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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: double touching


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/269700

howard ogden - Posted - 09/01/2013:  14:13:40


my wife is currently reading a collection of letters sent from lewisburg wv in the 1800's.in a letter sent in 1857, a woman mentions being serenaded by violin and banjo. in a previous letter-same year- she mentions playing the banjo while her guitar sits in the corner (of the room), and having mastered "double touching" on the banjo.is she dropping her thumb, playing a tremolo technique or what. although lewisburg is and was in a rural setting, it is also quite near to what is now the greenbrier resort and at the time was a courthouse town on a well travelled turnpike meaning all sorts of misic of the time passed through.any well informed comments?


bd - Posted - 09/01/2013:  17:10:09


I've dabbled a bit in banjo music from that era, but I've never heard of "double touching". It may a term used by her particular teacher--assuming she had one. You might try to contact Tim Twiss aka Banjosnapper here on BHO or Joel Hooks, also on BHO.


EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 09/01/2013:  17:48:22


Tim and Joel are also members of the Minstrel Banjo site, which focuses on 19th-Century banjo history, particularly the early Minstrel period of roughly 1840-1870.  If they don't notice this thread, and if nobody else has a good answer to your question, you could try posting it over there: minstrelbanjo.ning.com/


EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 09/04/2013:  15:20:45


I went ahead and posted your question over on the Minstrel Banjo site.  The best guess seems to be that "double touching" might be a reference to what minstrel players would call a "double strike", and which in clawhammer terminology would be "double thumbing" (sounding the thumb string on the second note of every beat).



But evidently nobody has encountered the term "double touching" before.  Many of the people on the Minstrel Banjo site are very familiar with Minstrel-era banjo tutors and other such period sources - if they haven't heard of the term it must not have been in wide use.  As suggested, perhaps it was one used by whoever taught the woman in question to play - or perhaps she taught herself and just came up with that term on her own.


The Old Timer - Posted - 09/04/2013:  15:57:30


Just a suggestion of what fiddlers call a "double stop?" Covering and playing two strings at once?

John Gribble - Posted - 09/04/2013:  16:58:30


Hmmmmm. Sounds like it could get you into trouble!  blush


Paul R - Posted - 09/04/2013:  17:35:41


quote:

Originally posted by John Gribble

 

Hmmmmm. Sounds like it could get you into trouble!  blush







Is this thread about to get an R rating?


Sandy Bob - Posted - 09/06/2013:  17:10:34


I have studied the minstrel stroke style for a long time and have written a tab book teaching it.  This is not a normal term but more of a colloquialism expression like "clawhammer" is to frailing.  Meaning that frailing is also know as "clawhammer", the "Old Kentucky Knock", "down picking", "thumb cocking"...well I think you get the idea.   "Double Touching" means a double pull-off which in those days was known as a "snap" or a "pull".



 



Best wishes,  Bob Flesher


bd - Posted - 09/07/2013:  07:51:37


quote:

Originally posted by Sandy Bob

 

I have studied the minstrel stroke style for a long time and have written a tab book teaching it.  This is not a normal term but more of a colloquialism expression like "clawhammer" is to frailing.  Meaning that frailing is also know as "clawhammer", the "Old Kentucky Knock", "down picking", "thumb cocking"...well I think you get the idea.   "Double Touching" means a double pull-off which in those days was known as a "snap" or a "pull".




 




Best wishes,  Bob Flesher







Is a double pull off just what it sounds like? Are they two open string pull offs?


Sandy Bob - Posted - 09/07/2013:  08:50:30


No, a double pull-off of would be more like when you are playing a triplet on the first string. Like when you would put your first finger on the second fret, first string and second (I use my third finger) on the third fret, first string. Then, when you strike the string you pull-off your second finger to the second fret then pull-off then pull-off your first finger on the second fret to the open string. Now you have played 3 notes with one strike. Of course, the three notes have to go into the same space two notes normally go in a normal strike and pull-off so the three notes have to be very fast to squeeze them into the spaxce. That is what makes the triplet or "double touch" so attractive in the song, the three fast notes. Hope this helps.

Bob

Strumelia - Posted - 09/07/2013:  11:38:17


"Double Touching" means a double pull-off which in those days was known as a "snap" or a "pull".



Hi Bob,



Respectfully... I'm just curious- What leads you to be sure about exactly what the term refers to?- has "double touching" actually been described or defined someplace in old references?



It's also helpful to keep in mind  "she mentions playing the banjo while her guitar sits in the corner"- which tells us she was a guitar player who then took up the banjo- that might be helpful to know in some way. In other words, how might a guitar player view and describe 'banjo touching'/techniques this way if they were just learning?    :)


bd - Posted - 09/07/2013:  12:31:40


quote:

Originally posted by Sandy Bob

 

No, a double pull-off of would be more like when you are playing a triplet on the first string. Like when you would put your first finger on the second fret, first string and second (I use my third finger) on the third fret, first string. Then, when you strike the string you pull-off your second finger to the second fret then pull-off then pull-off your first finger on the second fret to the open string. Now you have played 3 notes with one strike. Of course, the three notes have to go into the same space two notes normally go in a normal strike and pull-off so the three notes have to be very fast to squeeze them into the spaxce. That is what makes the triplet or "double touch" so attractive in the song, the three fast notes. Hope this helps.



Bob







Thanks! It does help. I've done this technique on guitar but I haven't yet done it on banjo & never knew a name for it in any event.


Joel Hooks - Posted - 09/07/2013:  20:07:36


According to Carcassi what Bob has described is called... a "slur."



The Carcassi method would have been common in 1857.



I have no explanation for what she means as I don't recall having seeing that phrase.



There is also the fun little bit illustrated in measure 5 in "Drowsy Maggy" from Converse's The Banjoist .  Alas, this was not named.




Drowsy Maggy

   

howard ogden - Posted - 09/08/2013:  12:03:52


the woman in question is Maria E. Horton. She was also an accomplished pianist who mentions accompanying a friend who sings " ah Norma " from the opera Norma by Bellini. She also writes of going to see joe sweeney play accompanied by his three brothers and finds the music "beautiful". It seems unlikely to me that this is a reference to a double pulloff or slur , and I think that I agree w/ Strummelia that without a corroborating period reference that this will remain a mystery. My feeling is that she is probably refering to dropping her thumb, that is double thumbing.


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