The Key of E for the 5-String Banjo – Part Two.
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.