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Playing Simple Tunes
With the notes shown in Fig. 52, you can play any number of
tunes, when they are written in the Key of C (no sharps or
flats). The thing to do is to get out your music and start picking
out the notes of tunes you like. It does not take the average
person long to be able to play the melodies of the popular
dance tunes and the old favorite songs.
When you run into sharps or flats, refer to Fig. 58, if you
have not already learned how to play them.
As you play, keep practicing the tremolo, for it is needed to
sustain the tones of the half notes and whole notes for the
proper length of time.
It has been our experience that average people can learn to
play easy popular melodies on the Tenor Banjo within two or
three weeks' time. We hope that this will be your experience
Playing Chords on the Banjo
After you have learned how to play tunes on single notes,
you will want to learn a few chords. These can be used to-
gether with single notes when you are playing a melody, in
order to give more depth and fullness to your playing.
For example, if you are playing "Old Black Joe," page 57,
you can start with a single note for the word "I'm, and then
strike a chord for the word "coming," instead of using the
tremolo on the single note.
The different chords that are most commonly used on string
instruments are described in the section on "guitar chords" in
the chapter on "The Guitar." If you will look up that explana-
tion, we will not have to repeat it here.
In the following figures we give you the chords you will use
the most at first. They will enable you to play music written
in the keys of C, G (1 sharp), D (2 sharps), F (1 flat) and Bb
The chords are written, for easier reading, one octave higher
than they will sound on your banjo.