Sunday, March 1, 2009

Liza Jane does ionian

So you know how to play Liza Jane in DAD mixolydian tuning.
Now here is the exact same song Liza Jane but in ionian tuning, DAA...Both the DAD version and the DAA version are playing the very same notes, just in two different places on the fretboard when the melody string is tuned differently. When the melody string is tuned down lower, you have to go a little higher up on the fretboard to play the same notes.

It's really good to know how to convert a song or tune into a different mode this way. Why, you might ask? Because one day you will hear a simple song you love and you'll want to try to play it on your dulcimer...but perhaps when you start playing it you may find that some of the frets you need for the song are missing. Horrors! It's that pesky diatonic fretboard again!
Well, if you know how to retune a bit to change the mode, then your song will move its 'home base' to a different place on your fretboard where you may well have all the frets needed to play the song. Once you find where the song 'lies well' on your fretboard, you can make a note of the tuning best for that song.

Both ionian and mixolydian modes are often used and it's very practical to know how to play in both modes.

But wait! If you are thinking both these modes are only for playing in the key of D, you're wrong! That's what makes them so very handy- you can play tunes inother keys as well, and still decide whether mixolydian or ionian mode works better for any particular tune. More on that coming up.

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