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Thread: Gold Rush in G

  1. #1

    Default Gold Rush in G

    Although Gold Rush is always played in the Key of A, I find that very hard to play on the mandolin. I wrote out the notation for A, then again for the Key of G. MUCH easier to play! A great tune by Bill Monroe and Byron Berline. There are a number of recordings of it online, and each one differs somewhat -- quite a bit really -- from the others. It's often attributed to Bill Monroe, but here's Byron Berline telling how he and Bill Monroe collaborated to create the tune. Tune starsts at about 1:40: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y8sStWw7Po

    Here's fiddle Kenny Baker and mandolin Jesse McReynolds

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF8vtEMpdok

  2. #2
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    I think that most Bluegrass fans understand that 'Gold Rush' was indeed a collaboration tune,in a similar manner,so was the song ''Walls of Time'', a collaboration between Bill Monroe & Peter Rowan. It's pretty well known that Bill Monroe had the habit of putting his name on almost everything he recorded,even old songs written by others. I think it was because he saw them as his ''arrangements''. There was nothing malicious in what he did,it was just his way. If you want to read almost everything known about Bill Monroe & his recordings & much,much more,buy the Book - ''The Music of Bill Monroe'' by Neil Rosenberg & Charles K.Wolfe - it's amazing.

    The key of "A" is recognised by most mandolin players as the easiest key in which to play. I've played 'Gold Rush' in A with no problems since i first began playing. If you find it easier to play in G,so be it,but don't expect too many others to play it in that key. Maybe as well to learn it in it's 'natural key' as well - meanwhile,i just might try it in G myself,
    Ivan
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    It’s good practice to take a tune and play it in different keys as it helps you learn the fretboard but like Ivan said, at a jam it will be in A so learn it in that key or get a capo... Give it some time if you’re new to playing, I go back to things I thought were difficult and find they are not so much now so keep plugging away and most of all have fun.
    Northfield NF5M #268

  4. #4

    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    Thanks for the comments, Ivan and bigskygirl. A capo -- will do! I have one. I agree that A is ordinarily an easy key for mandolin, but for some reason Gold Rush is not easy for me in A -- I'm not a beginning player.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    When I get back to my mandolin I'm going to try Goldrush in G. Can't imagine how it is easier, so many open strings in A but I play a lot in G and consider it an easy chord so who knows I'll give it a try.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    Mandoplumb, do you read standard notation? I'm attempting to upload an attachment here with the notation I did in both A and G.
    Last edited by stringalong; Oct-08-2017 at 7:11pm. Reason: trying to add attachment

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    You could always capo up two frets, play in G and you'll fit in with everyone. It does seem easier for most of us though to play it in A.

  8. #8
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    Just tried it in Eb, closed position. Actually, not too hard to do in a movable position.
    I suppose it would be educational to do this for all my tunes...... .....nah.

    (Actually, I do that once in a while, just for the interest and education.)
    Phil

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    Quote Originally Posted by stringalong View Post
    Although Gold Rush is always played in the Key of A, I find that very hard to play on the mandolin. I wrote out the notation for A, then again for the Key of G. MUCH easier to play! A great tune by Bill Monroe and Byron Berline. There are a number of recordings of it online, and each one differs somewhat -- quite a bit really -- from the others. It's often attributed to Bill Monroe, but here's Byron Berline telling how he and Bill Monroe collaborated to create the tune. Tune starsts at about 1:40: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y8sStWw7Po

    Here's fiddle Kenny Baker and mandolin Jesse McReynolds

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF8vtEMpdok
    I suppose the key of A is motivated by effects involving the open E string- playing that string open and sliding to the same note on the A string; adding to the intended old-timey flavor of the tune.

    When I imagine the same tune played in G I move it back one string and up five frets, i.e., to 3rd position, so as to get the string crossings in the "right" places. I certainly resist changing from the A to the E string and back for the sake of one single note.

    Incidentally, I like to play that tune in the key of Bb for the unique possibilities of that key.

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  11. #10
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    Bill is rolling in his grave!
    Timothy F. Lewis
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  12. #11
    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    Banjo players like to play it in G too.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    This is why I'm considering learning all future fiddle tunes in a closed position... no open strings. Then it can be more easily transposed.

    Key word... considering!

  14. #13

    Default Re: Gold Rush in G

    Dear SixP, now THAT is really smart!!!! I must do the same!! Major uptick in my technique, if I can diligently work at this for a few months!!!! Thanks for the idea!

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