Hi All,

I'm practising Sunflower Dance at the moment and have a question:

In the trio part, bars 2,4 and 6, is there a reason to play the e and c on the second and first fret instead of staying in the 5th position? I'm thinking it could be because of creating a better sound? I haven't tried out the differnt fingerings yet, to determine what sound I like best.

And in general, how often do you change, or play other fingerings than suggested in the original score?

Thanks a bunch!

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The reason I play it that way is:

2nd Bar of the TRIO : The last note of the previous bar is an F semi-quaver so of a very short duration. Trying to jump to the 5th fret to play first two notes ( the C and E)  would be difficult without a noticeable JUMP in the music.  The C, (first fret) is slid up to the E (fifth fret) and the 411 chord is played at the 5th fret.

For the last two notes ( the E and the C)  the note prior to the E is an Octave string G. This allows the hand to move quickly without a noticeable jump, while the octave G rings, to play the  E and C at the 1st and 2nd frets...

The reason becomes apparent in Bar 4 as if the last two notes E and C played at the  5th position, as you suggest, this would mean that you have to jump back to 1st position to play Bar 5 and this would give a noticeable JUMP due again to the semiquaver C last note of BAR 4.

Also playing the  C and E at 1st position leaves your hand in the correct place to play BAR 5

Easier to play that to explain!!!  I hope it makes a bit of sense to you!  It is down to alternate fingering and FLOW of the notes.

Yes, I change fingering all the time, particularly from published banjo scores that often seem to have been notated by a printer rather than a banjo player!  I spend ages playing phrases of notes all over the fingerboard to come up with as much "flow" (to make it easy for my fingers to play smoothly and faster)  as I can.. but that is what practice is all about, I guess.

I see it a bit differently but I agree that it is down to alternate fingering.   Take a look at the transitions from measure 2 to 3 and from 4 to 5.  The last 4 notes in measures 2 and 4 are AGEC.  If we played EC at fret 5 the sensible right hand choice would be MTIT or in  classic notation :  ..  +  ,  T.  But look what comes next!   Measure 5 is best played as four iterations of  TM ( +  ..  ).   This would become a problematic transition because we'd have two rapid notes both played with the thumb. The G F at the start of measure 5 would have to be played Index Middle/  I M /  (.   ..  ).   The transition from measure 2 to 3  has more leeway but in the end I'd say that the start of measure 3 is best played  T I M T, as indicated in Ian's score. 

On the other hand I have no trouble at all going from the end of measure one to E C at fret 5. But if I did it like that I would't get to hear the slide from C at fret 1 up to fret 5.  

Whoops, one of my periods came out a comma.   I meant " .. + . T"  not  "..  +  ,  T " whatever that might mean.

Jody Stecher said:

I see it a bit differently but I agree that it is down to alternate fingering.   Take a look at the transitions from measure 2 to 3 and from 4 to 5.  The last 4 notes in measures 2 and 4 are AGEC.  If we played EC at fret 5 the sensible right hand choice would be MTIT or in  classic notation :  ..  +  ,  T.  But look what comes next!   Measure 5 is best played as four iterations of  TM ( +  ..  ).   This would become a problematic transition because we'd have two rapid notes both played with the thumb. The G F at the start of measure 5 would have to be played Index Middle/  I M /  (.   ..  ).   The transition from measure 2 to 3  has more leeway but in the end I'd say that the start of measure 3 is best played  T I M T, as indicated in Ian's score. 

On the other hand I have no trouble at all going from the end of measure one to E C at fret 5. But if I did it like that I would't get to hear the slide from C at fret 1 up to fret 5.  

Wow! Thank you guys for your extended answers! That's so very kind ouf you to take time to explain everything in such detail. Yes, it all makes perfect sense. You just saved me hours of practise! Those hours I will of course invest in practising other pieces :-)

It's really interesting to see how left and right hand fingering seem to be dependent on each other, in a much more, I would say organic way, than any other instrument I play. That is a really good lesson I learned from your explainations. It probably would have taken me years to find that out by myself, with trial and error. And just because I asked a question and got really good answers from experienced players. Just shows the importance of guidance from teachers and experienced players.

So, if I get to give an advice, as a beginner, to other beginners: ask questions! It really helps. :-)

Thank you for posting the music with the right hand fingering. That was really helpfull.

Oh, and that slide between the c and the e I wouldn't want to miss out on even if there would be a better fingering :-)

Keep the questions coming Par ! There are always people willing to help on here !

If you haven't seen the full score I produced for Sunflower Dance, with fingers for both hands notated, I have attached it below...Good luck!        

Sunflower-Dance-Lesson1.pdf

Brilliant! Thanks. No, I hadn't seen that.

thereallyniceman said:

Keep the questions coming Par ! There are always people willing to help on here !

If you haven't seen the full score I produced for Sunflower Dance, with fingers for both hands notated, I have attached it below...Good luck!

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