Banjo Theory

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    Music Theory ForBanjo Players

    Taught by Rick McKeon

    This document has all of the diagramsreferred to in the video lessons

    Enjoy!Rick

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    Figure 1: Interval Pattern for the Major Scale

    The major scale is the basis of all music theory! Once you know the pattern for themajor scale and where the half-steps are, you can figure out the name of any note on

    the banjo fingerboard. Also, you will see why we end up with sharps or flats in some keysignatures.

    What is a major scale?

    All major scales have the same pattern of whole and half steps: Whole, Whole, Half,Whole, Whole, Whole, Half. This pattern is what gives that do re mi sound we are allso familiar with. So, no matter what note we start with, the major scale looks like this:

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1

    Whole Whole Half Whole Whole Whole Half(2 frets) (2 frets) (1 fret) (2 frets) (2 frets) (2 frets) (1 fret)

    Where are the half steps?

    To remember where the half-steps are think of a BEE to help you remember the lettersB and E.

    BEE

    Any two consecutive notes have a whole-step (two frets) between them except for twopairs: B&C and E&F which have a half-step (one fret) between them.

    For all starting notes, if we went through and adjusted the notes (making them eithersharp or flat when necessary) to make them fit this pattern we would generate all of

    the major scales.

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    Figure 2: The Major Scale for all Keys

    Major Scale Key Signature1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1

    W W H W W W H

    C D E F G A B C (No sharps or flats)G A B C D E F# G (1 sharp)D E F# G A B C# D (2 sharps)A B C# D E F# G# A (3 sharps)E F# G# A B C# D# E (4 sharps)B C# D# E F# G# A# B (5 sharps enharmonic to Cb)F# G# A# B C# D# E# F# (6 sharps enharmonic to Gb)

    C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C# (7 sharps enharmonic to Db)

    F G A Bb C D E F (1 flat)Bb C D Eb F G A Bb (2 flats)Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb (3 flats)Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab (4 flats)Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db (5 flats enharmonic to C#)Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb (6 flats enharmonic to F#)Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb (7 flats enharmonic to B)

    To remember the order of sharps think Fat Cats Go Down And Eat Breakfast.

    To remember the order of flats think of the word BEAD and then Go C Flats.

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    Jesse JamesTraditional Arr. Rick McKeon

    Rev. 3/6/11 Page 1/2

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    Rev. 3/6/11 Page 2/2

    16

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    Figure 4: Note DurationsArr. Rick McKeon

    Rev. 10/15/11 Page 1/2

    TAB

    Exercise #1

    0

    1

    0

    2

    0

    3

    0

    4

    0

    1 (2)

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    TAB

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    Figure 4: Note Durations -

    Rev. 10/15/11 Page 2/2

    TAB

    5

    Exercise #3

    0

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    0 0 0

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    7

    3

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    Exercise #4

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    Figure 5: Practice LicksArr. Rick McKeon

    Rev. 10/15/11 Page 1/2

    4 4

    2[S]

    Lick #1

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    Rev. 10/15/11 Page 2/2

    7

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    Figure 6: Rest SymbolsArr. Rick McKeon

    Rev. 8/28/11

    TAB

    quarter note rest eighth note rest

    TAB

    2

    sixteenth note rest half note rest

    TAB

    3

    whole note rest

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    Figure 7: ExercisesRests and Holds Arr. Rick McKeon

    Rev. 8/28/11

    4 4 0

    Exercise #1

    1

    0

    2 Rest

    0

    4

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    0

    3 (4)

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    1

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    Exercise #4

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    Figure 8: Practice LicksRests and Holds Arr. Rick McKeon

    Rev. 8/29/11

    4 4

    Lick #1: Quarter Note Rest Pickup

    (1)

    0

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    3911

    Lick #2: Rests and Hold in Ending

    1 (&)02

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    5

    Lick #3: Eighth Note Rest Pickup

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    Figure 9: Movable Chord FormsMajor, Minor, and 7th Chords

    Fm = 1,b3,5F G A Bb C D E F

    I

    L

    F1

    Abb3

    C5

    F1

    R

    I

    F = 1,3,5F G A Bb C D E F

    MI

    L

    F1

    A3

    C5

    F1

    R

    F7 = 1,3,5,b7 F G A Bb C D E F

    MI

    F1

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    Ebb7

    R

    I

    D = 1,3,5D E F# G A B C# D

    R

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