A Book Of Five Strings - online tutorial

Strategies for mastering the art of old time banjo.

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the tune on your own. Then see if you can work the song out in other keys.
3/4 and 6/8 Time
We've covered 4/4 time pretty extensively up to this point. Now let's take a look at two other common time signatures you will run into on the banjo.
3/4 Time
In 3/4 time we are playing three notes to a measure with the quarter note getting the beat.
What that means is that your count is 1 2 3, 1 2 3.
That's it. Everything you worked with in 4/4 time stays the same but now we are working with a different count.
Example One
In this example we have the basic frailing pattern adapted to 3/4 time. We are playing a quarter note followed by two eighth note strum-thumbs.
The count is 1 2& 3&, 1 2& 3&.
Work with this pattern and give yourself some time to get used to the new rhythm.
As you get more comfortable you can start applying the ideas we discussed in the timing chapter for 4/4 time to the 3/4 count.
Example Two
In this example we are breaking up the measures in three four time the same way we did earlier in 4/4 time. In the first measure we are playing two quarter notes and two eighth notes. In the second measure we are playing three quarter notes. In the third measure we are playing a quarter note and four eighth notes.
The count is 1 2 3&, 1 2 3, 1 2& 3&.

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