Säkkijärven Polkka: the video

Here’s a video version of a Finnish polka that I posted earlier as an MP3. This time I’m playing it on my Gold Tone OT-800. The banjo is tuned gEGBE.


13 Responses to “Säkkijärven Polkka: the video”

  1. 1 Andy Alexis October 30, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Almost sounds like one of my friend Andy Rubin’s klezmer klawhammer pieces…

  2. 2 John November 14, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Ok – one final question and then I’ll leave you alone for awhile. Would you typically capo at second fret and tune down or is it better to tune up from say, standard G tuning?

    As you can likely tell Cathy, I’m new to this instrument. So many little things to figure out. Also, I don’t know how much tension the strings (and my banjo) can take.


  3. 3 Cathy November 16, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    John, thanks for your question. I should have explained the tuning in the post. I tune my open strings to DFAD, put the capo on the second fret, and then tune the 5th string to match the 1st string at the 3rd fret. I think you could just tune up the middle two strings without harm to a decent banjo, but I like using the capo because it shortens the neck and puts me where the frets are closer together. That makes it easier to play notey tunes quickly.

  4. 4 John November 16, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I like the way you approach the tuning issue. John

  5. 5 Mikael November 21, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Excellent adaptation of traditional Finnish melody!

  6. 6 Jon January 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Cathy, you are inspiring – thank you for sharing your tips, tabs and tunes.

    from Jon (learning clawhammer banjo in the UK)

  7. 7 Cathy January 1, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for the kind words!

  8. 8 Scott November 3, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    There is a part in the original squeezebox version that you left out right after the first part…Could you tab this out as well?

  9. 9 Jesse Burdick May 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm


    I’ve been inspired to a melodic three-finger version of this thanks to you. Was just thinking the other day how cool this song would be on 5-string and then i came across your video!

    thanks so much!


  10. 10 Deb October 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this TAB! I am a new player and looking forward to learning this! Also enjoyed hearing the cello banjo song and information about where to play.

  11. 11 Adrienne February 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    This video’s been up a few years, but I just wanted to say thank you!

    This was so inspiring when I first started out. I found this vid a few months after starting to play, and didn’t quite have the tools to get it. This month, I just managed to play the whole darn thing. I’m so pleased with myself, it’s a little ridiculous.

    Incidentally, it has the same chords as ‘Dance me to the end of love.’ You’re a great help, Cathy!

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