this installment: The key of C
This is the first installment of what I
hope will be a series of useful articles, designed to help those at the beginner/intermediate
banjo chords, as they would apply to
each given key. We start with the key of C in this article. In
music theory, the key of C is basically the center of the tonal
universe, and therefore, a good place to start. Letís start with the basic chords in the key of C.
The Basic chords in the key of
Now let me explain the chord charts in case you donít understand
them. They represent the banjo's neck.
From right to left are the strings on the neck of the banjo and the
lines represent the frets. Got it? Good. Above, Iíve shown the basic chords for the key of C.
Below are some additional chords that I refer to as substitute chords.
Some substitute chords for the key of
You may have noticed that one of the chord diagrams in chart 2 has a
number to the left of it. The 8 to the left of the C Major 7th diagram means that the first fret
displayed is to be regarded as the eighth fret on your banjo. Okay?
In chart 2, I have listed what are called substitute chords. Letís say
you played the first chords listed in chart 1, in the order that they
were listed. For the C major chord, you can substitute a C major 7th
chord. The D minor chord can be replaced by the D minor 7th
chord. The same is true for each of the remaining. Play them. Has a
jazzy ring to it, doesnít it? Some people refer to substitute chords
as orchestral chords but it doesnít matter. A rose by any other name
still has a thorn. Iíve included additional substitute chords so that
you can improve your chordal vocabulary. Youíll be the life of the
party and the envy of all your peers. You will be on your way to
achieving greatness. The sky is the limit. Letís move on to some more
now weíll close by saying that we hope you will find this article
useful in the process of learning banjo chords. If there is
something you think we should add, just send a letter or E-mail and weíll
be happy to give your suggestions some consideration. We covered 16
chords in this lesson and in each future installment weíll cover 16 more. So keep on
playing and weíll see you next time.
Next installment: The key of G