If you are looking for an inexpensive tuner that works well – this is an excellent choice. I first saw one of these little guys used on a friend’s mandolin. Since then I have been bringing them in and selling them to my students, and they love them.
What makes this tuner different? The display uses a few different colors. If you are flat the display shows red, when you are right on, it is a narrow blue strip and if you are sharp it is yellow. This makes it really easy to see when you are tuned perfectly. Another really nice feature is that the display rotates 360 degrees. Now you don’t have to clip it just right to see the display. It has an extended range and tunes my banjo, guitar, bass or mandolin. It is chromatic, so if you use alternate tunings, it works well too. The clip holds really well and the tuner is light, no added weight on the headstock. It works using a vibration sensor or a microphone and even has a metronome built in. But, best of all it is inexpensive.
In the past I have written a couple of posts that talk about G licks, this time I have a three licks you can use when you are playing a measure of C. When I use the term C lick, I am just referring to a banjo lick that works with a C chord backup.
The first exercise is actually a C7 chord, but it sounds interesting with C, as long as you don’t overuse it. This is just one suggestion, experiment and find your own licks.
The next lick is based on the most common C Chord, but don’t be fooled, it is a bit of a tricky one. Your index finger leads the way and has to be strong and clear.
This exercise is based on the C barre chord at the 5th fret. You only need to play the first and second and fifth strings in this one. The fifth fret gets a lot of work when you are playing C and this particular lick is heard a lot.
Press Play to listen: [audio:C Lick2.mp3]
If you wish, you may also skip listening to the exercise. I thought I was sounding a little pushy back there. PRESS PLAY!! , no asking, just a command. Okay, enough fooling around, let’s get back to the serious business of banjo playing.
The final step is to use these licks in a song that you know, just replace a measure of C with one of the measures above. This is where it gets tricky, some licks work in a certain part of a song and some don’t – how do you know which lick to use? The answer depends on a few things; the next chord you will be playing, the song’s melody, the tempo, and of course, what you want to play.
I hope this opens the door for you to invent a new way to play an old song or just make you take a closer look at what you CAN be playing on your banjo. Next time I talk about Licks, it will be D licks, so stay tuned and thanks for your support.