's E-flat, the same as the first fret
of the fourth string.
Adding the ring on the fifth
fret of the third.
This is for measure 19.
And then, I let go,
add the index on the third fret of the
first string.
Then, as I hit the fifth string,
I let go of the, I think I let go.
Let me see what I'm doing here.
I'm keeping.
Bring the index down, sorry.
And, bring the ring back down on the fifth
fret of the third string.
Let go again.
And, just keep lifting, lifting off as I
hit it.
take this whole position, just slide it up
The index and middle up to the 10th and
11th frets of the first and
second strings.
And, I'm using the ring.
Slide the middle down to the sixth fret of
the second string.
Add the pinky on the eighth fret of the
Back to your originating position.
And now, your ring is on the fifth fret of
the third string.
But now, I'm bringing it over to the
eighth fret of the third string for
measure 23.
Now, you're gonna do a backward roll.
Middle, index, thumb.
Go to the middle at the 11 fret of the
Ring, pinky, on the 13th, ring on the 12th
fret of the fifth.
Pinky on the 13th fret of the first.
Middle down here, pinky, and pinky on the
eighth fret of the third string, so.
That's the note I meant to hit right up
So, that's the etude in E-
flat using melodics.