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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Extreme Banjo?

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HAL9000 - Posted - 12/25/2005:  09:58:04

Hello. I am interested in extreme banjo playing. Do you know such bands that play extreme music with banjo? I know it sounds very stupid, but I want to hear such bands. It would be great.

banjovy - Posted - 12/25/2005:  20:54:28

?????????? Like banjo x games? Jumping out of an airplane while playing FMB?

HAL9000 - Posted - 12/26/2005:  08:23:41

No. Like BanjoGrind or Banjocore :D

HAL9000 - Posted - 12/27/2005:  10:36:46

I want to hear a banjo in extreme music.

MarkCavage - Posted - 12/27/2005:  11:34:47

Are you talking like you want to hear banjo in a band like napalm death? I'm guessing most people here don't know what you are talking about. I'm not really sure I do either, but you should probably go to a website called:

unclef*** (fill in the *'s - I'm sure if you listen to this stuff you can figure it out)

That's a "grasscore" band from NYC.


Creekcrippler - Posted - 12/27/2005:  16:05:59

That was a funny and interesting group, M! However it´s amazing how loud rock has ceased to excite me, I get a much bigger adrenalin kick listening to the originals! Watch out HAL9000, it might happen to you too!

banjovy - Posted - 12/27/2005:  17:14:20

thats all we need is more novelty crap. Doing it just to do it.

Banjocoltrane - Posted - 12/27/2005:  18:31:37

The Avett brothers do some extreme banjo playing...there aren't that many strings left when he is done...he beats the daylights out of it...not much of a bluegrasser picker though

That put on a good show though if you like acoustic music mixed with punk rock and screaming

banjovy - Posted - 12/27/2005:  18:42:43

could some of Danny Barnes music be considered for this?

Kristian - Posted - 12/28/2005:  07:01:58

If you electrify the banjo too much, it looses some of the banjo-sound to it. I've experimented a little, but I keep falling back to a 'normal' banjo in heavier surroundings. It becomes too much of an electric guitar and the novelty of the banjo simply disappears, thats why I havent really worked more on it. But if you take a banjo and make some slight effects to it, it can really spice up modern music.
You can listen to a song I did with my old band on - listen to the last song, "Central station", contains explicit lyrics.. but the banjo plays a big part. All the other songs are more laidback acoustic ballads with banjo, guitar and our singer.

Another band that uses banjo in more modern music is "The Brandos". But it is not electrified. I have also heard a guy named Kurt Stanger (Not sure about the last name) play Dire Straits 'money for nothing' on a distorted banjo.

Kristian Herner - Stockholm, Sweden

<-- the banjo - the music -->

Big_Trucks - Posted - 12/29/2005:  17:52:36

Me and My friend are working on a duo project that will have elctric distorted banjo, and drums, and aggresive vocals. Our influences for it are Astrisk, Ed Gein, The Locust, ect. Its mostly a joke band though. If we ever record some tracks I'll let you hear them. I'm more into acoustic banjo though.

"Space-time and mass-energy are the yin and the yang of the cosmos, each acting and reacting to the other."-Marcia Bartusiak

HAL9000 - Posted - 12/31/2005:  12:23:42

uncle ****er was interesting, thanks

banjobiotic - Posted - 12/31/2005:  18:10:51

I was in a band in Seattle for awhile called The Bond and I played a combination of heavily distorted electric banjo and acoustic banjo depending on what the song called for. Also a great band from Seattle called Guardian Alien did the distorted electric banjo thing and they were great. If you distort the banjo (or anything for that matter) a whole lot then you run into a problem with overtones and sustain making fast picking sound like a big mess, so you end up getting alot of single string guitar type stuff instead of a lot of rolls.

Little Man - Posted - 01/02/2006:  20:25:09

If you don't want to go too crazy, check out some of Bela's and Scott Vestal's music. Bela's "Big Foot" and Vestal's "Hey Mr. Banjo" are good for this.

NelumboSkid - Posted - 01/15/2006:  21:03:04

The grindcore band 'Spazz" has banjo in a couple of their songs, but undistorted and melodic. The few bits of banjo there are in the songs sound like they are in a minor key or using minor chords or something. Banjos can be played in a hauntingly beautiful way that fits in with that kind of music without distortion at all.

Ottawa - Posted - 01/15/2006:  21:18:26

Any links to sound clips to this sorta thing. I like to see where the banjo can be taken. I guess the instrument would be approached a whole different way-I guess ou could do anything you wanted with a banjo as long as it produced some desireable result to someone- that's art!


Tor - Posted - 01/30/2006:  17:44:41

I´ve found that the "bum-titty" rythm works really well for playing hardcore punk such as minor threat. I figured out how to play their "I don´t wanna hear it".

Lanark - Posted - 01/30/2006:  21:23:14

Of course, the classic example of punk banjo will always be the 60's group the Monks. That still packs a kick that's hard to deny.

Although it's really an electrified six string banjo, so technically it's actually more guitar, but even so it does manage to maintain some sense of the banjo timbre.

WindyCityBanjo - Posted - 02/06/2006:  20:41:48

I don't know how "Extreme!!!!" it is...but you can check out the tune Ravenswood Getaway on my bands website. We mix heavy AC/DC style guitar with bluegrass banjo. -- rock-grass -- traditional grass

maryzcox - Posted - 02/07/2006:  19:05:04

Try the first track "So Hot" on this page.
My son is asking about me adding a banjo track to this. Extreme? Too extreme? Do you think a banjo would add to the overall sound ? Close your eyes to the titles if you are easily offended. You probably may not want to try too hard to figure out the lyrics either. I just kind of listened to the beat and the melody and the texture of the vocals without focusing too much on the details.
I am too scared to listen to the other two tracks.
What do you think? Too extreme for banjo or just right?
Best wishes,
Mary Z. Cox

SonicGrass - Posted - 02/09/2006:  13:52:55

I´ve found that the "bum-titty" rythm works really well for playing hardcore punk such as minor threat. I figured out how to play their "I don´t wanna hear it"

I would love to have some quick chord diagrams on anything like this thanks

The thing ya can't remember tells the thing ya can't forget -Tom Waits

JJBondurant - Posted - 02/10/2006:  00:21:02

Hayseed Dixie does a lot of Rock and Metal covers. They don't use any distortion, but it's still really good stuff. Not sure if that's what you mean.

Yopparai - Posted - 03/03/2006:  15:17:01

Bopjo has some unusual banjo examples, not sure if they match your idea of extreme, but theres some very unbluegrassy stuff there.

salvatone - Posted - 03/03/2006:  18:34:23

Mary Z, I can't get it to download.

I have always thought that some of Tony Trischka's stuff was pretty extreme. Try tracks 1, 3, and 6 of this


Tom Banjo - Posted - 03/07/2006:  05:52:33

I guess my version of Jerusalem Ridge could be considered "extreme" banjo from a certain point of view. To hear it, check out the myspace page in my sig.

maryzcox - Posted - 03/10/2006:  08:19:39

If you go to my son's website:
and click on the MP3 for the tune called
Self Control
you will hear what is extreme banjo for me.
I don't think he has put the bass line on it yet--but think it will be nice when he does--but you can hear the banjo track very well. I don't usually record this type of music--but he asked nice.
Be careful, though, not to look at the rest of the page because he is 24 and lives in NYC--so his page is not for the faint hearted or easily offended.
Best wishes,
Mary Z. Cox

Keyser - Posted - 03/15/2006:  00:06:48

I play some extreme banjo

check out

"Give me the Key"
"The Landing"

on my website


salvatone - Posted - 03/15/2006:  14:51:09


I think banjo tracks on So Hot and Oral Sex would be pretty cool. So Hot is in E, correct? I haven't fooled around with the other one yet. They have that disco rhythm, which is perfect for bluegrass and especially old time banjo.

My son (23) is DJ MSP (Multiple Sex Partners) who is featured on the Wombaticus Rex web site. They have a good time.

Wombaticus Rex is a local boy who writes great wrap lyrics and makes beats, which he has been selling. I have been trying to get him to rap with our bluegrass group, but it hasn't come together yet.

Hereis his link:

I hope I haven't offended anyone.


maryzcox - Posted - 03/15/2006:  17:32:29

I agree about "So Hot". I think it is probably Gordon's best tune and I played around with it (EM out of a G tuning) and thought it sounded good with a banjo track. In fact--it was kind of fun to play along.
But Gordon doesn't want banjo on it.
He said, "you just want to be on my best song."
And I said, "you're right--I do."
Hmmm--maybe a couple years down the road and we will think more alike.
Best wishes,
Mary Z. Cox

5th season - Posted - 03/15/2006:  19:47:01

Hi everyone, I try to not push my stuff too much but I always thought this tune on a recording of mine was pretty extreme. Please check out the tune Happened so Fast on the Balance album with Frank Varela's solo on guitar.

We all thought it was pretty wild. BTW, Tony Trischka has done a bit of playing with
the Violent Femmes- which is really out there.
Thanks and all the best,
Ron Cody

salvatone - Posted - 03/16/2006:  10:47:27


Great to hear you on the hangout. I remember enjoying your classes at BCN a couple of years ago.

That is a great solo on Happened So Fast. As far as not trying to push your stuff too much, I think you a bit off bass. Someone ought to be pushing it. It is quite extraordinary and should not be hidden by modesty.


conleyt - Posted - 03/16/2006:  12:23:54


Love your music, glad to see you here!

Tom C.

5th season - Posted - 03/19/2006:  19:12:57

Salvatone and Tom C.,

Thanks a bunch for the kind words. I hope to see you again sometime soon.

I think every banjo player has a little bit of extreme in them. I bet foggy mountain breakdown was extreme for Earl, and maybe foggy mt special was extreme for its time as it was closest to a blues tune.
In the moment, I have really learned a lot playing with guitarists like Frank Varela and sax players like Matt Langley. Music is music, no matter what instrument, and the banjo is a great way of expressing many ideas. Three cheers for all the great banjo players out there that are stretching the limits. Well, now with that said, I think I will now go practice "lil darling pal o mine" for a while...

Sockbeat - Posted - 03/20/2006:  10:41:50

I don't know how extreme this group really is but they are very good at turning metal and classic rock into some of the best bluegrass i'v ever heard. (just an opinion) If you didn't recognize the songs you'd think it was originaly written that way.

When you want genuine music - music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whiskey, go right through you like Brandreth's pills, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pinfeather pimples on a picked goose - when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo! - Mark Twain

sprocter - Posted - 03/20/2006:  21:00:14

This is some pretty extreme banjo playing. I haver bought his CD's and he is really good.

Yopparai - Posted - 03/24/2006:  11:02:48

The hangouts own TheBoog has some examples of what he calls snarlhammer on his website.

pflaume - Posted - 04/03/2006:  12:43:36

Has somebody an idea what rolls philli proebuck ( uses??

Kimosabe - Posted - 04/03/2006:  14:43:10

Originally posted by Tor

I´ve found that the "bum-titty" rythm works really well for playing hardcore punk such as minor threat. I figured out how to play their "I don´t wanna hear it".

wow! So many people here that are schizos like me when it comes to music! :P You got any tabs for any punk songs?

The people can't hear the harps, so we gotta learn the angels to play banjo

Yopparai - Posted - 04/04/2006:  14:04:56

Originally posted by Kimosabe

wow! So many people here that are schizos like me when it comes to music! :P You got any tabs for any punk songs?

I once played a rousing rendition of Anarchy Burger, but I don't think it warrents actual tabbing.

phischer - Posted - 04/05/2006:  08:13:23

bluegroundundergrass does some hard hittin rockin funky stuff check them out. i saw them some years back and it was boomin. not metal or anything but away from the strink genre.

C Fischer

Jammer - Posted - 04/07/2006:  20:42:00

hmm... Well, Im not exactly sure what your looking for... But, if it's banjo music thats off the beaten path, I have some alternative stuff recorded. I too did some experimenting with electrofying my banjo, and have a few mp3s posted of hard-rock distortion played on my banjo. But, like another said, when you go too far with the distortion you lose most of the tone of a banjo. In fact, some of the stuff that I was playing on electric banjo sounded more like jimi hendrix than anything bluegrass. If your in the least curious, I got all my stuff posted at - "Enternal CLock" is a good example of the style I prefer to play nowadays. The electric banjo stuff I have posted all has "heavy metal banjo" or "metal" in the titles and/or description. So, I guess the electric-banjo stuff is my most "extreme banjo" attempt. Nowadays I have little desire to play the hard rock style on my banjo.

Actually, I have always been more interested in the banjo playing that falls to the left of center. Im a big fan of Belas, but I prefer to hear more of a Rock sound at other times.


Edited by - Jammer on 04/07/2006 20:46:57

BIG D - Posted - 04/17/2006:  13:09:49

If you want extreme banjo then you will have to check out a Cincinnati band called Hogscraper. You can listen to some of their tunes at their website. Be sure to check out the photos.

DharmaBum - Posted - 04/29/2006:  11:35:27

Some nice music to listen to would be the folk-punk bands Defiance Ohio and Rosa. they arent hardcore though. but...when you start listening to music because its "extreme" i think youre totally missing the point of music. but thats my opinion! :)

pflaume - Posted - 05/04/2006:  16:44:40

is there anyone who plays "extreme clawhammer"???

Yopparai - Posted - 05/04/2006:  17:13:33

Originally posted by pflaume

is there anyone who plays "extreme clawhammer"???


PVC Tone Ring - $0.15
Drum head (used) - $0.00
Tailpiece tuner - $5.00
1 Fretless banjo made by myownself - Priceless

pflaume - Posted - 05/05/2006:  12:33:27

how to play snarlhammer? i can't hear it that good in the soundfiles showed on the page.

salvatone - Posted - 05/08/2006:  12:13:54

Here's Eugene Chadburne's version of Srenity by John Coltrane. It's acompanyies that feature on him in the recent issue.

I think this is pretty extreme.


TheBoog - Posted - 05/15/2006:  08:53:02

is there anyone who plays "extreme clawhammer"???

I give it my best shot

pflaume: Have a look at the tune "Circle"


Edited by - TheBoog on 05/15/2006 09:00:31

tIM01 - Posted - 05/16/2006:  07:08:09

wats the point of playing 'extreme banjo.' play the banjo how it is ment 2 be played.
if u want 2 play extreme banjo u should think again and try the electric guitar !!!!!!


TheBoog - Posted - 05/16/2006:  09:20:35

wats the point of playing 'extreme banjo.' play the banjo how it is ment 2 be played.

Hi Tim:
For me, it's a lot like asking, what's the point of breathing. Experimentation is where the "life" is ... and besides, I really like "BornTo Be Wild"

... if I went along with what you suggest I'd have tried to BG or CH it .... hmmmmm, ... or just avoid it. I could be wrong, and perhaps one of the straight up players will prove me so, and do a credible version of BTBW, and that would be great. I'd love to hear it ... but I think I might be waiting a while.

As for the guitar, except for the humbuckers, I'm not really interested.


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