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Banjo Lessons: “Soldiers Joy”

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[MUSIC]
There you have Soldier's Joy.
I I've been playing this tune for many
years and
I've put it into various books that I've
written and videos and whatnot.
But I wanted to have a new version to have
here for the Academy of Bluegrass.
And so I have a big box set of seven CDs
called Kentucky Mountain Music, I think
it's called.
And this is from a group called the
Taylor's Kentucky Boys.
It features all sorts of the box set
features all sorts of recordings from
the 20s and 30s.
And this is a version by Taylor's Kentucky
Boys, which I'd never,
I've never heard of them before.
But I just explored what their fiddle
player was playing.
This is a transcription of what the
fiddler was playing.
And I love doing this, because it gives me
just all sorts of different perspectives.
There are lots of different versions of
these tunes.
Soldier's Joy is such a classic.
So what I just played for you is the
fiddler's arrangement of Soldier's Joy and
he plays it with Taylor's Kentucky Boys.
So
[MUSIC]
basically what's going on here is you're
working out of D scales.
[MUSIC]
So, slowed down.
[MUSIC]
Little
single string here at the beginning.
[MUSIC]
Thumb.
[MUSIC] Index. [MUSIC]
Thumb.
[MUSIC] Zero. [MUSIC] Two. [MUSIC]
Four.
[MUSIC]
Index ring.
[MUSIC]
Open.
And then I go.
[MUSIC]
Seventh fret of the fourth.
[MUSIC]
Open second.
Sixth fret of the third.
[MUSIC]
Open first.
[MUSIC]
Fifth fret of
the second
[MUSIC]
with the middle index on
the fourth fret of the first.
[MUSIC]
Fifth string.
And then just move that position up here.
[MUSIC]
Middle on the tenth fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Index on the ninth fret of the first.
[MUSIC]
Thumb on the 11th fret
of the fifth string and pinky on the 12th
fret of the first or.
[MUSIC]
If you wanna be a little fancier,
if you will.
[MUSIC]
Have the ring on the 11th fret of
the fifth string and the pinky on the 12th
fret of the first.
[MUSIC]
And then go back down.
[MUSIC]
Or
an alternate way of doing this is to go.
[MUSIC]
The same here.
[MUSIC]
And then instead of going here.
[MUSIC]
To the fifth fret of the second and
fourth fret of the first, you'll get the
exact same notes here.
[MUSIC]
Ninth fret of the third.
[MUSIC]
And seven fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Open fifth.
[MUSIC]
And then finish out the way you just did,
tenth fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Ninth fret of the first.
[MUSIC]
Eleventh fret of the fifth.
[MUSIC]
12th fret of the first.
And then back down.
[MUSIC]
Or.
[MUSIC]
And a lot of what's in here comes out of
those positions.
[MUSIC]
Another
thing you'll find yourself doing a little
bit is being in this position here.
[MUSIC]
You're kind of
positioning around the fourth fret of the
first.
[MUSIC]
Fifth fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Index,
middle on the left hand
[MUSIC]
with the ring on the sixth fret
of the third.
[MUSIC]
And various variations on that form.
So starting with the two note lead in.
One and two
[MUSIC]
and one.
Now, there, there's another version of
this which goes like this.
[MUSIC]
Which is more active, which is I, I found
a version from the 1780s in a British
fiddle tune book where it does that.
[MUSIC]
These tunes go way back.
But this version and I kinda like it in a
different sort of way.
It's just a simpler.
[MUSIC]
Instead of.
[MUSIC]
Go.
[MUSIC]
So there's the down beat there and I'm,
I've got the index on the second fret of
the third string.
[MUSIC]
And the ring there.
[MUSIC]
Open.
[MUSIC]
Ring on the fourth string.
[MUSIC]
Thumb.
[MUSIC] Thumb. [MUSIC]
Thumb.
[MUSIC]
Thumb.
[MUSIC]
And then you could do the index here.
Puts a little more strain in my hand, it's
more comfortable to have index and ring.
[MUSIC]
Index on the second fret of the third.
Ring on the third fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Soft forward roll then I move the ring up
the fifth fret of the second open first.
[MUSIC]
Repeat this.
I just keep the index part as an,
at the middle on the second fret of the
fourth string.
[MUSIC]
Forward roll, fourth pinch on the first
and third string with the index and
middle, cuz you just used the thumb.
[MUSIC]
And that's two notes out of the A chord.
It goes to the A chord there, but I'm
softening by having the open first string.
[MUSIC]
Repeat this.
[MUSIC]
And then here I go.
[MUSIC]
I use the ring and
pinky here on the seventh fret of the
first two strings.
[MUSIC]
Ring on the seventh fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Pinky on the seventh fret of the first.
[MUSIC]
Open first and then.
[MUSIC]
Index on the fifth part of the second.
[MUSIC]
Middle on the sixth fret of the third.
[MUSIC]
And then.
[MUSIC]
Open first,
[MUSIC] open fourth, [MUSIC]
then fifth fret of the second
with the index.
[MUSIC]
Sixth fret of the third with the middle
[MUSIC] open. [MUSIC]
And then repeat that again.
[MUSIC]
Now for
the B part, let's do the second ending.
[MUSIC]
And
then we have this two note
[MUSIC]
lead into the B part.
[MUSIC]
Ring on the seventh fret of the fourth.
[MUSIC]
Middle on the sixth fret of the third.
[MUSIC]
I'll play the B part one more time.
[MUSIC]
So, two note lead and
the downbeat is here
[MUSIC]
on the open first.
[MUSIC]
Open first, fifth fret of the second.
With the middle,
[MUSIC]
fourth fret of the first with the index.
[MUSIC]
Fifth string.
[MUSIC]
Pinky on the seventh fret of the first.
[MUSIC]
Fifth
string open,
[MUSIC]
index on the fourth fret of the first.
Then
[MUSIC]
there's that position I mentioned earlier.
[MUSIC]
Cuz this is an A chord you're
playing here.
[MUSIC]
Fifth fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Sixth fret of the third.
[MUSIC]
Fifth fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Fourth fret of the first.
[MUSIC]
Middle
ring,
[MUSIC]
middle index.
[MUSIC]
Back down.
[MUSIC]
Now you're shifting to
a new position here.
[MUSIC]
Open first.
[MUSIC]
Ring on the ninth fret of the third.
[MUSIC]
Index on the seventh fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Fifth string open.
[MUSIC]
And
then I collapse into a bar on the first
two strings with the index.
[MUSIC]
You get that seventh fret of the first
string,
[MUSIC]
which kinda gives me a nice position to
get the ring over to the ninth fret of the
fifth string.
[MUSIC]
Back down, and
then ring on the ninth fret of the third.
[MUSIC]
Open first.
[MUSIC]
Then I go to the middle on the sixth fret
of the third.
[MUSIC]
Open second.
[MUSIC]
Ring on the seventh fret of the fourth and
then you go back up the way we began.
[MUSIC]
And
then seventh fret of the first,
[MUSIC]
pinky seventh fret of the first
with the pinky.
[MUSIC]
Open fifth and
then add the ring on the seventh fret of
the second.
And this ends the same way the A section
ends.
[MUSIC]
And it repeats.
[MUSIC]
So that's Soldier's Joy.
I'll play it one more time to go out here.
Just a classic,
great old fiddle tune in the key of D,
[MUSIC]
which works really nice on the banjo.
One and two.
[MUSIC]
And then you can go back into it for
another time through and a little more up
to tempo.
One and two and three and four.
[MUSIC]
Soldier's Joy.