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Will the Circle Be Unbroken

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Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Postby bmespino » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:34 am

I love that Ben came out with this break. I'm still only about 18 months into my Banjo life, but I've been trying to find a break for this song and finally there is one. However, I'm having trouble with measure 16, and the D7. I just cannot physically make that stretch. Is there something else I can do, or should I just practice and get a little bit faster to get my index off the 1 to move my hand to get that 4?

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Postby 5stringpreacher » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:05 am

I was about the same time frame into my banjo playing when I found myself doing the same thing. Ben used to have a lesson for Dueling Banjos (had to take it down due to copyright stuff) that make my fingers stretch in a way that I thought was impossible. Then I started trying to play Cumberland Gap and thought there was no way I was going to make the pinky stretch on that one. So I e-mailed Ben and asked the exact same question you asked: "Is there something else I can do?"

He says,
BanjoBen wrote:It may seem like a stretch now, but it's something you need to work on."


He was right. Your hands stretch out over time and now it's no problem at all for me to make those stretches.

I did do weird things like every time I sat with a glass of sweet tea in my hand I would put the glass in between the fingers I wanted stretched out to make them get more loose. Goofy things like that. Whether it worked or not, I don't know. More than anything I thing it's strength related. You've probably never worked the muscles in your hands that made your fingers stretch apart that much.
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Re: Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Postby bluenote23 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:28 pm

If you play 'guitar style' with your thumb pressed against the middle of the back of the neck, you might try this.

Instead, kind of 'cradle' the neck in the space between your thumb and index and then push your palm (not the middle of the palm but really press on the tendon that extends from your thumb to your wrist) up against the back of the neck. Your thumb will be sort of sitting to the side of the neck and not supporting anything.

The pressure of your fretting fingers will be pushing the neck down into your palm.

This may help but it is still a stretch and you have to teach your hands how to do that.

Another thing you can practice to get your hands used to the stretch is to do it up the neck. The frets are closer together so it is easier to do (in Ben's version of Under the Double Eagle he uses this). Then you can gradually come down the neck and stretch bit by bit.

This tune is another great lesson from Ben.
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Re: Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Postby markrocka » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:57 pm

I was just coming here to post about this song. I just got finished learning it and MAN is it fun!!! All of those off scale notes just make the third verse come alive! If any banjo pickers out there are looking for their next lesson, you won't be disappointed if you pick this one.

There are some good suggestions here. I definitely second the recommendations of trying your best to learn to get your fingers into that position and cradling the neck in the web between your thumb and index finger.

I almost hate to say this, because I don't want to give you a reason not to work on getting your hand into that position, but on the flip side, I don't want you to get frustrated either. If you want a little cheater, just don't apply your pinkie finger and play the 4th string open. It'll sound a *little* different, but it's a D note being played in a D chord, so it sounds fine. I just tried it and it fit right in.

Now, don't use that as an excuse not to play that 4th string 4th fret. ;)
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Re: Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Postby markrocka » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:21 pm

I just made a cool little discovery I thought I'd share. Ben's jam track for Will the Circle Be Unbroken fits perfectly for practicing I'll Fly Away. Since Ben had to take I'll Fly Away off his site, I figured someone might want to know this.
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Re: Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Postby mreisz » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:21 am

markrocka wrote:I just made a cool little discovery I thought I'd share. Ben's jam track for Will the Circle Be Unbroken fits perfectly for practicing I'll Fly Away. Since Ben had to take I'll Fly Away off his site, I figured someone might want to know this.

Seems like they would be good candidates for a mashup.
Mike

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Re: Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Postby markrocka » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:30 am

mreisz wrote:Seems like they would be good candidates for a mashup.
[/quote]

Will the Circle Fly Away?
I'll Be Unbroken?

LOL!
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Re: Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Postby mreisz » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:36 pm

I like "Will the circle fly away." I have no idea how I would make lyrics that make sense, but that hasn't stopped many people from writing songs anyway.

One that might be easier is "Unbroken I will fly away." :D
Mike

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