A Book Of Five Strings - online tutorial

Strategies for mastering the art of old time banjo.

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Since we are starting the C scale on the first available note we might as well keep going through the available notes up to the G on the first string at the fifth fret and just treat the whole arrangement of notes as an extended scale.
Example Three
This sounds a little weird as a scale exercise, but it has the advantage of getting you familiar with the melody notes available in the key of C.
Every major scale has a unique number of sharps and flats. The key of C has no sharps or flats and the key of G has one sharp (F#.) The same rule applies to minor keys. Any minor key that has the same number of sharps and flats as a major key is the relative minor of that major key.
The key of Am has no sharps or flats. Therefore it is the relative minor of C. The key of Em has one sharp so it is the relative minor of G.
What all of that means is that because the G and C scales are available out of open position chord forms we also have access to the Em and Am scales.
Em Scale
Am Scale
Closed Position Scales
Closed position scales are built from closed chord forms. The advantage to closed position scales is that you can move them up and down the fretboard. This gives you the ability to play any scale in any key.
The reason we can find a scale in any chord form really boils down to how chords are constructed. A major chord is made of the first, third and fifth notes of a scale. It just makes sense that the other scale notes would be within easy reach of those three notes.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III