Friday, July 20, 2007

Bugling banjos

I just stumbled upon a realization: I can do bugle calls on my banjo.

At my first banjo lesson on Wednesday, my banjo instructor tuned my 5-string banjo to the most common tuning: open G tuning (gDGBd). At the end of the lesson he gave me some homework to do, including some finger work.

As I was doing some random fingering this morning I discovered that I could play Reveille with just my right hand. Then I tried a couple of other bugle calls and found that I could do them, too.

Makes sense, really. An open G banjo has the same harmonics as the military bugle, which is pitched to G. I'm not the first person to figure this out, of course -- witness Bugle Call Rag, written by Pettis and Meyers in 1922. But I'm still pleased that I figured it out on my own.

So here are some of my new fingering exercises from Wikipedia's bugle call page:



First Call


Mess Call


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