‘Sailor’s Hornpipe’ Fingering Change

As you know, I’m doing the old fiddle tune ‘Sailor’s Hornpipe’ as the TTSB 30-Day Challenge (find out more at Tony Trischka School of Banjo). In working on it, there’s a part where you have to jump what is to me a long way in only the space of an eighth note. Here’s the way the piece is written, the problem is circled in red there:

slide1

That movement from the second fret to the sixth (on the third string), even with the space between, is hard for me to hit confidently. So I thought, wait a minute–is there some other place I can get the same note? Yep, there sure is. Here’s the problem measure larger:

slide2

That same third-string-sixth-fret note can be gotten on the second string at the second fret, and it’s a lot better for me to make that move instead of the long trip down to the sixth fret. Here’s how I’m going to play it:

slide3

It’s the same note, easy to hit, and easy to finger too. Ahh.

‘How can it possibly be the same note? It’s a different string!’ I hear you cry. It’s a banjo mystery šŸ™‚ Actually, no mystery–the strings are tuned such that they overlap, that is to say they cover the same territory, and it’s possible to get the same note in several different places. With a little experimentation, you can see that the open 1st-string note (that’s a D) can be gotten at the third fret of the 2nd string, or the seventh fret of the 3rd, or the 12th fret of the 4th, and so on.

Stay tuned for developments!

 

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