Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Banjo lesson: Intro to Banjo Chokes

Let’s look at the only possible time it’s actually GOOD to choke on something.

Ben, the shave and haircut lick is described as a G/Em lick. I was wondering if it could be moved up two frets to be made an A lick. The only problem seems to be the fifth string which is played open in G/Em. It isn’t possible to jump down, hit an A on the fifth string, and get back in time to play the rest of it. So instead of playing the fifth string, I just play A on the B string (10th fret) single string style, playing the same note twice. It doesn’t have the pizzazz that it does in G/Em, but so many tunes are played in A that I wondered if that is something worth developing, or does it fall into the “Yeah, you can do that, but it isn’t a good idea,” category. Thanks.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen a banjo player play a song in A without a capo. I mean, I guess you could, but for Ab through maybe as high as B, maybe even C, a capo is really the way to go.

Do you have 5th string spikes on your banjo?

Good point. I forgot about that. Thanks. (I don’t have spikes.)

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If you don’t want to mess with spikes, check Ben’s store tomorrow. He may put these on sale for Cyber Monday.

If you do feel like being handy, here’s a video by @Jake on how to install them.

@The_Mole I think it’s great practice to figure out how to play any and all licks in other keys and how to cover or manipulate the notes that don’t fit. Great job!