Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

1614
Banjo Lovers Online


 All Forums
 Playing the Banjo
 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Any slow banjo songs?


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/243545

theoldman - Posted - 08/24/2012:  07:40:07



Just curious,



I'm new to the banjo and therefore quite new to banjo music.



It seems that every piece of sheet music or tab that I come across states - play fast or extremely fast.



That leads me to the question - Are there any slow banjo tunes?



 



I would appreciate being pointed in the direction of some slow tabs. As a new player I have enough to concern myself with other than playing up to speed.



Wayne



 


PigAnkle - Posted - 08/24/2012:  08:43:14



While it is true that any tune can be played at any speed, it is also the case that some do work better slower, and some work better faster.   Try one of these out, maybe: Waterbound, Sail Away Ladies,  Handsome Molly, Going across the Mountains, Mole in the Ground, Liza Poor Gal.



Remember that maintaining the rhythm is just as important when you are playing slow as it is when you are playing fast.


orangikan - Posted - 08/24/2012:  08:46:31



They're all slow if you play them that way. No kidding. You can have a lot of fun slowing down fast tunes to find new grooves in them. I would ignore any inconvenient instructions on a tav.



Some classic slow jams include Cluck Old Hen, Sally In the Garden, Texas/Newcastle, and Santa Ana's retreat. You can find tabs and slow sound files for Cluck and Sally at Mike Iverson's most excellent website.


Fathand - Posted - 08/24/2012:  08:53:05



Since the banjo has shorter sustain than many instruments, it is well suited to quicker tunes where the notes don't decay before the next note is played.



Slow stuf can be played though, try Waltzes? They usually sound good slow. Kentucky Waltz? Ashokan Farewell? Do a search in the tabs for waltz and lots will show up.



On the other hand, one mans fast is another man's slow so you may be thinking faster than the tabs intended.



Edited by - Fathand on 08/24/2012 08:55:50

george craciun - Posted - 08/24/2012:  09:02:11



All good suggestions. Please add Wayfaring Stranger and Swing Low Sweet Chariot to your list. Happy pickin'.

Oldpiper - Posted - 08/24/2012:  09:13:48



A couple of days ago I had a Skype lesson with my instructor and that question of playing slow tunes came up. He said to play them at whatever speed I wanted. If you're not in a jam, it doesn't make any difference. Find the speed you like and play it. Eventually, your speed will probably pick up when you become totally familiar with the tune.



Fred



 


jduke - Posted - 08/24/2012:  09:35:08



Two slow tunes that I enjoy playing are Blackest Crow (aka As Time Draws Near) and Shady Grove.  I play them both in open G tuning but in the key of Em.



Edited by - jduke on 08/24/2012 09:36:10

Jim Yates - Posted - 08/24/2012:  10:23:43



Where The Wild Wild Flowers Grow (Ola Belle Reed)



download.macromedia.com/pub/sh...=6,0,40,0" data="youtube.com/v/TUrcustwdr4">youtube.com/v/TUrcustwdr4" />macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" quality="high" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/TUrcustwdr4" type="application/x-shockwave-flash">



Edited by - Jim Yates on 08/24/2012 10:27:28

BobCu - Posted - 08/24/2012:  12:42:34



There are many slow tunes out there.  Shenandoah come real fast to mind, and can be a very reflective and mournful kind of a tune.  I have found playing slow tunes to be a bit more of a challenge than the faster ones.  Getting the cadence to sound right with the lyrics is fun!



 



Edited by - BobCu on 08/24/2012 12:44:17

carlb - Posted - 08/24/2012:  12:47:28


Try and get anything by Dwight Diller, the master of slow clawhammer banjo.

Spitfire-Smith - Posted - 08/24/2012:  14:44:10



I love playing Amazing Grace on my banjo. I really lends itself to the banjo sound. Also, if you slow down Pretty Polly, it can sounds pretty groovy.


theoldman - Posted - 08/24/2012:  16:34:40


Wow
Thanks for all the replies everyone.
I have some work to do looking for tabs.

I know that speed comes with practise and this will take time.

Thanks again.

Tatersoup - Posted - 08/25/2012:  06:22:56



Amazing Grace, any Christmas carol (I like Little Drummer Boy a lot).


freddfish - Posted - 08/25/2012:  21:42:47



quote:


Originally posted by Fathand




Since the banjo has shorter sustain than many instruments, it is well suited to quicker tunes where the notes don't decay before the next note is played.



Slow stuf can be played though, try Waltzes? They usually sound good slow. Kentucky Waltz? Ashokan Farewell? Do a search in the tabs for waltz and lots will show up.



On the other hand, one mans fast is another man's slow so you may be thinking faster than the tabs intended.






You have a point with the short sustain.  I picked up a GoldTone banjola (banjo neck/mandolin body) a few years ago, which has about 3x the sustain of an openback banjo, and I couldn't believe at first how long the notes hung in the air. Funny thing was, I just said "well OK, I'll just play this like a regular banjo" but all these weird tunes that I wouldn't ordinarily go after started coming out of it, slow English ballads,  waltzes, slow folk tunes etc.



It is still a banjo neck and I was still frailing it, but I guess I wasn't ready for it to be a completely different instrument.



Back to the subject though, I would go after tunes like Rosin the Beau and The Blackest Crow. There were many other good suggestions here as well, no point in repeating them.


Deaf Lester Crawdad - Posted - 08/25/2012:  22:35:29



quote:


Originally posted by theoldman




Just curious,



I'm new to the banjo and therefore quite new to banjo music.



It seems that every piece of sheet music or tab that I come across states - play fast or extremely fast.



That leads me to the question - Are there any slow banjo tunes?






 Lots.



If you click on my photo and then on the tunes on my homepage you'll find a number of unconventional but slow tunes and at least one  -Aura Lee-  that's not only conventional but is quite easy.



No tabs, however.  Sorry.



~Pete


dysuldalleth - Posted - 08/27/2012:  16:34:22


I'm very new to playing as well and my fisrt song was Tom Dooley. It's pretty easy if you just want to play chords and slow enough for any beginner.

ruariver - Posted - 08/28/2012:  15:27:03


Darling Cory and Mole in the ground sound great played slow and bluesy, Banks of the Ohio in G can be pretty good and Wayfairing Strangers real good in G modal. And as a beginner I found Falls of Richmond great because you can start it real slow and as you get better you can build up speed...sounds great either way and now I still start slow and get faster as I move through it. Good luck

chip arnold - Posted - 08/28/2012:  15:34:36


There are some slow tunes on my music page. Ashoken Farewell is there and a few waltzes. Slow banjo is fun!

g3zdm - Posted - 08/28/2012:  16:02:54


Waltzes as suggested above. Willow Garden is best played slow in my opinion too and I prefer Coleman's March to be played slow.

Chris Muriel, Manchester, UK

Jay K - Posted - 08/28/2012:  16:19:01


Did you check out the tune of the week from 8/17? A tab and lesson for Undone in Sorrow, a slow, fun to learn Ola Belle Reed song.

Slick Salmon - Posted - 08/28/2012:  16:50:28


In my hands, every banjo tune is a slow song.

theoldman - Posted - 08/28/2012:  19:10:06



thanks everyone



thanks Jay for introducing me to Undone in Sorrow.



 



What a cool song.


Jay K - Posted - 08/30/2012:  06:15:02


My pleasure, so glad you like it!

hweinberg - Posted - 08/30/2012:  08:54:47



Sweet Sunny South is a great moderate tempo song with good words to sing, too.  It was played by many old-time bands, and there is a fine tab in Brad Leftwich's Round Peak book.  It also is very easy to play in a 3-finger style -- Charlie Poole or Scruggs.  


madkelt2004 - Posted - 09/02/2012:  07:55:50



Cold Rain and Snow



Aragon Mill


theoldman - Posted - 10/07/2012:  14:09:51



Wow - thanks Mike


grumpsie - Posted - 10/08/2012:  07:24:19


Mike's page has lots of great tabs that have helped me a lot. Many of them are for nice, slower tunes. Check it out!

Jim Yates - Posted - 10/08/2012:  17:45:35



How about Darlin' Cora Is Gone?  It works fine as a 3 finger or clawhammer tune.


MarkDespault - Posted - 10/08/2012:  18:08:27


I'm playing Darcy Farrow in some sort of double thumbing approach.

Jim Cannon - Posted - 10/10/2012:  19:43:53



I'm partial to "The Water Is Wide".


Bald-banjo-man - Posted - 10/10/2012:  21:03:04



quote:


Originally posted by Jim Cannon




I'm partial to "The Water Is Wide".






 Would you happen to have the tab for this?  I really enjoy this song as well.


Jim Cannon - Posted - 10/11/2012:  20:28:35



No, I'm afraid I have no tab. Tuned to C I noodle the melody out of the first couple of strings...what is passable to me may be far from desirable to others. I hope someone else may accommodate your request.


Bald-banjo-man - Posted - 10/12/2012:  05:20:07



quote:


Originally posted by Jim Cannon




No, I'm afraid I have no tab. Tuned to C I noodle the melody out of the first couple of strings...what is passable to me may be far from desirable to others. I hope someone else may accommodate your request.






 Thanks Jim. I posted a request for the tab on the "Tab request and Discussion" page so hopefully someone will have a tab to share.


Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.125