Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the lesson: Intro to Music Theory Part 11- Major Scale Studies

Thank you, Mr. G! I always wished that I could take a music theory class, and you are giving us a good start on this. I appreciate you putting the cookies on the bottom shelf for us, and as I work through the beginner path, I’m looking forward to learning more along the way.

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I cannot thank you enough the way this series is explained is brilliant . I finally understand music theory the concept anyhow . this whole series has explained so much that seamed so complicated . that is infact not so difficult to understand


I am a complete music and banjo novice. I cannot thank you enough for these simple building blocks. I cannot profess to "get it " completely yet, but wow! I so “get” a great deal of it and some things I never understood I now understand. It has helped my playing enormously!

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I apologize if this is an inappropriate question. I just joined, and when I try to get to community guidelines it just spins. I have watched all the theory videos, and perhaps missed this, but I was wondering—if the banjo is primarily in G, and the major chords are G, C, and D, why is there a B string instead of a C string?

You’re question is fine!

“Standard” tuning for the banjo is in the key of G.

The major triad for G chord ( 1, 3, & 5) is G, B, D.

When you play all strings open you are playing a G chord.

If you had a string tuned to C it would not play the desired chord when strummed.

Does this help explain it?


Welcome @detracy1!

Please, keep the questions coming because that is how we all learn collectively. Also, those that explain the answers get practice on HOW to answer most effectively - so everyone wins!

Post often, my friend!

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Great videos, but I am confused on one thing: Mr. G states that the chords are made up of the 1st, 4th and 5th semitones, but chords are built off of the 1st, 3rd and 5th root notes. Can anyone clarify this? I must be missing something. Thanks.


Hey @neoatheos11, welcome to the forum! The chords themselves aren’t made up of the 1st, 4th, and 5th tones; however, the 1, 4, and 5 chords are the main chords of a major key. The major chords themselves are made up of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes. For example, the Amaj chord is made up of the notes A (1st), C# (3rd) and E (5th) notes, but the most common chords in the key of Amaj are A (1, or tonic), D (4th) and E (5th). Each of these chords has different notes that make them up- Amaj is made up of A (root), C# (#3rd), and E (5th), Dmaj is made up of D (root), F# (3rd), and A (5th), and Emaj is made up of E (root), G# (3rd), and B (5th). However, if you were to play a song using the 1, 4, and 5 major chords in each of these keys, you would use the major chords corresponding to the 1st, 4th and 5th notes of the major scale of that key. Hope that answers your question!



This helps, thank you. So I understand, the key of C consists of major chords C, F and G according to the 1,4,5 method, correct?


Yes, C, F, and G are the 1, 4, and 5 chords in the key of C. :+1:


Just adding in that C, F, and G are the 1, 4, and 5 natural Major chords in the Key of C Major.

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