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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: fully diatonic old time 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/365024

piecomics - Posted - 06/16/2020:  06:21:42


So my musical instrument evolution has progressed from uke strumming to uke clawhammer to banjo clawhammer to kora (african gourd harp/theoretical ancestor of the banjo). In addition to playing traditional kora music I want to get back to the old time/clawhammery stuff.

Since this instrument is essentially a harp I can't play chromatically. I am particularly drawn to Adam Hurt's stuff but am not finding a whole lot that will work diatonically, so I thought I would ask here for any suggestions?

many thanks!
Ben

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 06/16/2020:  12:16:32


You should be able to play these modes:

F Silaba Tuning =

F Ionian
G Dorian
A Phrygian
Bb Lydian
C Mixolydian
D Aeolian

banjoak - Posted - 06/16/2020:  18:52:10


quote:

Originally posted by piecomics

So my musical instrument evolution has progressed from uke strumming to uke clawhammer to banjo clawhammer to kora (african gourd harp/theoretical ancestor of the banjo). In addition to playing traditional kora music I want to get back to the old time/clawhammery stuff.



Since this instrument is essentially a harp I can't play chromatically. I am particularly drawn to Adam Hurt's stuff but am not finding a whole lot that will work diatonically, so I thought I would ask here for any suggestions?



many thanks!

Ben






?????



Most traditional fiddle and banjo  tunes are diatonic... just use the 7 notes. Many are just essentially pentatonic (5 note).

janolov - Posted - 06/16/2020:  22:53:34


quote:

Originally posted by piecomics

So my musical instrument evolution has progressed from uke strumming to uke clawhammer to banjo clawhammer to kora (african gourd harp/theoretical ancestor of the banjo). In addition to playing traditional kora music I want to get back to the old time/clawhammery stuff.



Since this instrument is essentially a harp I can't play chromatically. I am particularly drawn to Adam Hurt's stuff but am not finding a whole lot that will work diatonically, so I thought I would ask here for any suggestions?



many thanks!

Ben






I agree with banjoak. It is difficult to understand your question. Most old-time fiddle tune and banjo tunes are based on the diatonic scale, even if there are different scales (major and minor) and different modes.



I don't agree with your statement that banjo essentlally is a harp instrument. For me a harp instrument is a stringed instrument where each string has a specific pitch or tone. The banjo is also a stringed instrument but by fretting the string you can get different tones /pitches so you can play both chromatic (all twelve steps in the octave) or just the notes in the diatonic scale. 



 



 

GrahamHawker - Posted - 06/17/2020:  00:36:51


quote:

Originally posted by janolov

I don't agree with your statement that banjo essentlally is a harp instrument. For me a harp instrument is a stringed instrument where each string has a specific pitch or tone.






I think the point was that the Kora is essentailly a harp instrument, not the banjo.

janolov - Posted - 06/17/2020:  02:53:18


quote:

Originally posted by GrahamHawker

quote:

Originally posted by janolov

I don't agree with your statement that banjo essentlally is a harp instrument. For me a harp instrument is a stringed instrument where each string has a specific pitch or tone.






I think the point was that the Kora is essentailly a harp instrument, not the banjo.






Maybe, but in that case I don't think the kora is the ancestor to the banjo. There are other African "lute instruments"  with a kind of drum resonator that are more like the banjo where you "fret" the strings (even if there are no frets), while the Kora  is played with open strings. Instruments like  kontingkhalam, and the nkoni  are old banjo-like instrument which also have a long history (from the 1300's)



 



 

piecomics - Posted - 06/17/2020:  03:56:40


Sorry for the confusion, let's see:
1. I'm not saying the kora is an actual ancestor of the banjo, but when you read the literature on West African music the kora is sometimes mentioned as a potential ancestor. I agree that the n'goni is much more banjo like. Just trying to make the connection between the two.
2. Glad that most of the songs are diatonic/pentatonic. I think the first two old time songs I learned on the banjo were both not fully diatonic so I thought that would be more of a problem, just my bad luck in picking my songs I guess.

thanks!

janolov - Posted - 06/17/2020:  11:26:34


It would be interesting to see which two old time songs you refer to?

banjoak - Posted - 06/17/2020:  15:08:15


I recall hearing some musicians, playing Appalachia music with a traditional kora player. Joe Craven. Jayme Stone. I think there was some recording/video of  Judy Hyman/Jeff Claus.


Edited by - banjoak on 06/17/2020 15:09:54

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