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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Why would this not work well..??


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/335908

wilga12 - Posted - 10/21/2017:  18:23:06


Hi all,.............Howgoezthings..??



     I seriously doubt that I have this query in the correct pigeon hole,...as far as forums go, but everything has to start somewhere...( If indeed it needs to be moved,...Maybe some kindly moderator can assist the situation..) I currently own a 5 string, Morgan Monroe, Resonator banjo, and I'd like to know just why it would not work to play the thing ,retuned, in "Chicago Style" as a four string..?? (Same as top four of a guitar)   Now, By this I'm not talking about strumming a bunch or just a few chords,. I'm talking about a slow to moderately fast rate of single notes. (The melody line). 



   (In preparation of/for this,I  currently have the fifth string removed, mostly for clearance for my overly fat "Mechanics" digits..) Now wait !!!!,............. Before, anyone gets their knickers in a knot,     let me preface this, with this statement.. I have no real burning desire to play Bluegrass, or, for that matter old time C-hammer. What I really want to be able to accomplish is to learn about four or five, maybe six, real fun sounding T.V. themes,... IE. the theme to the show "Magnum" or "M.A.S.H". or "Dallas" or "Bonanza" or "Gilligan's Island"or"Gunsmoke" and yes,...last but not least "The Beverly Hillbillies",....There are a bunch that are of interest to me.



 



                            OK Folks,... my shield is in my hand, and at the ready,   LET HER FLY.....lol



 



                                                      Thanks to all who may weigh in ,here......        Dave in Oregon..


Edited by - wilga12 on 10/21/2017 18:26:03

thisoldman - Posted - 10/21/2017:  19:43:12


It's been done before banjohangout.org/archive/163706  To paraphrase someone who posts on the HO now and then -- it's your banjo, play what you want to play, the way you want to play it. 

Omeboy - Posted - 10/21/2017:  19:43:53


There are many four string banjoist who play the "Chicago Tuning" for traditional jazz and pop music. The more insightful amongst them usually prefer a plectrum banjo over a tenor, which gives them the same neck you have minus the fifth string (22 frets) as opposed o a tenor with 19 frets. One of the best Chicago Tuning players is fret monster, Paul Scarvada. Attached is Paul playing Russian Rag, which is a pretty good handful in any tuning.  You're on the right track.  Good luck.



youtube.com/watch?v=x2G5Dee6dd...e=related   Paul Scarvada /  Russian Rag /  Chicago Tuning

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 10/21/2017:  21:12:00


Here's Magnum
banjohangout.org/tab/browse.as...l&v=22728


wilga12 - Posted - 10/21/2017:  22:47:36


Thanks so much for those two pieces on Magnum, "Musicaaalll. It doesn't turn out anything like I thought it would. It's kinda like eating a high class steak ,cooked to perfection, with absolutely no seasoning...!! Disappointing..!!!! I'm gonna have to spend some time rethinking my desires, when it comes to "Home Made" music..?? I shouldn't be surprised,though,......since I know nothing about music,...excepting what sounds good to me..!!



 



             Anybody need a four or five string Morgan Monroe banjo ..?? Real reasonable....    Again,...Thanks............Dave..

banjered - Posted - 10/22/2017:  07:04:52


I suggest you spend a little time listening to "media-jukebox" off to the left here and see if anything rings your banjo. And /or the video library. You really have to love banjo to be willing to plod through the basics in order to achieve some degree of proficiency, even to the point of enjoying the plodding. Most of us do not achieve "greatness" but after a while become pretty decent, good 'nuff to have fun playing with others and not embarassing ourselves too much in public. Find your personal musical muse and follow it. banjered

mike gregory - Posted - 10/22/2017:  07:19:45


quote:

Originally posted by thisoldman

It's been done before banjohangout.org/archive/163706  To paraphrase someone who posts on the HO now and then -- it's your banjo, play what you want to play, the way you want to play it. 






Thank you for the reference.



 



The actual quote is from one of the best clawhammer players I ever personally met.



The LONG version of the story:



----------------------------------



I had been trying Seeger style and Scruggs style, pretty much untaught, for several years.



And one day, I decided to get a clawhammer book, and do i EXACTLY by-the-book, or not do it at all.



 



Book said to strike DOWN with the index fingernail.



But, I have this birth defect of a TRIPLY THICK fingernail on my LEFT hand, and a PAPER-THIN nail on the right index.



So, I struck down, and the nail tore and bled.



I put down the book, and said to myself that if I could not do it RIGHT, I would not try do it at all.



A short time later, I met Ken Haferman, one heck of a player. And I noticed he was using the MIDDLE finger.



I asked him about this, showed him the paper-thin nail, and told him about "By-the Book, or NOT At All".



To which he ( although I was THIRTY-ONE, and he not quite forty) replied



"Kid, it's YOUR banjo. Play it any damned way you WANT!"



 



Best advice I ever got. And best advice I ever passed along.

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 10/22/2017:  07:22:45


quote:

Originally posted by wilga12

Thanks so much for those two pieces on Magnum, "Musicaaalll. It doesn't turn out anything like I thought it would. It's kinda like eating a high class steak ,cooked to perfection, with absolutely no seasoning...!! Disappointing..!!!! I'm gonna have to spend some time rethinking my desires, when it comes to "Home Made" music..?? I shouldn't be surprised,though,......since I know nothing about music,...excepting what sounds good to me..!!



 



             Anybody need a four or five string Morgan Monroe banjo ..?? Real reasonable....    Again,...Thanks............Dave..






Musicaaalll has only played the melody and that is perhaps why you find his rendition not sounding to your satisfaction. If some harmony is added, you might find this piece is quite well seasoned, as well as "cooked to perfection."



Adding the "spice" is going to involve a bit of work no matter which instrument you choose. The same "Magnum" played in the same  "melody only" fashion on a guitar or a piano would probably still lack the spice you are looking for. You might keep your banjo and learn a bit more about musical embellishments rather than spending money for another instrument to attempt playing your preferred pieces. 

RevSpyder - Posted - 10/22/2017:  08:17:13


For what it's worth, Dave -- I have an inexpensive old five string I was given a few years ago, and I removed the fifth string tuner completely to turn it into a plectrum. I tune it in standard open G, but I've tried Chicago tuning, and it works fine. Some day I'll be able to afford a real quality plectrum, but until then, this works great.

L50EF15 - Posted - 10/22/2017:  09:10:26


It’ll be fine. I treat my five (a Goodtime openback) like a plectrum. I use the 5th string, but there’s no reason to avoid Chicago tuning.

Fathand - Posted - 10/22/2017:  09:50:27


Chicago Tuning on a Plectrum banjo which is what you will basically have when you remove the 5th string is no problem at all,



I am assuming you are playing with a flatpick as opposed to finger picks?



The potential problem I see is this,  "I'm talking about a slow to moderately fast rate of single notes. (The melody line)."



Banjos by nature, have a short sustain, as opposed to say electric guitars, which have a long sustain and will hold a note for a while. This becomes both a blessing and a curse. A banjo only playing the melody can sound "thin" or "sparse". I know someone who "plays" mandolin and only plays the melody line with a flatpick. It is very boring to listen to and frustrating if you are trying to play something or sing to it.



I am a believer in using the nature of an instrument to your advantage. Banjo styles typically add a lot of fill notes around the melody or strummed chords to fill in the sound which can then become very interesting. Clawhammer or Frailing works by filling in chord strums and a drone between the melody notes. Scruggs style picking fills in with arpeggiated chords.  In Plectrum playing I believe they call it "Duo Style" when they fill in strums around the melody line. If you plan on playing with others you are going to need to learn to play some kind of backup during their solos or during vocals.



 



 

wilga12 - Posted - 10/22/2017:  12:04:20


Thanks to you all,......All are excellent points to consider and ponder.



I'll likely not get over  the difference of what my attempts could/would sound like, in my head,... as opposed to the actual outcome.



      I've gotta take a few steps back and really look deep as to what the lil "Home made" music devil inside, is really looking to have satisfied.       



   I've never had, in the past, so much response to a query that I've posted, It really helps to have someone /  someones look at your situation from a different angle,...ahhhh,... I do believe this is called "Perspective".



                         huh,... the things you learn,...and the ways in which you learn them... 



 



                                          Muchas gracias,.............Amigos.           ........dr

johnedallas - Posted - 10/23/2017:  05:24:54


wilga,

Seems to me that for what you want to do you need a tenor banjo. You want to play plain melody, and a tuning in fifths (like the volin or mandolin) is ideal for this. And that's what the tenor banjo has: CGDA in the standard version, GDAE in the Irish version.

Speaking of Irish: Irish dance music is very melodic - the dance rhythms are written into the tunes, which is why you need no percussion or strummed instruments. The "seasoning" is applied in the form of melodic decorations, rather than chords. And the tenor banjo is THE banjo in Irish music!

Cheers,
John

wilga12 - Posted - 10/23/2017:  19:56:59


Thanks for that, as well "Johne" 



 Without a doubt you are speaking over my head,...meaning,... "Mi no comprende"



You probably do remember me saying that,... I didn't know anything about music, excepting what seems to sound good to me.  



    Again,...Thanks it's much appreciated..........................dr..

Jim Yates - Posted - 10/24/2017:  21:24:49


When Bob Siggins and later Bill Keith played in the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, they slacked off or muted the fifth string and played with a flat pick. I'm not sure how they were tuned. I like to do this for songs like Boodle Am Shake or Coney Island Washboard.

wilga12 - Posted - 10/24/2017:  23:28:31


Thanks,........Jim that's a great idea,.....Maybe,... I'll just put old "Mr  Morgan" back together again.....!!



 



                                            .....................Later.............dr

Veerstryngh Thynner - Posted - 11/23/2017:  07:05:02


Wilga,



You might want to talk with Laurence Diehl. I think he changed his 5-string to plectrum, at some point. He's a BHO member, an outstanding musician, and a truly nice guy!



Veerstryngh Thynner


Edited by - Veerstryngh Thynner on 11/23/2017 07:07:14

wilga12 - Posted - 11/23/2017:  18:02:30


If one converts his 5 string banjo to a plec. is the only music that will work with that arrangement going to be "Dixieland"..?? I.E. lotsa strumming..??  OR,... can one play it like it was a four string guitar..??



 



Veerstryngh,...! How would you characterize his playing..??  Anything close to moderate speed single note stuff..??



 



                Laurence Diehl............If you can hear this, Please, jump in ..??



 



                                                          wilga



 



          

L50EF15 - Posted - 11/23/2017:  22:56:21


Here’s a video I did a few months back, including some pretty fast single string stuff. I leave the 5th string on (but I recently got a tenor and will get a plectrum in the next several months). 



As you can see, I grabbed a few bars using both flatpick and fingers. But mostly, I’m using the flatpick alone. 



youtu.be/l8nWEaPRyZo

Veerstryngh Thynner - Posted - 11/25/2017:  08:29:52


Veerstryngh,...! How would you characterize his playing..?? 



Virtuoso!



Anything close to moderate speed single note stuff..??



Have a look on YouTube. Lots of Laurence Diehl vids there. On uke, banjo, guitar - and, I think, tenor guitar as well!



Veerstryngh Thynner

wilga12 - Posted - 11/25/2017:  21:52:06


OK,..............   Thanks.............Dave..

wilga12 - Posted - 11/25/2017:  22:39:54


Wow  V.T............!!!



            (Meaning no disrespect to you, by abbreviating your name,.. That's a pretty Heavy Duty name) 



                       .......................That's exactly what  I've been looking/listening for....most impressive..



 



I'm not trying to be funny,here.  But just what genre music would this be called..??    It dosen't seem like Blues  or Jazz..??   Is there a certain amount of improv' here..??    Are these songs that already exsisted and he electronically removed the Lead or melody line and plays this himself..?



 



    Like I've mentioned, at least twice, recently,...



        I don't know anything about music,...other than what pleases my ears and this music is hitting the nail on the head....   So,...Someone in lay terms please jump in and explain how this is accomplished.... I only listened to Laurence's banjo music and some of it was easy to pick out as strickly solo  instrumental music.   Then there was other stuff that was done with a rythum section added in,.....Both were very impressive..... 



 



                                       Dave in Oregon..

Laurence Diehl - Posted - 11/27/2017:  11:39:58


Thanks for the kind words! The backing tracks on my tunes were created in a software package called Band in a Box - you basically plug in the chords, select a style and boom! off you go...
As far as genre, it's a whole mash up of whatever was appealing to me at the time. Most of us were originally drawn to the banjo via some kind of 'tradition', be it bluegrass, old time, jazz or whatever. But who's gonna tell you that you can't play TV themes or anything else on the banjo? I don't even think that it matters much how many strings are on your banjo, just noodle around until something clicks for you.

Tom Hanway - Posted - 11/27/2017:  14:41:41


quote:

Originally posted by wilga12

Thanks to you all,......All are excellent points to consider and ponder.



I'll likely not get over  the difference of what my attempts could/would sound like, in my head,... as opposed to the actual outcome.



      I've gotta take a few steps back and really look deep as to what the lil "Home made" music devil inside, is really looking to have satisfied [Emphasis added.]



   I've never had, in the past, so much response to a query that I've posted, It really helps to have someone /  someones look at your situation from a different angle,...ahhhh,... I do believe this is called "Perspective".



                         huh,... the things you learn,...and the ways in which you learn them... 




quote:

Originally posted by Laurence Diehl

Thanks for the kind words! The backing tracks on my tunes were created in a software package called Band in a Box - you basically plug in the chords, select a style and boom! off you go... As far as genre, it's a whole mash up of whatever was appealing to me at the time. Most of us were originally drawn to the banjo via some kind of 'tradition', be it bluegrass, old time, jazz or whatever. But who's gonna tell you that you can't play TV themes or anything else on the banjo? I don't even think that it matters much how many strings are on your banjo, just noodle around until something clicks for you.






Thanks Laurence, good words!  Learning to play in a particular genre or having a musical tradition (or more than one tradition) never stopped anyone from playing.  



Okay, here's a question for the OP, Dave, since you indicated that you "gotta take a few steps back": Have you considered other instruments, say, the guitar or ukulele? And why not 5-string banjo?



From another perspective, one can have loads of fun on the guitar or uke, and if you want to sing, Dave, they are easy/fun instruments for accompanying oneself.  Now, since you are taking a few steps back, why not re-consider the 5-string banjo using all five strings?  It's a no-brainer since you've got one already! 



Do you like to sing (see Irish songs below)? Judging by the way you write and rhyme, you might even become a songwriter --  even a writer of filks -- and haven't considered it yet.  Who knows?



I couldn't help but notice 'The Beverly Hillbillies' theme in your bucket list, and that's really well-suited to the 5-string (all five strings).  One doesn't have to play the 5-string like Earl Scruggs in order to strum it, or pluck out notes any way that one wishes.  



Irish Travellers (see Irish Traveller Movement ITM) have been using the 5-string banjo for accompaniment for donkey's years; meanwhile, some of the most enduring songs in Irish music feature the 5-string.  Here are three hugely famous Irish songs (that could make for TV themes) sung by Luke Kelly and Finbar Furey, just in case this music might appeal to you. There are endless ways to use a 5-string banjo, and it's the most-used banjo for song accompaniment in Irish music. (It's about artistic license for those who are artistic in their use of it.)



Please give these a listen, and take note:




  • On 'When You Were Sweet Sixteen' is Finbar Furey giving us that lovely plinking banjo (using just his fingers on a 5-string).

  • On 'Raglan Road' is Luke Kelly playing really sweet accompaniment on the 5-string.

  • On 'Dirty Old Town' features Barney McKenna playing a countermelody (tenor) to Luke's lead vocal, plucking and strumming on the 5-string.



When You Were Sweet Sixteen - The Furey's and Davey Arthur (Finbar Furey singing and playing the 5-string)



Raglan Road - The Dubliners (Luke Kelly singing and playing the 5-string)



Dirty Old Town - The Dubliners (Luke Kelly on 5-string, Barney McKenna on 4-string)



Have fun, and whatever you decide, Dave, have fun with it.  I hope you enjoy these songs!  



All the best ~ Tom



 



 

wilga12 - Posted - 11/27/2017:  18:01:00


OK,...Tom................Thanks.     More "Ideas" N "Pondering" to be added to the pot..........dr

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