Hi all, does anyone know about "The Segovia Scales?" They're a set of major and minor scales for guitar, in all keys, that go uuuuup and dowwwwwn the neck (at least two octaves in length), sometimes by different routes. They're great studies for right hand fingering, position changes, and overall fingerboard knowledge. I'm wondering if there's anything like that in the classic banjo lit. If not I may have to write them myself - I need to become more comfortable with low-C tuning.

On a related note, I was on a job in Baltimore the other night, playing bass guitar, and I looked down during a solo and realized i was basically using classic banjo right hand technique, albeit with a thumb pick. All of which could get me drummed out of the bass army, but it works great in a quiet duet setting!

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Yeah Jody, from my guitar and bass experience I feel as though it shouldn't matter, except where idiomatic banjo stuff is concerned. My own fingering tendencies arise totally unconsciously, and I figure a good practice is to be ready for anything while taking your own preferences into account. Anyway, this gives me an idea - I'll try to post something again after I a) learn a bunch of tunes for a rehearsal tonight and b) write some counterfeit Italian music for a session Friday, and c) practice my lousy mandolin tremolo for said session! I'm Scots and I think part German. Surely there must be some rogue gene in there to help me generate a little schmaltz, a little sunny Italia...

Maybe this has a lot to do with using the "original" CB right hand, not a guitarist's more fluid hand?...

In original CB teachings the RH fingers are held tightly together and move very little, apart from the section from centre knuckles down to the picking fingertips.

Tarrant Bailey Jnr.:

Joe Morley:

Fred Van Eps:

Changing strings to me feels 1000x better Morley's way than landing with the thumb on the next string. Picking the scale is more like small backwards and forwards rotations of the wrist for alternate notes. Picking the last note on the lower string with the  1st finger rotates the wrist towards you, thus putting the thumb further away from the next string. 

It matters little if you can do it "your" way... but I can't, and it seems that the players of the time couldn't either!

I agree that Morley's way feels best, and in the clear light of a new day, it occurs to me that the best thing for me in any case is to get familiar with the repertoire! 

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