My girlfriend and her dad has collected a ton of old banjo sheetmusic throughout the years.....great stuff, and like you said, the internet has brought forth loads of this kind of material.....its awesome. I learning "alot" from this old sheet music.
I've never even seen a piece of banjo sheet music. I've always enjoyed working up solo arrangements from single note melody sheets, but I've never seen banjo sheet music. i wouldn't know what it looks like!
I have most of Reser's stuff...but I could use a scan of Pickins if anyone can help. I would love to track down the stuff by Emile Grimshaw. I had a copy of Take Your Pick once, but have no idea where is it now. His Banjo Vamp used to get a lot of play at banjo shows etc.
I prefer using piano/vocal sheet music which has at least two piano lines of music (treble and bass clefs), chord names printed above the top line (not overly simplified but including the minor sevenths, major sevenths, etc.), and the words. And I especially like it when the music is in wire bound books so that you don't have to bend back the spine just to see the last note on the line of music. (Reading the music is tough enough not to have to put up with that kind of frustration.) The Readers Digest series of music books is a good example of this "ideal" binding.
The reason I prefer piano music instead of lead sheets or banjo music is because you really need the bass line and the "right hand" notes under the melody note to see what the composer really intended. Plus I've often found that the chord names are incorrect naming the chord that is in the notes. Also only the music shows how the interior lines of music are moving up or down beneath the melody, which even the correct chord names don't show. Another good reason to use piano music to arrange banjo pieces is that you can find it anywhere. A great source that I've used over the years is "Sheet Music Magazine", which was a monthly when I first subscribed about 20 years ago but today is a quarterly. The last issue of the year always includes an index of the tunes published that year which makes it easy to find individual tunes in the future if you stack them in order and keep the index current. I wish I was that organized. - Mine are scattered all over the house!
thanks NYC...I am aware of the track listing issue on Crackerjax...in fact, I first fell in love with Pickins on a Howard Alden cassette I purchased at the Banjo Jubilee in San Jose in the late 70s...back when Howard was a regular at local banjo shows. It wasn't until years later that I got my hands of the Crackerjax LP and now CD.
Speaking of the Banjo Jubilee...we'd love to see you on the west coast September 12 & 13th. Lots of good banjo soloists and jamming in San Jose.
Sign on to the Four String Banjo Mailing List at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for copies of old sheet music, instruction books, etc. Someone on that list sent me copies of the original British sheet music for "Take Your Pick," for example.
Don't forget the "New Orleans Banjo Rendez-Vous" in May. Details are at www.nolabanjo.com and can be downloaded.