Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Arrangement question

So I’m not sure if this is weird, standard, or just a personal preference kind of thing. At the end of the song they go into Black Mountain Rag. Billy Strings is only playing the A, B, and D parts, and the rest of the band is playing A, B, C, and D parts. At full speed it sounds great and I didn’t even notice, but when I was messing around playing along with it is when I noticed it. Seems like every time someone plays it it’s a different combination of parts just curious about thoughts on this one.

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@scott_wilson
Structure/form of Black Mtn Rag is AABBCC…there is no Part D

Dave

The tab on this site has a D part

And the main question is that if there’s no D part then I’m just confused by the band playing an extra 8 bars and Billy isn’t. Just thought it was kind of weird.

I think it’s probably just a preference thing… as Ben says on the lesson description:

“This one is more in the style of the late, great “Doc” Watson, and includes the extra part he would often play, though most versions I hear omit it.”

I suppose it’s kind of weird that the band wasn’t playing the same arrangement, though. If I was to play the tune in a band or jam, I would recommend verifying with the other pickers as to whether or not you would play that section.

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Hi Scott

There are two arrangements on the site. An intermediate arrangement in the Key of A and an advanced arrangement in C neither has a D part. @BanjoBen 's arrangements are ABC. Ben likes to mix things up a bit It’s always best to sit down with the band or session group and discuss how the arrangement you/they want to play.

Scott, all the breaks on that video are the same length. (counted them out for ya):wink:

What may be confusing you is that they are a not real particular about playing the defining melody at the particular time it belongs…the are jamming/improvising through the progression.

Dave

Hey @Archie, here’s the part in the guitar tab that Scott is referencing (measure 26):

gif Duh. I saw the banjo player and just assumed

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Yeah I’m sure it’s something I’m missing, but when I saw D part I got confused. I’ll have to recount, I thought that when I used @BanjoBen tab to play rhythm the band played through all 4 when Billy only played A, B, and D. I’ll look closer. Then I was wondering if there was a standard way of doing it if someone were to call it out at a jam. I’m just easily confused ha.

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I suggest learning three parts…then keep your ears open…some jammers have a tendency toward playing an AABB form, or it may change with each instrument break…it’s one of those “hang on” kind of tunes.

And as Ben suggests, there’s always the chance a doc Watson fan will whip our the extra part on guitar…just in case the rest wasn’t confusing enough :wink:

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Well, I never learned this song, and at camp in July it happened to come up in a jam that I was part of, and I had to do some learning real quick like :joy::joy:

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In my recollection, Doc would play that little chord strike part when the other instruments would not.

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