I apologize in advance for the noob question. I'm a guitar player transitioning into banjo, and have been playing a couple of months, almost exclusively working on technique. Now that I'm trying to transition into playing full songs, I've run into a rhythm problem
LDSB is the main reason why I purchased a banjo, so I have been trying to learn a few of theirs songs like "When I went Down to Georgia," The Mountain," and "Bring Back Someday." I understand the chords, and I can hear most of the hammer-ons and slides, but I am struggling to really nail down the rhythm of most songs.
My questions are: Do most songs on banjo basically follow a set strumming pattern, like the Bum Ditty? I've been trying to do the basic "Strike, Strum, Thumb" to generically play some LDSB songs, but it still sounds very empty, choppy and robotic, like I'm missing multiple strums. In Banjo, am I supposed to closely follow a strumming pattern and repeat, or can I strum where I see fit? I fear I'm developing bad habits and playing the banjo like a guitar, and I want to address it.
I've watched a few YouTube videos playing the song, like Travis Boudreau's, (@TravisBoudreau) but even with slowing down the speed I just can't seem to understand how to nail down a good rhythm / strumming pattern with these songs.
I apologize again for the likely noob question , and for incorrectly naming anything (like I'm not even sure if "strumming pattern" is the proper way to define a Bum-Ditty, or not)
Thanks again in advance. I tried to post Youtube links but the post was taken down because apparently one cannot post a link in their first 3 posts to avoid Spam.
Start with the bum ditty as a basis and you will be on your way to learning these songs. It might take a little while to click, but once you get it, it's pretty much on autopilot. There are some skipped notes and strums thrown in here that will come with experience. Everyone does it a little differently, but these songs are all based on the bum ditty.
Here is a video youtube.com/watch?v=-gnDyhN5ilM (I think you have to post three times before you are allowed to post links). I think it is ordinary clawhammer, but with some skipped notes and skipped strums and with hammer-on, pulling-off and slides.
I too am a disciple of the LDSB. The first tune I picked out for clawhammer banjo was “bring back someday” and after seeing your thread I posted it to the tab archive; give it a search. You just need the TEFview app to view it. I hope this helps with the picking pattern.