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Banjo Lessons: “Sweet Georgia Brown”

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[MUSIC]
Here's an old favorite,
a real standard, Sweet Georgia Brown.
And you can almost see the Harlem
Globetrotters just going down the court
and doing all their amazing moves when you
play this.
So I will just run through this once and
then break it down and
discuss what's going on.
It's in the key of F interestingly even
though it starts on D.
[MUSIC]
This is a lot of fun to play.
As I said, it's in the key of F, but only.
And at least at the beginning only long
enough to go down chromatically into
the melody.
This is just a lead in.
Like one and two and one and two and one
and two and so on and so forth.
So.
[MUSIC]
You're going to a D chord to start with
and I'm going three, two, one.
Ring, middle, and index in the left hand.
[MUSIC]
Love all these quarter notes.
[MUSIC]
Just gives it room to breathe.
So, just playing the melody.
[MUSIC]
No other rolls at the moment.
[MUSIC]
So,
open index on the second fret ring on the
fourth fret of the fourth string.
Index on the second fret of the third ring
on the fourth fret of the fourth.
[MUSIC]
And once I have that.
Index at the second fret of the third
string at the beginning of the third
measure.
I just keep it there.
[MUSIC]
And then fourth measure.
[MUSIC]
Actually instead of going.
[MUSIC]
Fifth and
first which I just did out of habit.
Since you're on D, I'm making that, that.
Just filler space be the fourth string
which gives you the D'ness of it all.
And the D on the first string.
[MUSIC]
And then.
[MUSIC]
Two, zero, and this is single string,
thumb, index, thumb, middle.
It's actually an alternating thumb roll
but the little single string here.
[MUSIC]
And
I'm using the pinky on the fourth fret of
the fourth string.
Just that's what my hand does, if you want
to use the ring that's fine also.
[MUSIC]
And then.
Measure five, quarter note, two forward
rolls, and
I just have the index on the second fret
of the third string.
So you're starting with.
[SOUND] But this time, cuz your gonna go
to a G.
[MUSIC]
Which gives you a G seventh, and that.
F note there, that third fret of the
fourth string.
Uses the same idea except now instead of
going to four you're going to three.
[MUSIC]
And that's giving you a G ninth chord,
the flatted seventh, the F note on the
third fret of the fourth string,
plus the second note of the G scale.
Do re, A on the second fret of the third,
which is the same as the ninth note of the
scale, flatted seventh and the.
And the ninth note of the scale together
give you a ninth chord, so.
[MUSIC]
Pinch the first two stings, third string.
Now we're gonna Scruggs out for a moment.
[MUSIC]
Unison on the first two stings,
third fret of the second, open first,
[MUSIC]
Fifth, first, alternating thumb.
[MUSIC]
Quarter note on the third sting,
two forward rolls.
[MUSIC]
And now we don't have that low C so
we're gonna jump up an octave.
[MUSIC]
So.
[MUSIC]
[FOREIGN] just keeping that C note down
there on the first fret of the second
string.
This is measure ten
[MUSIC]
Again the four quarter notes
[MUSIC]
And then fifth string.
And then I just slide that index up to the
fifth fret of the second string.
Ring on the seventh fret of the first
string and the fifth string.
[MUSIC]
And I can go.
[MUSIC]
You
could actually slide one to five, but I
just have you going.
[MUSIC]
Just sitting right on it.
But if you want, you can go
[MUSIC]
And slide one to five as you're hitting
that fifth string at the beginning of
measure 11.
[MUSIC]
And
then the ring is at the seventh fret of
the first string.
You just bring it up to the tenth fret of
the first string and
put the middle finger next to it on the
tenth fret of the second string.
[MUSIC]
Backward roll.
[SOUND] Into a forward roll with the
middle at the fifth
fifth fret of the second.
[SOUND] Open first into a backward roll.
[SOUND] So it's backward, forward,
backward and for
the backward it's open first.
Index on the first fret of the second and
the two pull off.
Two zero pull off I should say.
A two pull of doesn't exist.
Two zero pull off.
[MUSIC]
Middle to open.
[MUSIC]
Second string quarter note.
[MUSIC]
Just a Scruggsy thing.
This is number 13.
[MUSIC]
Quarter note.
Forward roll.
Fifth, second, first, to the fifth string.
Pinch quarter note.
Now you go to the F chord.
[SOUND] Now you're in front of the.
Have alighted back in F.
Let me play up to that point.
[MUSIC]
And here we are on the F.
It's your D position F, index on the third
string, fifth fret.
[SOUND] Middle on the second string, sixth
fret.
[SOUND] And pinkie on the first string
seventh fret.
The full F would be with the ring on the
fourth string, seventh fret but
we're only going to be fretting the first
three strings in this case.
Doing forward backward rolls.
[MUSIC]
Starting with the third string and
then rather than having it sound boring by
keeping, repeating that.
Third string leading off and then for the
second.
Forward backward roll which is measure 15.
You'll start with the fifth string.
[MUSIC]
One more with the fifth string so
it's three of these forward backward
rolls.
Third.
Fifth.
Fifth.
And I keep the pinky where it is on the
seventh fret of the first string, and
invert the index in the middle for the A
chord.
So now the index will be at the first fret
of the second, and
the middle will be at the sixth fret of
the third string, your F position A chord.
And you'll do a forward backward roll on
that starting on the third string.
[SOUND]
So it's for measure 14.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
And then you go back to the beginning.
And you're continuing that's the same.
[MUSIC]
Now you have arrived at measure 26,
playing a D minor.
[MUSIC]
For the D minor,
I have the index on the second fret of the
third string.
Middle on the third fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
Ring at the third fret of the first.
Forward backward rolls again.
[MUSIC]
And then I bar the index kind of collapse
it across the first three strings of the
second fret to give you an A chord.
Actually, an A7 because you have that G
note, that flatted seventh up there,
so, it's.
Measure 26.
[MUSIC]
27.
[MUSIC]
28, the same as 26.
28, the same as 26.
And there's 29 ending on a quarter note.
And now jump up here.
[MUSIC]
Cuz the tenth fret bar is an F chord.
But you're gonna just go, ten,11.
[MUSIC]
For the first two notes, just index and
ring on ten and 12.
This is measure 30.
[MUSIC]
And
then I collapse the index to cross the
first three strings at the tenth fret.
Which is the F chord, and these are all
quarter notes.
So ten, 12 on the fourth.
10 on the third.
10 on the second.
10 on the first.
[MUSIC]
Second.
And then I go pinkie on the 12th fret of
the first.
Back to the barred 10th fret for the 10th
fret of the first string.
So.
[MUSIC]
The F position G.
[MUSIC]
And then, then I have the middle, index,
and the ring, with the ring at the fifth
fret of the first string.
[MUSIC]
And
then the pinky just slides all the way up
to the tenth fret of the first string.
And the ring is at the tenth fret of the
second string.
For backward roll, so it's.
[MUSIC]
To an F chord.
So the whole thing put together.
[MUSIC]
If you want to bend that first fret of
the fourth string.
Don't ask me why, but I like doing that.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Now,
for a little variation on the F chord.
Instead of going, this is would be measure
14.
Instead of doing the forward backward
roles.
[MUSIC]
You could do this very nice roll here.
And this starts.
At measure 34.
[MUSIC]
There's the roll, hit the first string,
and then forward roll.
Three, two, one.
Another forward roll.
Five, three, two.
Middle on the second string.
Ending on the fifth string.
[MUSIC]
Start again.
[MUSIC]
Once again.
[MUSIC]
Now if you play your D position F chord.
It's a very pretty sound.
So that pinky on the seventh fret of the
first,
index at the fifth fret of the third,
middle at the sixth fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
So, first.
String then a forward roll.
Five, I'm sorry.
Three, two, one and then five, three, two,
five.
[MUSIC]
So you have one.
[MUSIC]
Two.
[MUSIC]
Three.
[MUSIC]
And then invert the index and middle and
you have your F position A chord.
[MUSIC]
And then you.
[MUSIC]
Just do this all over again so.
[MUSIC]
This is a variation.
[MUSIC]
And so on and so forth.
So there's a little bit of Sweet Georgia
Brown for
you to sink your teeth into and enjoy.
And I hope you have a good time with it.
[MUSIC]