Old Home Place


#1

On the guitar video - it was stated by placing the capo on the 3rd fret and playing G you are in the Key of Bb. In the mandolin video - you indicate it is in the key of A?? If I accompany someone with mandolin - will I be off key with the guitar?


#2

Welcome to the site RobBob,

The two videos that you’re referring to do not correspond with each other. The guitar lesson was done in the “early” Banjo Ben days (about a year before the mandolin lesson). Alot of the lessons Ben’s teaching today are in relation with each other and are in the same key.

So, to answer you’re question, yes you would be in the wrong key. It’s a simple fix though. Since the guitar is usually doing the capoing, simply move it down to the second fret and you will now be in the key of A and still playing the exact same lick, just moved down one fret (or position).

You won’t see the third fret capo position a whole lot in bluegrass, usually it will be the second or fourth or no capo at all. However there are times like this when you will be on an odd fret. After watching both of the videos, I personally like this song in Bb better. It just sounds right, but it takes a really good mandolin player to pull that off and Penny did it well. Most likely, Ben taught the mandolin lesson in the key of A because he understands that most of us here are students still learning and the Bb version would be much more challenging. Not only that, at most jam sessions, people will be playing in A or G.

Hope this helps.


#3

FWIW, JD Crowe and the Old South (with Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Douglas) had played it in Bb, so that is probably what Ben was basing his Bb part on. “A” seems much easier on mandolin as you can use more open strings.

That’s a great song.


#4

Thanks for the answers back. I thought it was different but wanted to be sure. I worked on a Bb chord breakdown for mandolin chopping - I guess I will just have to really work the conversion for Bens notation. Again and Thanks


#5

— Begin quote from “jwpropane”

Welcome to the site RobBob,
You won’t see the third fret capo position a whole lot in bluegrass,

— End quote

I disagree. Strongly. :laughing:


#6

At some picking circles, Bb (capo 3) seems to be the default key.


#7

I stand corrected. :blush: Not sure what I was thinking. :question:


#8

It all depends on who you play with. We all have our preferences. When I am picking the song I do open and capo 2 alot. I seldom choose capo 3 unless it’s a vocal range thing.


#9

— Begin quote from ____

JD Crowe and the Old South (with Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Douglas) had played it in Bb

— End quote

I think that’s a Tony thing. He sang a lot in Bb.

Usually at big jams, I’ll slip my capo down a fret to A even if I’d prefer to sing in Bb. Seems everyone can find A, but Bb can cause some confusion and it’s disconcerting to be singing a song while the next person over plays in the wrong key.


#10

3rd fret capo is also used fairly often on guitar and banjo when playing in the Key of “F” out of a “D” position.