Forum - Banjo Ben Clark


I watched Bens series on inversions the other night and wasn’t aware that you can play different inversions in the same chord shape. Good to know, I guess I’ve been doing it for years and didn’t know it.

I also noticed, and most of you may already be aware of this, if you make a G barre chord (G root on string 4 @ 5th fret), then move on up up the neck and make a G in the “C” chord shape the 4th string root changes to a B on 9th fret (1st inversion). Then if you move on further and make a G in the “A” shape, the 4th string root is a D on 12th fret (2nd inversion).

I think that’s right? Anyway, pretty cool the way music works!


Hey Mike,
That’s neat stuff isn’t it? I generally think of music as artistic, but it really is built on math and physics. Thus, these patterns start emerging even if we aren’t really looking for them. It kind of ties right back to where your scale pattern thread went when it started talking about the CAGED system. I still don’t “see” the notes on my fretboard as well as I see them on a keyboard, but I think these are all steps along the way to being able to do so.

Well thanks, you ruined it, music is math and physics ? man that ruined it for me I quit? I hated math in school LOL and physics . Not really, just having fun today (humor) for those who do not see it .

I might be in the minority, but I find the math of music infinitely interesting… the physics, not so much.

For me the math and physics are blurred together a bit. There are tidbits that come in handy for me. For example, the third fret of the low E string G is about 100 hz. Add to that fact that an octave doubles or halves a frequency (the G above that note would be 200 hz, while the one below is 50 hz) and I have a reference for tweaking sounds with an eq. If my low E string is boomy, I start cutting around 90 Hz. Similarly, a first fret A string A# is just below 120 hz, so if you hear a hum near that frequency from the PA, it’s likely AC noise.
I also thought the physics of harmonics was great when it was explained to me years ago as it gave better understanding on where I could find a harmonic to make cool noises. Admittedly, I don’t use natural harmonics (or a whammy bar to go with them) much anymore.

That seems way more efficient than my trial-and-error method of equalization.

For EQs, you still end up going to trial and error, it’s just you have a better idea where to focus the trials. I hope that makes sense. Totally unrelated, but I find it helpful: a tip I picked up a while back for trying to find an offensive tone you want to cut with a parametric EQ. Instead of setting the EQ to cut, set it to boost then sweep around the problem frequency. Those annoying frequencies jump right out. For instance, there is often a harshness on voices or instruments near 1k. Set the parametric gain up, then sweep the frequency above and below the suspected area to find the most annoying tone you can find. Change the gain to a cut and voila! If you have a shape, set the shape as narrow as you can while still getting the results you want (makes it more surgical, but less effective of a cut).

Good stuff…

I use the circle of 5th to transpose... and the Caged system to rapidly figure out where to place my Capo. 
I don't like to lock up all my fingers with Barre chords, so I figure out a key that works best. 

There are tricks I can do in G that doesn’t translate well to D or A…
No doubt, you have a similar issue.

A real luxury to be able to play a song with others using any chords I want.