Beyond G Tuning with Ira Gitlin

Mondays, February 28, March 7, 14, 21, 7:00 – 8:00 PM EST

This class is designed for students who are fairly comfortable playing bluegrass banjo in G tuning. We’ll look at some other tunings–especially C tuning, double-C, “Sawmill” (G-modal), and D tuning–and listen for their unique qualities. We’ll also discuss how the choice of a tuning can affect not just where the notes are on the fingerboard, but also what fingers we use to pick the notes. There will be some sample licks, and probably a couple of entire tunes to demonstrate the sounds of the different tunings.


Online: Class will be held on the free Zoom video conferencing app. You will need a laptop with a webcam, or a smartphone or tablet (please have Zoom installed and tested before you join the session). SMT will send instructions via email for joining the Zoom event 1-2 days before the session. If you do not see the instructions, please check your spam folder. You may also email us. Please note that we do not provide refunds for students who cannot find the link.

IRA GITLIN – Ira Gitlin is widely known and respected in Washington-Baltimore music circles as a versatile multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and writer. A former National Bluegrass Banjo Champion, he has backed up such nationally known performers as Bill Harrell, the Johnson Mountain Boys, Laurie Lewis, Peter Rowan, and Peter “P.D.Q. Bach” Schickele.

In addition to numerous festival workshops, Ira has taught at the Maryland Banjo Academy, the Swannanoa Gathering, the Augusta Heritage Center, Banjo Camp North, Folk College, and the Midwest Banjo Camp. He has lectured on bluegrass for the Smithsonian Associates, and delivered papers at the 2005 and 2017 Bluegrass Music Symposiums.

In 1993 Ira was a one-day winner on Jeopardy.

$150 for 4 sessions

Event Details
  • Start Date
    February 28, 2022 7:00 pm
  • End Date
    March 21, 2022 8:00 pm
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