Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

842
Banjo Lovers Online


 All Forums
 Playing the Banjo
 Playing Advice: Bluegrass (Scruggs) Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Jimmy Brown the Newsboy


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/194400

oettingm - Posted - 12/18/2010:  22:44:59


I know it isn't technically "Scruggs style" banjo, but I sure enjoy this song. Every now and then I put the banjo down and pick up my guitar, put on a capo, and start playing and singing this one. And everyone seems to enjoy it because it is "different". Anyone else have that same experience with this little jewel of a song? I simply love the guitar runs Earl does -- I do it flatpick style but I understand he actually uses three-finger on it.

overhere - Posted - 12/19/2010:  03:27:44


Lets see, I think I was about 11 or 12 years old back in the 50s when I was taught how to pick this one on guitar. An older friend of the family with tons of patients spent hours until I got it. I use a thumb pick for guitar. I also play it on the banjo. I play it in D on the banjo and C on the guitar. sometimes with capo. most without. Actually a song thats easily transposed to any key. I believe Mac Wiessman does it in A. You're right its a fun song one of those unique songs that just stick in you head. I'm now 68 and never got tired of playing it. And the man who taught it bless him for he is the inspiration for my bluegrass obsession.
Having fun is what its all about.

john leary - Posted - 12/19/2010:  04:30:41


Yea, we do this song in our band. The guitarist has got the guitar part perfect, the madolinist chops cords, I vamp cords with a little picking.
Yes you're right, it's a jewel of a song and we always get a good reaction when we perform it.
John.
P.S. It's a good thing to go back to guitar when the inspiration takes you.

Texasbanjo - Posted - 12/19/2010:  08:04:13


I pick it 3 finger style on the banjo and think it sounds great -- have flatpicked it on the guitar but prefer the banjo.

oettingm - Posted - 12/19/2010:  08:33:58


I normally play this in E (!) because I play it out of a C and G chord arrangement on the guitar with a capo on the fourth fret. My acoustic has a pleasant, mellow tone in that middle neck range that really sounds good on this song.

I would like to learn Earl's three-finger version of picking this one on guitar. Does anyone know if there are tabs? (Perhaps should post on the tab section?)

pdquantum - Posted - 12/19/2010:  10:12:38


Yes, I love this song. When I'm practicing at home I pick up the guitar and play it three-finger style (sort of like Earl...but you know, only Earl can play like Earl) in G, capoed up to the 7th fret and singing at the top of my lungs. The wife loves it, but so far I haven't summoned the courage to do it in a jam. -Paul

g3zdm - Posted - 12/19/2010:  11:41:49


Yes, great song.
A jam I help run recently added this one; I'm trying to get the banjoists away from playing evrything in G; we do this in F and a couple of us worked out (different) bjo arrangements for it in F out of standard G tuning.
On the guitar, after watching how Earl does it on guitar in youtube videos, I play it in C capoed up 5.
It's also good for beginners in that you can get away with just 2 chords ( I and V) and without many chord changes.

Possom - Posted - 12/19/2010:  12:20:44


I used to play it on guitar with picks on till i started messing with a flat pick and now ive forgot how to do it. If you watch Earl on video pickig it hes playing really with just thumb and index...i dont recall seeing him use the middle on this tune but dont take that for truth. I wore out the DVD watching it over and over. Thats the best way to learn it...watch the master and copy him, well try to anyways! Keep on the Sunny Side is another good one to do in this style. My uncle and me done that one at the last 5th sunday singing and he does it in E...i capo up 4 and play out of C. Been tryin to learn to pick out of E lately and you can get a lot of cool sounds out of that chord for that style of picking.

BanjoDiva - Posted - 12/20/2010:  06:56:21


F&S recorded it, with Lester sounding beautiful on the vocals, so I wouldn't necessarily agree that it wasn't a Scruggs style tune.

steve davis - Posted - 12/20/2010:  07:25:08


It plays great in Scruggs style banjo.

Jim Yates - Posted - 12/20/2010:  08:29:00


I also use a flat pick to try to imitate (approximate) Earl's sound on this song. Another neat Earl guitar song is You Are My Flower. I've never seen a picture nor a video of Earl playing any song on the guitar with the capo below the fifth fret. It sounds great capoed up there.

steve davis - Posted - 12/20/2010:  08:56:37


Does Earl use 2 fingers(TI) when he plays guitar?

Jim Yates - Posted - 12/20/2010:  18:58:04



Here's a link to Flatt & Scruggs' Jimmy Brown.
youtube.com/watch?v=wE73TjcXIXM
It looks like he's using two fingers to me.
...and here's Earl this year doing You Are My Flower, still capoed VII.
youtube.com/watch?v=MVB0nJewy9w


Edited by - Jim Yates on 12/20/2010 19:06:37

steve davis - Posted - 12/20/2010:  19:21:25


Very fine.
Thanks,Jim.

dflowers - Posted - 12/21/2010:  06:27:01


I have played this songon guitar since I was twelve years old in 1959. It was one of the first songs I learned beside wildwood flower. It picks easy and has a haunting melody. One of my favorites.Thanks for the reminder. Tonight I will try picking it out on banjo.

coelhoe - Posted - 12/21/2010:  06:48:49


Actually, Earl is using Maybelle Carter's "scratch" (sometimes called "church lick") technique of picking melody with the thumb and brushing back and forth with the index finger.

majikgator - Posted - 12/21/2010:  06:49:00


"1875 song by William Shakespeare Hays "Jimmie Brown (The Paper Boy)". Carters-1929"

i like this song with Maybelle Carter style guitar vs the Pseudo flatpick carter style although that's pretty good as well. i think it could be adapted to any style banjo playing. no need for imitation here, it's a gem of a song open for some stylistic adaptations. although i hope there will not be a hip hop version any time soon (read while i'm alive)

the parrot - Posted - 12/21/2010:  09:49:59


I played a banjo break on Bill Monroe's recording, in C chord. Not a great break, but it worked!

LH

Jim Yates - Posted - 12/21/2010:  11:03:31


quote:
Originally posted by coelhoe

Actually, Earl is using Maybelle Carter's "scratch" (sometimes called "church lick") technique of picking melody with the thumb and brushing back and forth with the index finger.



I think Earl plays with a finger pick on his index finger and does his brushes with his thumb and the up stroke with his index.
the Carter Scratch was the first strum I learned circa 1960. I still use it when I don't have a flat pick handy.

steve davis - Posted - 12/21/2010:  12:07:43


Earl is wearing a thumbpick in the first example with Lester,but I can't get a good
look at his fingertips.I had read somewhere that he used his banjo picks,
but just on I and T.

oettingm - Posted - 12/21/2010:  13:58:14


Thanks for all the replies -- what I love about the hangout. I never really knew much about Maybelle Carter's church scratch, or some of the other things mentioned above. I'd love to see some guitar tabs for Earl's version of this song if anyone has ever seen them.

I got to where I can pretty much play the same thing he does, but flatpick style. It takes a lot of fast right hand movements and you gotta make sure you hit the right string with the pick, but in the end (and after playing it a lot) it sounds really close.

Thanks for the great thoughts, suggestions, reactions, etc. to this song. I like to know that, when a song really moves me and gets under my skin (in a good way) that there are a lot of other people out there who have had the same thing happen!

Dave Magram - Posted - 12/21/2010:  16:29:56


quote:
Originally posted by the parrot

I played a banjo break on Bill Monroe's recording, in C chord. Not a great break, but it worked!

LH



Hi Lonnie,

Thanks for chiming in!
Folks, this is quite an honor having former Bluegrass Boy Lonnie Hoppers joining the discussion!

I checked my copy of 'The Music of Bill Monroe', and noticed that you recorded with Mr. Monroe, in addition to "Jimmie Brown", several gospel songs, "Darling Corey", "Baker's Breakdown", and one of the most popular Baker-Monroe fiddle tunes of all time--"Big Sandy River"!

Great job on those numbers, Lonnie!!
I hope you chime in more often.

Best,
Dave

Ira Gitlin - Posted - 12/21/2010:  17:32:44


When doing the Maybelle-style stuff, Earl uses his index to brush both up and down. It's quite clear if you watch the old Martha White videos. How he manages to keep his fingerpick from snagging on the strings when he does his downstrokes is a mystery to everyone I've talked to about it.

the parrot - Posted - 12/22/2010:  07:37:19


Thank you Dave, appreciate the kind words. Looks like you've played with some interesting people folks too!

LH

Possom - Posted - 12/22/2010:  07:50:18


quote:
Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

When doing the Maybelle-style stuff, Earl uses his index to brush both up and down. It's quite clear if you watch the old Martha White videos. How he manages to keep his fingerpick from snagging on the strings when he does his downstrokes is a mystery to everyone I've talked to about it.



I'm no authority on this subject but I first learned to play guitar in this somewhat lost style of Mother Maybelle, Earl and Lester. Earl aint done no downstrokes with his index in this style. Thumb performs all the down strokes and index performs the up strokes. And I've re-played these songs hundereds of times to figure out what he did on them. Like you said the fingerpick will snag...simple as that it just don't work

Ira Gitlin - Posted - 12/22/2010:  07:57:45


youtube.com/watch?v=wE73TjcXIXM ?

steve davis - Posted - 12/22/2010:  08:15:35


Yes,index downstroke on off-beats.

Jim Yates - Posted - 12/22/2010:  08:20:14


quote:
Originally posted by Possom

quote:
Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

When doing the Maybelle-style stuff, Earl uses his index to brush both up and down. It's quite clear if you watch the old Martha White videos. How he manages to keep his fingerpick from snagging on the strings when he does his downstrokes is a mystery to everyone I've talked to about it.



I'm no authority on this subject but I first learned to play guitar in this somewhat lost style of Mother Maybelle, Earl and Lester. Earl aint done no downstrokes with his index in this style. Thumb performs all the down strokes and index performs the up strokes. And I've re-played these songs hundereds of times to figure out what he did on them. Like you said the fingerpick will snag...simple as that it just don't work



...but Maybelle did use her finger for the down and up strokes and the thumb for the bass notes. She didn't use finger picks, so no snagging problem.
Jorma Kokhonan (sp?) does use fingerpicks and picks both ways with them without getting snagged.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.078125