Here are two handy books for those of you who play banjo and want some help with chords – or want to learn more melodies. Banjo tune book by Neil Griffin and Karl Kurth and Banjo Chords by William Bay.
Per Jakob Skaanes
Banjo tune book
The Banjo tune book contains 50 songs. Here are gospel bluegrass and patriotic songs among lots of others. There is a chord chart included with all the chords you need for these songs. Tabulature to every song, a little arrangement to them on tabulature and chords written above. For me it’s quite helpful because I get new ideas on how to play these songs on my banjo. It shows how to pick the strings in a more banjo’ish way than the traditional guitar fingerpicking I usually do.
I think many guitarists have the same problem as I. When you are quite clever on an instrument, it will often be hard to free yourself from the typical guitar ornaments and picking. In front of each tabulature there is written what tuning the melody is played with. The banjo book is in pocket book size. It can easily be put in your banjo case to bring it wherever you take your banjo.
The book Banjo chords is a little pocked sized chord dictionary that contains minor and major chords, dominant forms, 7th chords, 7b5, 7#5 and lots of others. You’ll have all you need the first five years you play banjo, maybe your whole career. Remember that you can move all the chords that don’t contain open strings. Then you’ll make a new chord.
As with the other book you can put it in your banjo case. For beginners on banjo I think this is a good little helper when you practice or are playing along with others. The book opens with an explanation on how to read the chord chart. The tuning the chord chart is based on is gDGBD.
Banjo tune book by Neil Griffin and Karl Kurth, and Banjo chords by William Bay are both published by Melbay Publications. Binding: perfect. 96 pages. Prize: 4,95$ for each. Banjo chords can be ordered here. Banjo tune book can be ordere here. In Norway these can be ordered at Norsk Noteservice.