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Banjo Lessons: Playing in the Key of E Without a Capo

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[MUSIC]
Well, hello folks.
Here is the key of E with no capo.
And, most people avoid the key of E,
because it's kind of weird and
when you go.
[MUSIC]
You get that fifth string up there.
[MUSIC]
And, it's a little weird,
I wrote a tune called blues in E.
[MUSIC]
Using that fifth.
String as, as odious as it might be, as
problematic, and
just making it part of the melody but,
[MUSIC]
One of the things you can
do is just avoid the fifth string.
And, Don Reno would do that, not
infrequently when he played.
He'd just work, mostly on the first three
strings.
And, once in a while, he'd go to the fifth
string,
but, it's time that people started getting
into the key of E.
It's a great, bluesy kind of key.
[MUSIC]
Which
we're not gonna be getting into in this
lesson.
But-
[MUSIC]
E is great because you have the flatted
seventh on the fourth and first strings
[SOUND] Which is-
[SOUND] Definitely part of the Blues
scale.
[SOUND] You have the D there.
On fourth and first strings.
[SOUND] And then, you have the minor
third.
[SOUND] On the open third string.
[MUSIC]
So,
you have all these bluesy possibilities in
E.
[MUSIC]
And, even then,
the Cripple Creek boiling cabbage down
lick.
[MUSIC]
Works really nicely going into an E chord.
Sounds like you're in E very bluesily, as
opposed to a
[MUSIC]
It works when you play it against an E
chord
[MUSIC]
Anyway, that's not
what we're going right now.
But, just to kinda give you a flavor of
some E stuff.
I'm gonna start off fairly simply by doing
some sixths in the key of E for
Sourwood Mountain.
That's what we're gonna end up with, but
we're gonna first do Boil' Em Cabbage
Down.
But, first, first, we're gonna go through
some.
[MUSIC]
Sixth.
[MUSIC]
Now the handy thing is in G,
[MUSIC]
Is the fifth string is the drone
here in E since you have B as a nice, open
string.
[MUSIC]
That's going to be your open string
against which the sixths will be set.
So, you're gonna start with, I always like
to use the index and
pinky whenever I'm doing sixths.
So, I have the index on the first fret of
the third string, pinky on the second fret
of the first, which is maybe a little
awkward, right off the bat.
But,.
[MUSIC]
And you're doing forward,
backward most of the time.
The usual one but fourth, then in this
case it'll be third,
second, first, second, and that'll happen
throughout this entire progression.
And then, go to two and four on the third
and first strings, and
I'll use that terminology continually
here.
[MUSIC]
Two and four, four and six, six and
seven, eight and nine [SOUND] Nine and
11, [SOUND]
11 and 13,
[SOUND] 13 and 14, so you've got.
[MUSIC]
[SOUND] Now,
let's try a little bit of Boil Them
Cabbage Down.
[MUSIC]
So, we'll start with four and six.
Fourth fret of the third string and sixth
fret of the first string.
And, we're doing we're gonna have the
melody on the first string.
[MUSIC]
I'm not going to sing and,
and subject you to my singing.
But, the melody is on the first string.
[MUSIC]
The melody is,
he's on the first string throughout.
[MUSIC]
So, the roll you're gonna be doing is a,
kind of a, a reverse alternating thumb
roll.
[MUSIC]
First, third, second, third.
[MUSIC]
And, you do it twice.
[MUSIC]
Before you go.
Go to the A chord.
[MUSIC]
But, rather than ending there and
then jumping to A, if you do this
[MUSIC]
As you hit that seventh note,
that open second string, that gives you
one note to get into the next position.
[MUSIC]
And, then on that.
Second to last note of the A chord, you go
back to four.
[MUSIC]
It gives you that one chance to jump back,
you have one note chance to get back move
to the next position basically.
So, I like the idea of doing that, that,
in anticipation.
[MUSIC]
Shift.
Now, you're doing the same thing, but with
the sixth fret of the third string and
seventh fret of the first string.
[MUSIC]
Jump back to four and
six with the E chord.
[MUSIC]
Now, you're gonna jump down two frets.
You're gonna start with the index at the
second fret of the third string.
This is for the third measure of Boil' Em
Cabbage Down when you're finishing
up the E chord, about to go to the B
chord.
You're anticipating the B chord by one
note.
[MUSIC]
And now, to break out of that constant
reverse alternating thumb roll you're
gonna do two backward rolls.
[MUSIC]
And then, jump back up to the
[MUSIC]
E.
[MUSIC]
Anticipating.
And, the A.
[MUSIC]
And then,
[MUSIC]
so, and this is the second to last
measure.
[MUSIC]
Anticipating on the B.
[SOUND] So, pinky at the sixth fret of the
first, open second,
index on the fourth fret of the third.
[SOUND] And then, it's two backward rolls.
[MUSIC]
Anticipate that B or
the B seventh with the index at the second
fret of the third.
[SOUND] And hitting the open second and
fourth fret of the first as a pinch
[MUSIC]
to E chord.
Regular old E chord, i'm just fretting the
second fret of the first and
the third fret of the, sorry first fret of
the third.
[MUSIC]
Third is a quarter note pinch.
[MUSIC]
Then,
I add the middle on the second fret of the
fourth string.
[MUSIC]
Do a forward roll, fourth second, first,
second, fourth.
[SOUND] Okay, so the whole thing would be,
slowly,.
[MUSIC]
Shift, shift back and
forward, shift to two, backward,
backward, anticipate.
Six.
[MUSIC]
'Kay, here's the whole thing up to tempo.
[MUSIC]
Boil Them Cabbage Down in E, without a
capo.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
All
right.
Continuing in our quest to conquer the key
of E without a capo Sourwood Mountain.
And, part A goes like this, and it gets
some nice
[MUSIC]
Really cool relationships,
kind of [SOUND] re, as a chromatic
relationship.
It's if you're going six, five, six,
[MUSIC]
on the fourth string.
Bu, by the dint of the fact that you have
that open third string G,
[MUSIC]
you get the sixth fret of the fourth
string, open third.
And I, I'm letting go each time so you
have that separation of notes.
Let go with the middle finger on the sixth
fret of the third.
Hit it, [SOUND] open third, let go of the
middle, bring it back down.
[SOUND] To the sixth fret of the third and
then
[MUSIC]
Open second and let go again.
[MUSIC]
And then, do it again.
[MUSIC]
So, you do it twice, and
these are all alternating thumb rolls with
the middle on the second string now.
So, it's a kind of that inside thing
instead of being out on the first string.
[MUSIC]
And then, I move the middle over to
the sixth fret of the third string for the
second measure of part A.
[MUSIC]
And again, letting go.
Sixth fret of the third, open second.
Bring it back down, [SOUND] and
I'm adding the index on the fifth fret of
the second string.
[MUSIC]
Sixth
fret of the third, fifth fret of the
second.
[MUSIC]
Open first, little melodic lick,
back to the sixth fret of the third.
Open second, ring on the seventh fret of
the fourth.
[MUSIC]
Now I, I let go here, once it's
down here as I go into this forward roll I
keep the middle down and add the fifth
fret of the second, open first, sixth fret
of the third, open second, let go.
And, I had the ring on the seventh fret of
the fourth string, so you've got.
[MUSIC]
[SOUND]
Now, the third measure
of Sourwood Mountain Part A is
[MUSIC]
You're doing kind of a reverse or,
reverse alternating thumb roll,
[MUSIC]
And again, letting go of that [SOUND]
Middle finger on the sixth fret of the
fourth string every time.
So, middle on the second on the string,
[SOUND] Middle, I'm sorry,
[SOUND] Thumb on the
[MUSIC]
Third on the fourth string,
which you're finding at the sixth fret.
Sorry.
[MUSIC]
Open third, sixth fret of the fourth.
Open second, let me do that measure again.
[MUSIC]
Open second,
hitting with the middle finger in the
right hand.
[MUSIC]
Sixth fret of the fourth, open third,
sixth fret of the fourth.
[MUSIC]
Open second.
[MUSIC]
Sixth fret of the fourth, open third.
Sixth fret of the fourth.
[MUSIC]
Letting go each time with that
sixth fret of the fourth.
[MUSIC]
And now, the last measure,
fourth measure of part A, of part A.
[MUSIC]
Middle on the second string.
[MUSIC]
And, I hit the second fret of the third
string using the index in the right hand,
[MUSIC]
and then a little single string.
[MUSIC].
Slightly bluesy little effect here.
[MUSIC]
Zero to one on the third string
[MUSIC]
To the index and then the middle,
on the second fret of the fourth.
As you hit that, hit the open second, and
add the ring on the second fret of the
fourth.
And then, end on the fourth string, second
fret.
So,.
[MUSIC]
Here, you're just fretting a full E chord.
So, you've got, [MUSIC]. And then, you
repeat.
This is the next measure, measure five.
[MUSIC]
And then.
[MUSIC]
So, you're just doing twice,
the whole thing.
[MUSIC]
Except it's a little different for
the first measure and the fifth measure,
instead of starting.
[MUSIC]
Now,
you're going
[MUSIC] to the second half.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
Now, the D part, it's a little stretchier,
but I don't think it'll be too much of a
problem.
[MUSIC]
So,.
[MUSIC]
Let's forget about the first string
for the moment.
You're gonna play the bottom part of an E
chord.
Middle at the second fret of the fourth
string.
Index at the first fret of the third
string.
[MUSIC]
And so, you're gonna do a backward roll,
middle index thumb, and you're gonna go.
[SOUND] From here to the pinky at the
fourth fret of the fourth string.
That's a bit of a stretch.
[SOUND] So, you can let go of the first
fret of the third
string [SOUND] As you come down to the
fourth fret of the fourth,
hit the second string of the middle.
[SOUND] And then, come back to the
E-chord,
the bottom part where the second fret of
the fourth string, the E.
[SOUND] With the middle finger there
[MUSIC]
And, and your index should now be down at
the first fret of the third string and
then the ring is going to come back to
the second fret of the first string for a
full E chord.
[MUSIC]
Let go, come back to the E chord,
a quarter note.
And then, two forward rolls,
[MUSIC]
Crossing the bar line from the first
to the second measure of part B.
[MUSIC]
And now, it's kind of a bluesy,
open fourth string quarter note, first
fret of the fourth string quarter note,
thumb, thumb.
[MUSIC]
Back to a full E-chord and doing
[MUSIC]
Fourth, second, first, fourth,
forward roll to the fourth string and then
pinch the first two strings.
[MUSIC].
Now, and then add the ring on the second
fret of the second string,
[MUSIC]
Then go into the second fret
of the fourth string and then.
[MUSIC]
which is the same way you're starting out
this the first measure of part B.
[MUSIC]
So,
you're ending this fourth measure of part
B the same way.
[MUSIC]
So open, it's a backward roll.
Open second with the middle,
first fret of the third string with the
index in both hands, actually.
[MUSIC]
And then, the pinky on the fourth fret of
the fourth, and you can let go of
everything else the open second.
[MUSIC]
So, that whole first half of the B part is
[MUSIC].
And then, the last two notes are eighth
notes.
And, you hit the fourth of the third
string.
[MUSIC]
Repeat, this is just as you did before.
[MUSIC]
Okay?
So, that's Sourwood Mountain and from the
beginning one more time, you've got.
[MUSIC]
Sourwood Mountain.
[MUSIC]