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.
The key of E is a tough one, but you can use the knowledge you already have to play in this key. By using a capo and retuning the fifth string you can play in familiar keys and not have to struggle with new chords and positions. This is especially helpful if you are jamming and the key of E comes up.
The first method is to capo at the 4th fret and tune the fifth string up to B (hook or capo at 9th fret). Now you just play as if you are in the key of C, using all the classic C and G licks you have already learned. Now when you are are playing your first position C chord, it is actually E, the F chord becomes A and the G chord is now B.
The next way to play in E is to capo at the 2nd fret and tune the fifth string up to A (hook or capo at the 7th fret). This time you play as if you were playing in the key of D. The D chord becomes E, the G becomes A and the A is now B. Well that covers the basics, but of course the more music you can play in the keys of C and D, the better this is going to work. Keep checking back, I will continue to post as often as I can.
I know it has been a long time since I last posted, but I am ready to get back at it. A lot of things have changed in my life and I have more time to devote to Banjoblogger.com.
In the last few years I have made a lot of progress on the banjo and I want to share what I have learned. Real improvements come with a true understanding of the instrument and how it can be used to make music. Of course the banjo can’t make music by itself, you have to give it a helping hand.
The most important thing to remember about playing the banjo is the simple fact that you are not the only instrument out there. At first you spend time perfecting simple songs like Boil them Cabbage Down and Cripple Creek, painstakingly perfecting every slide and nuance of the song. Soon enough you may want to try your hand at playing with another musician or stepping up at a jam. This is when push comes to shove and you have to be part of a musical group. There is nothing more satisfying than playing in a group, all of your knowledge is put to the test. I’m going to continue where I left off, helping banjo players or banjoists, if you like, learn the skills they need to actually play the banjo – not just memorize TABs and play them by memory.