Gettin' the tune


#1

Hi,

I have been working on Ben’s arrnagement of Blackberry Blossom and have been picking the notes clean and at last finally starting to get the tune ringing out of the thing!!!..always happens to me this picking the notes but takes a while for the tune to emerge. :slight_smile:

Wondering if anyone else kind of changes the fretting fingers to that which Ben uses, I think Ben would be great at the Dr.Spock salute as I cannot get my fingers to spread apart on the frets as much as he is able to. :smiley:

Anyway I continue to thrash away at it.:slight_smile:

Regards,
JB


#2

Hi Jaybee, It’s great to see progress after putting in the work isn’t it!

I will usually make myself learn the way an instructor or tab tells me to play a passage first just to make my hands do the gymnastics. I think it helps with my dexterity. then once I can play it the way it is written out I might look for alternate fingerings or rolls that are easier for me or that I like better. Just my way of doing things.

Keep on Pickin’,

Dave


#3

That has always been one of the toughest concepts for me…playing something that I know and have heard time and again…but learning it doesn’t sound ANYTHING like what I know…weird how it works, but over time…it just does. What a great feeling too!


#4

I have to learn the tune in my head before I can make it come out of my banjer… I usually just listen/watch Ben play it until its sticks between my ears, my mind likes to know what its supposed to sound like…

I do make myself learn the fingering that Ben gives on the tabs/videos mostly because he knows way more about it than I do, once i get his way down, I can explore others but his way usually wins…


#5

— Begin quote from "thatnewguy"

I have to learn the tune in my head before I can make it come out of my banjer… I usually just listen/watch Ben play it until its sticks between my ears, my mind likes to know what its supposed to sound like…

I do make myself learn the fingering that Ben gives on the tabs/videos mostly because he knows way more about it than I do, once i get his way down, I can explore others but his way usually wins…

— End quote

Same here…I HAVE to know the tune in my head, so if possible I’ll listen to it in my truck or whenever I can over and over.

I’m working on Ben’s Duelin Banjos right now and it’s a different arrangement in that both parts are played by one person. So I tend to stray off the path here and there trying to jump forward into the full version. But I finally decided to buckle down on Ben’s version, learn it, get the basic jist of playing the song, and then move on to tackle the full version later with a guitar player.


#6

On the subject of listening to the song repetitively… anybody know a way to get Ben’s tunes saved to my iPod or something so I could listen to them while I drive? So far I just listen/watch Ben play the song a few times a day at work until I have it memorized.

I’ve been working on Ben’s duelin banjo’s lately too… to me theres some complex picking so i’m taking it in small doses… I can play the slow part pretty well, the fast part is going to take me a while yet but its all good.


#7

lately i’ve been working on the ballad jed clampet.now i’ve known how that song is supposed to sound pretty much my whole life.but when i started out it sounded nothing like what i hear in my head.but i kept at it and now it’s almost recognizable[to me anyway].so just keep practising and eventually you’ll get it.


#8

— Begin quote from ____

mostly because he knows way more about it than I do

— End quote

Quite right :smiley: It is funny how you go full circle and then come around to the way Ben does things, ha ha, you’d think I would learn. :smiley:

I am getting faster at my Blackberry Blossom project :smiley: although tripping over my fingers a little but it is not going to beat me. :smiley:

Regards,
JB


#9

I hate the days when you pick up the ole banjer and are feeling great, but you keep tripping over your fingers…it happened to me last night. I was playing a little while the kids were playing Black Ops on the xbox and I just couldn’t seem to keep my fingers doing what they were supposed to be doing. Like tonight, odds are I will pick it up and play fairly smoothly, but there are days when it just doesn’t work out. I think it has a lot to do with ones total stress level for the day…like with work and kids and stuff it really adds up sometimes.


#10

— Begin quote from "Charles"

I hate the days when you pick up the ole banjer and are feeling great, but you keep tripping over your fingers…it happened to me last night. I was playing a little while the kids were playing Black Ops on the xbox and I just couldn’t seem to keep my fingers doing what they were supposed to be doing. Like tonight, odds are I will pick it up and play fairly smoothly, but there are days when it just doesn’t work out. I think it has a lot to do with ones total stress level for the day…like with work and kids and stuff it really adds up sometimes.

— End quote

I have those days too…where nothing works, timing is off, notes are off, picks fumble around the strings…it’s frustrating. But that’s life and like you said, put it down for a few hours or a day and then you’re back to being joe smooth!

Keep at it. One great thing about visiting this forum is you find out there are a lot of other pickers who have the same hangups and issues. It’s an encouraging online place to me.

I’m still on Duelin’ Banjos and am happy with my progress! I look forward to getting better this weekend! I may hit the pull off lesson too if I can find some time this weekend.

Mike


#11

Ha, last week I had about 20 minutes where I could picture a note a measure or two ahead of where I was playing and just like automatically get there creating a passage to it. after that time it disappeared and hasn’t returned.

It is that feeling I get when things are all in time in a group, or harmonies are right on the money. It was great while it lasted.

so, since then I haven’t been able to hardly play a thing in time or complete a roll without missing a note…must have used up all my good luck for a while, but that’s the way it usually goes for me. Those little moments of everything going right can last me for months and keep me evergised about playing…because I know it will happen again and more frequently as I play more.


#12

Yes it is comforting to know that other players are having the same issues that you do in practice.:slight_smile:

I actually progressed thru Geoff Hohwald’s arrangement of Duelling Banjos, although again took me a while to get the tune but am proud to say I am playing it with no tableture in front of me and hitting the notes pretty clean most of the time.

Regards,
JB


#13

— Begin quote from "fiddlewood"

Ha, last week I had about 20 minutes where I could picture a note a measure or two ahead of where I was playing and just like automatically get there creating a passage to it. after that time it disappeared and hasn’t returned.

It is that feeling I get when things are all in time in a group, or harmonies are right on the money. It was great while it lasted.

so, since then I haven’t been able to hardly play a thing in time or complete a roll without missing a note…must have used up all my good luck for a while, but that’s the way it usually goes for me. Those little moments of everything going right can last me for months and keep me evergised about playing…because I know it will happen again and more frequently as I play more.

— End quote

Yes I know exactly what you mean:-) It is like playing Golf, you only need to hit one good shot in a round to bring you back next time.:slight_smile:

Regards,
JB


#14

haha, I’m totally with you on your golf analogy. I can only play the game decent if I don’t care how I do. As soon as I start trying it’s “hello trees, traps, and now where did that ball go…”.


#15

Thats the dang truth…this website makes me feel much better about being terrible lol…it really is good to know Im not the only one with these hangups…and just like fiddlewood said earlier…I’ve had those moments where you rock through feeling like I should be on stage somewhere, but alas…they are severely short-lived.


#16

Another question about getting the tune…Is there a place that would help show me which notes are played with more…‘umph’…to get the tune to sound like what you are trying to play?


#17

Most of the dynamics I learn I get form listening, as I think most people do. When just starting, I think I would try to play as evenly as possible so that all the notes are heard fairly equally.

I would suggest hitting hammer-ons and pull-offs and slides a bit harder though as you will have to to make them osund out with the rest of the notes.

If you know the melody to the song, work on emphasizing the melody notes.


#18

— Begin quote from "Charles"

Another question about getting the tune…Is there a place that would help show me which notes are played with more…‘umph’…to get the tune to sound like what you are trying to play?

— End quote

Not sure about banjo, but with guitar, I always try to hit notes harder when I want them to ring out or sustain. Uh, that sounds obvious, but what I mean is when I have an open string that I’m going to let ring while I play other notes on other strings, I pick the ringing note harder. It ends up sounding better than if I just pick it at normal volume and let it sustain.


#19

I understand…so that it keeps sounding throughout the other fill-in notes behind it…interesting.