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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Bach Cello Prelude No. 1

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aintbrokejustbadlybent - Posted - 02/22/2021:  06:52:08

My version of this Bach piece played in an expressive style. I always thought Bach's music was beyond me and never attempted. I learned a lot working this out. How to read bass cleft, attempting to keep my fingers/hand parallel to neck and keeping my left elbow closer to my body. It was very cold the day I recorded this and had some impact on the sound quality.

Ryk - Posted - 02/22/2021:  07:05:57

Lovely Mike ... Thank you. I played this same piece at a memorial service for a woman who had been an excellent tenor banjo player in her youth. I had a mute on for more sustain and the minister's husband came up to me afterward and said he didn't expect Bach on a banjo when he saw it on its stand. It seemed as though he had been worried.

blazo - Posted - 02/22/2021:  08:11:48

Beautiful... almost as if Bach wrote that for banjo! I've been wanting to attempt it in clawhammer on a 5 string (ala Michael Miles). How long have you worked on it?

hobogal - Posted - 02/22/2021:  09:45:22

Beautiful Mike - I definitely can hear you are putting the expression into it rather than playing just the notes.

aintbrokejustbadlybent - Posted - 02/22/2021:  10:21:33


I started working on it Dec. 6. Likely I will never actually finish it but I had to stop somewhere. I’d say it took me two months to get it under my fingers. There are four measures that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around. Took me a couple of weeks to get that (I started getting frustrated and had to walk away from it for a bit).
There are a lot of arpeggios so for a fifth tuned instrument it lays rather nicely not sure about the 5.
Go for it, you won’t regret it. Rob MacKillop published a Bach book and the piece is written out in treble clef.

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 02/22/2021:  10:29:34

Lovely, sensitive playing, Mike, but I would be remiss if I didn't point out that there are a few wrong notes, chords and bars here and there. But, you know, you play it the way you want to, and I'd defend to the death (well, maybe not that far!) your right to play it any way you want. And I did enjoy listening to it, smiling occasionally in a good way.

blazo - Posted - 02/22/2021:  10:34:50

aintbrokejustbadlybent You've come a long way in a fairly short amount of time. I don't read music but Michael Miles has published a book with both notation and tab for "JS Bach's Cello Suites I & III." I have the book but I'm not ready yet to spend the time. It seems a daunting task but its on my bucket list.

aintbrokejustbadlybent - Posted - 02/22/2021:  10:39:29

Thanks for that. I was playing it as written, that is, the music I bought, I thought they were reputable. I’m going to have to get a verified version. Possibly that’s why I had some cognitive dissonance.

pasdimo - Posted - 02/22/2021:  14:22:15

Beautiful ! Here is my version played on a Chevin tenor, with pics. I have another version played with fingers, should be better but not ready yet.

aintbrokejustbadlybent - Posted - 02/22/2021:  16:02:40

I enjoyed that. Banjo sounds good. Do you play this style of music a lot? Any other pieces like this?

pasdimo - Posted - 02/22/2021:  16:43:16

Thank you. I have played baroque music for decades but never on banjo, I play the flute. That said I love playing this prelude on my banjo. Lazy to learn other pieces.

Dgbectrum - Posted - 02/24/2021:  04:21:14

Very good!
Deep. Bach's music deserve to be played and studied all the time! Tenor banjo sounds good on these tunes, such an harpsichord-like tone. Try also some Solo Violin Sonatas, though it may be more complicated. I did'nt know the work of Rob McKillop on Bach's music. I think it's great. Bravo!

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