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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Banjo player stereotypes


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/379997

saw_woods - Posted - 12/22/2021:  14:51:04


Nuf said!

BeeEnvironment - Posted - 12/22/2021:  15:02:28


Har-dee-har-har!



 



The movie and guy that created the most all-time best stereotype of banjo pickers!

inwardman1 - Posted - 12/22/2021:  15:05:57


Yeah, at a family get together we were jamming at years back, a kid of one of visiting friends ran up to me and said, "my daddy said we don't like hillbilly music."

You can wear suits, gold rings, etc. etc. but there's no getting away from [some] folks' stereotypical ideas...

TN Time - Posted - 12/22/2021:  15:13:32


quote:

Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

Har-dee-har-har!



 



The movie and guy that created the most all-time best stereotype of banjo pickers!






I wonder what he used to capo the 5th string?



Robert

scarroll - Posted - 12/22/2021:  15:53:04


Looks like a wooden clothes pen

BeeEnvironment - Posted - 12/22/2021:  15:59:18


Technically, if he was playing in the key of A (which is G tuning, capoed up 2), then his 5th string would need no capo, since you can tune it up to A without it breaking.

RioStat - Posted - 12/22/2021:  16:48:20


...stereotypes.....



 



 

Kimerer - Posted - 12/22/2021:  17:03:27


quote:

Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

Technically, if he was playing in the key of A (which is G tuning, capoed up 2), then his 5th string would need no capo, since you can tune it up to A without it breaking.






Actually, if you listen carefully to the movie soundtrack you can hear Eric Weissberg playing the banjo part on his resonator banjo... finger picks and all that. It is quite distracting once you become aware of it.

BeeEnvironment - Posted - 12/22/2021:  17:09:28


TN Time - Posted - 12/22/2021:  18:25:27


quote:

Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

Technically, if he was playing in the key of A (which is G tuning, capoed up 2), then his 5th string would need no capo, since you can tune it up to A without it breaking.






Yeah, I know that. What I was getting at is that if he used a clothes pin and a rubber band for a capo, what creative innovation would he have used as a 5th string capo if he wanted to capo up a few more frets, like B.



Robert

Culloden - Posted - 12/22/2021:  21:07:55


quote:

Originally posted by TN Time

quote:

Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

Technically, if he was playing in the key of A (which is G tuning, capoed up 2), then his 5th string would need no capo, since you can tune it up to A without it breaking.






Yeah, I know that. What I was getting at is that if he used a clothes pin and a rubber band for a capo, what creative innovation would he have used as a 5th string capo if he wanted to capo up a few more frets, like B.



Robert






I used to stick a small machine screw under the fifth string. It makes a bit of a ping but it works in a pinch.

Omeboy - Posted - 12/22/2021:  23:36:45


You've probably bumped into this guy in the past. He's all over the place.



 

HSmith - Posted - 12/23/2021:  00:03:13


Hi

I think a large proportion of bluegrass musicians who are NOT banjo players have a stereotypical view of banjo players as obsessive geeks totally absorbed in detail. In my 50 year (so far) playing career, all the banjo players I've met have shared my desire to play the instrument well, the tunes closely in keeping with the original (allowing for some self-expression within bounds of good taste), and have an expectation that others (guitarists, fiddlers, mandolin players etc) will approach their music with similar commitment.  This is where the problem arises.  Sadly, I've found it rarely to be the case (in the UK anyway). There's something about the banjo, it's role in a band, and the people who are inspired to play it that sets us apart from other musicians. We do seem to be driven to acquire skills, learn tunes and expand the range of techniques at our disposal with a passion not shared by others in (many) bands. This view may be supported by the wealth of tabs, lessons and technical assistance he re on the Banjo Hangout. There's far less similar material on the guitar, mandolin, reso and fiddle hangouts. Does this imply a lower level of interest and commitment?

There are of course many committed, dedicated musicians outside the world of banjos who do share our enthusiasm. I think their relative rarity results in the stereotypical view of banjo players I've described.


Edited by - HSmith on 12/23/2021 00:04:33

RB-1 - Posted - 12/23/2021:  02:23:08


quote:

Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

Technically, if he was playing in the key of A (which is G tuning, capoed up 2), then his 5th string would need no capo, since you can tune it up to A without it breaking.






And then being out of tune with the 1st string?



Not a good idea.



Thanks but no thanks...

1935tb-11 - Posted - 12/23/2021:  02:44:22


quote:

Originally posted by RB-1

quote:

Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

Technically, if he was playing in the key of A (which is G tuning, capoed up 2), then his 5th string would need no capo, since you can tune it up to A without it breaking.






And then being out of tune with the 1st string?



Not a good idea.



Thanks but no thanks...






it would work for those that do not chord the 5th string,,ever.  for the rest who do,, it would take much concentration. 

1935tb-11 - Posted - 12/23/2021:  02:47:50


Helix - Posted - 12/23/2021:  03:39:45


You haven't seen one of those capos lately.

It's a stick with grooves in the ends to hold the string. No clothespin was harmed.

It's called a "magic stick." Woody Guthrie could only play certain chords, so when he played with his cousins who played country swing in C, he capoed to the 5th fret. Like a tourniquet.

He's already on the 2nd fret, no capo needed in the woods, just tune up a whole step

I always liked seeing the kid play perfect Eric Weisberg





 

overhere - Posted - 12/23/2021:  03:51:58


You guys laugh and make jokes but I’ll bet if you were a little poor from the 50s like like we were.( and there were 100's like wise)...a capo was a pencil with a rubber band.... and you know what?....it worked perfect....and the fifth, you just kept it no higher than an A

BeeEnvironment - Posted - 12/23/2021:  06:09:15


quote:

Originally posted by overhere

You guys laugh and make jokes but I’ll bet if you were a little poor from the 50s like like we were.( and there were 100's like wise)...a capo was a pencil with a rubber band.... and you know what?....it worked perfect....and the fifth, you just kept it no higher than an A






Yeah, I never fret the 5th string. What some folks also did, like myself, was put a round head screw 5 frets above the 5th string peg, so you can then easily capo the 5t string to play in higher keys by tuning the G string a bit slack before you would put it under the screw, raising its pitch to somewhere in the A-B or so range (cannot recall right now).

BeeEnvironment - Posted - 12/23/2021:  06:10:47


quote:

Originally posted by TN Time

quote:

Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

Technically, if he was playing in the key of A (which is G tuning, capoed up 2), then his 5th string would need no capo, since you can tune it up to A without it breaking.






Yeah, I know that. What I was getting at is that if he used a clothes pin and a rubber band for a capo, what creative innovation would he have used as a 5th string capo if he wanted to capo up a few more frets, like B.



Robert






Hmm, I see. Well, he could as well used one or a few round-headed screws drilled under the 5th string at various frets on the finger board to play ing differnt keps. 

jan dupree - Posted - 12/23/2021:  14:38:45


50 years of cartoons, Hee Haw, String Bean, Grand Pa Jones, Dave Macon, and even some modern day bands that think they have to play into the stereotype, and one well known Online Banjo Teacher continue to contribute to the stereotype also.

Omeboy - Posted - 12/23/2021:  17:21:27


Most banjo players are just plain, everyday, ordinary folks---nothing unusual here. And take from these these guys, the banjo is a first rate "babe magnet !!!"

doryman - Posted - 12/23/2021:  19:22:59


Another take. I was introduced to the banjo through the music of Pete Seeger. Thus, for me, the stereotypical "banjo player" was a folk singing, war-protesting, civil rights activist. It wasn't until much later, and somewhat to my surprise, that I realized that most folks stereotyped the banjo player as either a "red-neck" or a "hillbilly." Later, when I moved to Baton Rouge, LA, I lived in a mostly black, lower-middle class/blue collar neighborhood and got to know most of my neighbors as any neighbor might. Many of my neighbors associated banjos, and those who would play them, with racism and racists...i.e. the stereotypical banjo player, to them, was a white, racist male. They confessed to me that, before they got to know me, they were very wary of me and my banjo playing, which I liked to do on my front porch on the warm summer nights.

Don Borchelt - Posted - 12/24/2021:  06:30:27


overhere - Posted - 12/25/2021:  09:45:56


Gees I wonder where anyone got the stereotype from......certainly not from Uncle Dave Macon, or Stringbean, or Grand Pa Jones, Leroy Troy......Snuffy?.... Harrold Morrison????? Roy Clark.....or even Mike Schneider.......or HEE HAWWWW.......yep sure is a puzzlin’ y’all.
.....come listen to a story ‘bout a man named Jed.........

Richard Hauser - Posted - 12/25/2021:  10:17:40


In the 70's, and living in southwest Michigan, I was playing banjo when a guy walked up and started talking. Eventually he asked me what my job was. My reply was "computer programmer". He laughed and said "Every damn banjo player I meet seems to be a computer programmer.

So different people have different ideas about banjo players.

Omeboy - Posted - 12/25/2021:  13:37:38


You can have your stereotypes, but I don't want to hear one more word about left-handed banjo players being weird, eccentric, goofs that still live in their parents basements.

Helix - Posted - 12/29/2021:  04:44:15


I had to get some shots in my aging thumbs. My hand doc is a young guy.

"What is it with you banjo players, I've got 5 of you guys."

1935tb-11 - Posted - 12/29/2021:  05:54:57


quote:

Originally posted by Omeboy

You can have your stereotypes, but I don't want to hear one more word about left-handed banjo players being weird, eccentric, goofs that still live in their parents basements.






hey i take offense to that remark.. i live in my own basement now dang it

Clifton Hicks - Posted - 01/04/2022:  17:58:50


Link to video: The Truth About Banjo Stereotypes (on the banjo's role in "hillbilly" stereotypes, the real origin of the term "redneck," and the cultural strip-mining of Southern folk music).

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