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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Melodic playing


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/73573

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Page: 1  2  

deso - Posted - 02/10/2007:  11:26:51


Cathy, I was just discussing the topic of iTunes vs CD's with my wife the other night, wondering if my iTunes purchases are really benefiting the artist. I really like being able to download music because it is immediate and because the local music store in my town is small and not likely to have what I want (they'll get it though). I am usually disappointed when something is not available through iTunes. But the real question is, "What's best for the artist?" And, if CD's are best, what distribution route? Is it better to purchase direct from the musician when possible or does it make any difference? As far as cost goes, I like the lower prices of downloads but honestly it's not a factor. What I'd like if paying more on iTunes are liner notes and the option to download full quality sound files, etc.

I know this probably sounds naive, but why can't a record lable or independent setup their own download site? Especially independents. It could be something like an artist cooperative to help with operational costs.

Deke

arnie - Posted - 02/10/2007:  11:40:23


Alan Jabbour and Ken Perlman did a good job on Southern Summits. Lots of good Henry Reed tunes there too -some of my favorites including "Blilly In The Lowland" - beautiful! Ken is also the only banjo clawhammerer I know of to tackle Canadian P.E.I. fiddle tunes (on another cd of his)
My highlight of last year's Midwest banjo camp was playing "Ducks On The Pond" with Alan Jabbour in concert (we had never played together before)

Arnie Naiman
http://www.merriweather.ca/Records.aspx?ID=2

Clawhammer Clint - Posted - 02/10/2007:  13:09:12


The discussion on copying CDs aside, this is an absolutely great thread for a newbie like myself. It will likely cost me alot of money. Thanks to those who contributed.

C.C.

stanger - Posted - 02/11/2007:  00:59:28


A personal favorite of mine is 'The Twisted Laurel' by the Red Clay Ramblers. I don't know if it has been released as a CD, though.
regards,
Stanger

Emiel - Posted - 02/11/2007:  06:08:42


I don't think this has been mentioned:

Clarence Ashley And Doc Watson: The Original Folkways Recordings, 1960-1962 [2-CD Set]

And don't forget the McGee Brothers. The old Folkways LP's can be ordered as custom CD from Smithsonian Folkways.

Has anybody mentioned Uncle Dave Macon? Art Rosenbaum?

And of course Mike Seeger: Southern Banjo Sounds (most important).

Emiel


http://www.nowhereradio.com/emiel
http://www.bluerounders.com

Copo - Posted - 02/11/2007:  07:25:05


Bill Whelan is a top player in Ireland and his recordings with the rough deal stringband are well worth a listen

BanjoBillyBoy - Posted - 02/12/2007:  10:15:43


Paul Brown (he did an album with Mike Seeger, and he jsut put out a new one ..Red Clay County)
Ron Mullenex (Gandydancer and Cross Ties)
Tim BIng (The Bing Brothers)
The Rockenhams (CD same title)
Kyle Creed ( The Camp Creek Boys, June Apple, there is a cassete I used to have, if I can find it I will pass on the title, super banjo playing on it.)

These all have some great banjo playing.





Bill Boyer,
Curmudgeon, O.F., D.O.M.

bagunhe - Posted - 02/14/2007:  18:58:31


Lee Hammons Complete Banjo Hammons Legacy YPC-H-001.1
Maggie Hammons Parker Complete Banjo Hammons Legacy YPC-H-002

I first heard Lee's "Walking in the Parlor" on Rounder Lp. It's still my most favarite banjo tune after 25 years. And Maggie, a picture of her with holding banjo was on the cover of my first banjo instruction book (FRAILING THE FIVE STRING BANJO by Eric Muller & Barbara Koehler ) but I never heard her banjo till I got this CD last summer. Just listen to her "Crossing the Rocky Mountain", it's so beatifull.
Bosco

konnichiwa, arigato, sayonara

Page: 1  2  

Jim Treganza - Posted - 02/12/2007:  14:17:23


I'm brand new at this and want to take a few lessons. I've been unable to find anybody who gives clawhammer lessons less than 45 miles away from Stockton, CA. I work for a local theatre and we were even unable to find a picker to play with the orchestra in a recent show! For money! Does anybody know somebody who plays old-time banjo in this neck of the woods? I really don't want to drive to Berkeley or Sacramento. Thanks.

Clawdan - Posted - 01/08/2007:  14:06:12


Hi Folks,
Bob Carlin and I are planning a workshop weekend in Austin in late March this year. Wanted to start by giving you a heads up and see who is interested. I'll be glad to keep you up to date of details as they develop.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

ukjonathan - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:42:16


hi I thought the striking of the strings with the claw hand would be the hardest bit, but no I'm wrong! I can hit the strings in various configurations but can I hell get the bum ditty bit. It just sounds like ting, ting ting. I strike my 1st bottom string then strum down following on by thumb off the drone string. But still no bum ditty. Anyone help? I guess this is the hard bit?

Frode B - Posted - 02/13/2007:  18:09:53


What would you call this fingering technique? http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ct0PbWwY5g8
It's me, and I have been fooling around with the banjo for a couple of years without any guiding. I'm a guitar/pedal steel player so I guess I am mixing it all up on the banjo.

The banjo is a Bart Reiter special ( thanks mr.Balch!)


Frode
Oslo, Norway

Rimstick - Posted - 02/11/2007:  23:52:42


Gang -
Looking for some advice here. I got the "bum tiddy" going pretty good but it still doesn't consistantly sound like music. One of the problems I've identified is that my strum is making music, whereas when I listen closely to recordings, I think the strings should sound more "dead", as if I was muting them by "chiming" at the 7th fret. More of a wash board rasp than musical notes. Hope you can follow that.

I've moved my elbow closer to the rim, which raised my hand position. This in turn put a very flat attack angle on the strings for the lower fingers and helped some.

I fully realize there are some times you need the strum to "chord" as part of the song, but I'm talking about the ability to generally produce a "beat" that gets your toes tapping and sets the beat of the song.

Any ideas?



Regards,
Rimstick


Uncle Dave Macon makes me laugh !!

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 02/01/2007:  11:52:07


How well does the brass plate to the fifth fret position work on a fretless? Anyone have experience with this?

MarkJohnson - Posted - 02/12/2007:  07:29:17


I have always felt that the tune, Cold Frosty Morning" was a moody piece of music to say the least and best played in a minor key. We recorded it in the key of "A Model" or "Mountain Minor/Sawmill Tuning".

I just figured out how to post this tune to my Hangout Homepage for anyone who is in the process of learning this piece. It is another perspective on a great old tune. MJ


Madgenius - Posted - 02/14/2007:  12:17:59


Hi

Can anybody recomend a good place to find a whole bunch of easy to play 2 and 3 chords songs suitable for clawhammer and mandolin (both beginner)

Thanks in Advance

Danny

"Music is a joy to me, sometimes living in it is the only safe place to be" Brian May

Stev187 - Posted - 02/07/2007:  08:06:22


quote:
Originally posted by ZEPP
For those who are unfamiliar with Arnie's and Chris's work, they are required listening for all my students! Absolutely great stuff!



On another thread, Zepp mentioned "required listening" for his CH banjo studnets. What recordings do folks think should be on that list?

I'll start by adding just one: Cathy Fink's Banjo Haiku. There are many others, but I am stark raving mad about this record.

Let's build a "required listening" list on this thread... What would you add to the list?

Steve
Flint, MI
-----------------------------------
Current Old-Time Ohrwurm: "New Money,"Doc Roberts

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  14:17:08


with thanks to Tobias for the link
what is the name of the tune played in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utgc...ated&search=

and where can I buy a good recording of it?...a tab?...standard notation

I think this is going to become my next obsession

Banjonically yours

Joe

banjo_brad - Posted - 02/08/2007:  14:33:00


Looks and sounds like "Cherokee Shuffle" to me.

Dan Levenson's OT Fesitval Tunes book has it.



Banjo Brad
"Banjos and Fiddles and Guitars, Oh My!" (me)
http://ezfolk.com/audio/bands/5
www.PricklyPearMusic.net

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  15:59:32


Brad,

Thanks for the response, but it doesn't sound anything like the Cherokee Shuffle I know

so I'm still a-looking and a-seeking!

Banjonically yours

Joe

bassman - Posted - 02/08/2007:  16:11:20


Hey Joe, I think that's "Cherokee Trail," an original by John Herrmann. The only recording I have seen of it is on the cd Down From the Mountain, by Tim O'Brien, Dirk Powell and John Herrmann and it says in the notes that John wrote it.

Chris
http://www.nowhereradio.com/ptasnik/discography

banjo_brad - Posted - 02/08/2007:  16:15:57


Sorry - I kinda jumped to the conclusion because of the name of the video, and it does sound vaguely like CS from what I know of the tune.
I should know better than to jump first!


Banjo Brad
"Banjos and Fiddles and Guitars, Oh My!" (me)
http://ezfolk.com/audio/bands/5
www.PricklyPearMusic.net

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  16:59:07


thanks Bassman!

I assume this tune is in the movie, right?

I'll get it from Netflix and not send it back till I learn that thang!

Banjonically yours

Joe

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  17:11:09


you meant

Songs from the Mountain

from the movie

Cold Mountain

but it was enough for me to find it...much thanks!

all them mountains make a feller cornfused!

Banjonically yours

Joe

bassman - Posted - 02/08/2007:  17:19:23


Oops, my bad, Joe. You're right, Songs from the Mountain. It's not really from the movie Cold Mountain, though. It was a sort of concept album that was put out well before the movie was made, playing tunes and songs that were mentioned in or inspired by the book, Cold Mountain. Fantastic album, though, if you ask me.

Chris
http://www.nowhereradio.com/ptasnik/discography

bagunhe - Posted - 02/14/2007:  20:31:02


John Herrmann said that Joe Thrift ( who is the fiddler of the clip) recorded the tune but I don't konw which one. Is it Tim O'brein playing the gutitar on the clip?
Bosco

konnichiwa, arigato, sayonara

jojo25 - Posted - 02/15/2007:  09:16:26


Bosco,

interesting to know that Joe Thrift also recorded this...and Hermann composed it, right?

Banjonically yours

Joe

Jim Treganza - Posted - 02/12/2007:  14:17:23


I'm brand new at this and want to take a few lessons. I've been unable to find anybody who gives clawhammer lessons less than 45 miles away from Stockton, CA. I work for a local theatre and we were even unable to find a picker to play with the orchestra in a recent show! For money! Does anybody know somebody who plays old-time banjo in this neck of the woods? I really don't want to drive to Berkeley or Sacramento. Thanks.

Clawdan - Posted - 01/08/2007:  14:06:12


Hi Folks,
Bob Carlin and I are planning a workshop weekend in Austin in late March this year. Wanted to start by giving you a heads up and see who is interested. I'll be glad to keep you up to date of details as they develop.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

ukjonathan - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:42:16


hi I thought the striking of the strings with the claw hand would be the hardest bit, but no I'm wrong! I can hit the strings in various configurations but can I hell get the bum ditty bit. It just sounds like ting, ting ting. I strike my 1st bottom string then strum down following on by thumb off the drone string. But still no bum ditty. Anyone help? I guess this is the hard bit?

Frode B - Posted - 02/13/2007:  18:09:53


What would you call this fingering technique? http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ct0PbWwY5g8
It's me, and I have been fooling around with the banjo for a couple of years without any guiding. I'm a guitar/pedal steel player so I guess I am mixing it all up on the banjo.

The banjo is a Bart Reiter special ( thanks mr.Balch!)


Frode
Oslo, Norway

Rimstick - Posted - 02/11/2007:  23:52:42


Gang -
Looking for some advice here. I got the "bum tiddy" going pretty good but it still doesn't consistantly sound like music. One of the problems I've identified is that my strum is making music, whereas when I listen closely to recordings, I think the strings should sound more "dead", as if I was muting them by "chiming" at the 7th fret. More of a wash board rasp than musical notes. Hope you can follow that.

I've moved my elbow closer to the rim, which raised my hand position. This in turn put a very flat attack angle on the strings for the lower fingers and helped some.

I fully realize there are some times you need the strum to "chord" as part of the song, but I'm talking about the ability to generally produce a "beat" that gets your toes tapping and sets the beat of the song.

Any ideas?



Regards,
Rimstick


Uncle Dave Macon makes me laugh !!

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 02/01/2007:  11:52:07


How well does the brass plate to the fifth fret position work on a fretless? Anyone have experience with this?

MarkJohnson - Posted - 02/12/2007:  07:29:17


I have always felt that the tune, Cold Frosty Morning" was a moody piece of music to say the least and best played in a minor key. We recorded it in the key of "A Model" or "Mountain Minor/Sawmill Tuning".

I just figured out how to post this tune to my Hangout Homepage for anyone who is in the process of learning this piece. It is another perspective on a great old tune. MJ


Madgenius - Posted - 02/14/2007:  12:17:59


Hi

Can anybody recomend a good place to find a whole bunch of easy to play 2 and 3 chords songs suitable for clawhammer and mandolin (both beginner)

Thanks in Advance

Danny

"Music is a joy to me, sometimes living in it is the only safe place to be" Brian May

Stev187 - Posted - 02/07/2007:  08:06:22


quote:
Originally posted by ZEPP
For those who are unfamiliar with Arnie's and Chris's work, they are required listening for all my students! Absolutely great stuff!



On another thread, Zepp mentioned "required listening" for his CH banjo studnets. What recordings do folks think should be on that list?

I'll start by adding just one: Cathy Fink's Banjo Haiku. There are many others, but I am stark raving mad about this record.

Let's build a "required listening" list on this thread... What would you add to the list?

Steve
Flint, MI
-----------------------------------
Current Old-Time Ohrwurm: "New Money,"Doc Roberts

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  14:17:08


with thanks to Tobias for the link
what is the name of the tune played in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utgc...ated&search=

and where can I buy a good recording of it?...a tab?...standard notation

I think this is going to become my next obsession

Banjonically yours

Joe

Faelan - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:07:30


I hurt my claw finger! I am also a firearms enthusiast, so I've also hurt my trigger finger, it's very dear to me, thankfully it's nothing major- just throbbing right now and can't play!

What to do in the mean time?

banjomikey - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:09:51


I here YA! I sliced my index finger tip open with a brand new razor blade last week! Had to take it easy for awhile. Just hang in there bud. Don't push it though, you don't wanna make it worse and put yourself out even longer!

Mike

You can pick your nose and you can pick your banjo, but you can't roll banjos into little balls and flick 'em! (_)==='~

haiku - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:12:25


Well, maybe you can give your ring finger a try? No reason it won't work!

Hope you first and middle fingers will be ok soon!

-----

What will ya have?!
I'll have a pint!
I'll have a pint with you, Sir!

Faelan - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:24:16


Luckily it's just a blood blister from being pinched really hard near the middle knuckle so it wont come in contact with the string, my entire finger just hurts right now.

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/14/2007:  18:31:31


Learn to use the middle finger too - it comes in handy to have both or even to use the ring finger. Right after an injury the hand might hurt too much to enjoy at all but once you are over the initial throbbing start working on the other finger.

The Whiskey Before Breakfast variations and a few tunes in "F" tuning are now available on the web at:
http://home.thegrid.net/~fjbrad/id20.html

J-Walk - Posted - 02/14/2007:  19:17:20


You've only been playing a week, man! I'd call that a minor setback rather than a disaster.

My humble recommendation is to use the down time to do some serious listening to the types of music you want to play. Listening is a key factor in learning to play. Just play your favorite tunes over and over and over. That will really help when you recover from the disaster minor setback and try to play them.

BRASMAN - Posted - 02/15/2007:  03:50:39


quote:
Originally posted by Faelan

I hurt my claw finger! I am also a firearms enthusiast, so I've also hurt my trigger finger, it's very dear to me, thankfully it's nothing major- just throbbing right now and can't play!

What to do in the mean time?






Bummer. As a felllow beginner and firearms enthusiast (the evil black rifle kind) I feel your pain LOL. Like every body said try to use the other finger. I actualy have found it to be my prefered finger to use.

Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

ukjonathan - Posted - 02/15/2007:  07:50:13


Hi Faelan sorry to hear about your finger don't know if you remember giving me encourament a week or so ago but it really helped me. Anyway hope your back playing again soon after all I may need some more encouragement

Faelan - Posted - 02/15/2007:  11:40:38


quote:
Originally posted by BRASMAN


Bummer. As a felllow beginner and firearms enthusiast (the evil black rifle kind) I feel your pain LOL.



Yay for EBRs!


The throbbing went away, finger is now only sore in the wounded area. Gonna try playing again here in a bit.

Jim Treganza - Posted - 02/12/2007:  14:17:23


I'm brand new at this and want to take a few lessons. I've been unable to find anybody who gives clawhammer lessons less than 45 miles away from Stockton, CA. I work for a local theatre and we were even unable to find a picker to play with the orchestra in a recent show! For money! Does anybody know somebody who plays old-time banjo in this neck of the woods? I really don't want to drive to Berkeley or Sacramento. Thanks.

Clawdan - Posted - 01/08/2007:  14:06:12


Hi Folks,
Bob Carlin and I are planning a workshop weekend in Austin in late March this year. Wanted to start by giving you a heads up and see who is interested. I'll be glad to keep you up to date of details as they develop.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

ukjonathan - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:42:16


hi I thought the striking of the strings with the claw hand would be the hardest bit, but no I'm wrong! I can hit the strings in various configurations but can I hell get the bum ditty bit. It just sounds like ting, ting ting. I strike my 1st bottom string then strum down following on by thumb off the drone string. But still no bum ditty. Anyone help? I guess this is the hard bit?

Frode B - Posted - 02/13/2007:  18:09:53


What would you call this fingering technique? http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ct0PbWwY5g8
It's me, and I have been fooling around with the banjo for a couple of years without any guiding. I'm a guitar/pedal steel player so I guess I am mixing it all up on the banjo.

The banjo is a Bart Reiter special ( thanks mr.Balch!)


Frode
Oslo, Norway

Rimstick - Posted - 02/11/2007:  23:52:42


Gang -
Looking for some advice here. I got the "bum tiddy" going pretty good but it still doesn't consistantly sound like music. One of the problems I've identified is that my strum is making music, whereas when I listen closely to recordings, I think the strings should sound more "dead", as if I was muting them by "chiming" at the 7th fret. More of a wash board rasp than musical notes. Hope you can follow that.

I've moved my elbow closer to the rim, which raised my hand position. This in turn put a very flat attack angle on the strings for the lower fingers and helped some.

I fully realize there are some times you need the strum to "chord" as part of the song, but I'm talking about the ability to generally produce a "beat" that gets your toes tapping and sets the beat of the song.

Any ideas?



Regards,
Rimstick


Uncle Dave Macon makes me laugh !!

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 02/01/2007:  11:52:07


How well does the brass plate to the fifth fret position work on a fretless? Anyone have experience with this?

MarkJohnson - Posted - 02/12/2007:  07:29:17


I have always felt that the tune, Cold Frosty Morning" was a moody piece of music to say the least and best played in a minor key. We recorded it in the key of "A Model" or "Mountain Minor/Sawmill Tuning".

I just figured out how to post this tune to my Hangout Homepage for anyone who is in the process of learning this piece. It is another perspective on a great old tune. MJ


Madgenius - Posted - 02/14/2007:  12:17:59


Hi

Can anybody recomend a good place to find a whole bunch of easy to play 2 and 3 chords songs suitable for clawhammer and mandolin (both beginner)

Thanks in Advance

Danny

"Music is a joy to me, sometimes living in it is the only safe place to be" Brian May

Stev187 - Posted - 02/07/2007:  08:06:22


quote:
Originally posted by ZEPP
For those who are unfamiliar with Arnie's and Chris's work, they are required listening for all my students! Absolutely great stuff!



On another thread, Zepp mentioned "required listening" for his CH banjo studnets. What recordings do folks think should be on that list?

I'll start by adding just one: Cathy Fink's Banjo Haiku. There are many others, but I am stark raving mad about this record.

Let's build a "required listening" list on this thread... What would you add to the list?

Steve
Flint, MI
-----------------------------------
Current Old-Time Ohrwurm: "New Money,"Doc Roberts

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  14:17:08


with thanks to Tobias for the link
what is the name of the tune played in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utgc...ated&search=

and where can I buy a good recording of it?...a tab?...standard notation

I think this is going to become my next obsession

Banjonically yours

Joe

Faelan - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:07:30


I hurt my claw finger! I am also a firearms enthusiast, so I've also hurt my trigger finger, it's very dear to me, thankfully it's nothing major- just throbbing right now and can't play!

What to do in the mean time?

chip arnold - Posted - 12/26/2006:  23:06:10


Do you go to festivals?

Which ones?

Do you go to teaching camps?

Which ones?

Play with a plan
Chip

trapdoor2 - Posted - 12/26/2006:  23:52:09


I get over to the Nashville OT group's "Breakin' Up Christmas" every year. Gonna be the first of March in 2007.

The only festival I regularly attend is the Athens Fiddler's Convention (Athens, AL) in October.

I went to Nashcamp in 2005 and Smokey Mountain Banjo Academy as well. I think I have more fun at the teaching camps than at the festivals.

"If banjos needed tone rings, S.S. Stewart would have built 'em that way."

===Marc

Richard - Posted - 12/27/2006:  05:32:46


Any that i can get to !

mainly folk festivals over here with bluegrass / old-time ( to a lesser extent) components.

Richard

"There is nothing whatsoever that does not become easier with acquaintance" - Santideva

see my band UPDATED and IMPROVED SITE ! http://www.geocities.com/bottleneck...atitude.html

bvh - Posted - 12/27/2006:  07:42:47


Speaking of the Breaking Up Christmas Festival(I believe it's Winter instead of Christmas), does anybody know, why Dave Cannon(sp) is no longer assosiated, with this festival?

BVH

trapdoor2 - Posted - 12/27/2006:  09:43:13


Sorry..."Breaking Up Winter", I must have had too much Xmas spirit(s).

I'm not a member of NOTSBA and although I've seen Dave at many events, I don't really know him. I'll ask around.

"If banjos needed tone rings, S.S. Stewart would have built 'em that way."

===Marc

Craig - Posted - 12/27/2006:  09:51:50


Where are you from and how far might you travel?

I'm a snow bird. I go to the Florida Old Time Music Championships. Up north I go to the Mayville (NY) Bluegrass festival (and play clawhammer in the jams) because I live there. I plan to go to Clifftops in WV next year. The WV folk festival is also reportedly very good.

Craig

Craig

www.thepleasantfamily.com
"We're not family and we're not always pleasant"

jojo2525 - Posted - 12/27/2006:  10:03:16


The Willow Creek Folk Festival near Stockton, Illinois...started in late 60s and I've been to almost all of them...wonderful small fest

Clifftop...been the last 3 years...a long haul for me from Wisconsin...but lots of folks go even farther...last year I camped near a fellow who flew his own plane from the west coast

Banjonically yours

Joe McNally

GSCarson - Posted - 12/27/2006:  10:45:37


My son plays bluegrass banjo so I try to plan something we can do as a father/son thing each years that works for both of us. We used to go to the Maryland Banjo Academy, we've gone to Steve Kaufman's camp, and we've gone to Banjo Camp North for the past couple years which has worked out really well for our clawhammer/bluegrass interests.

Also hit the Gettysburg festival for a day once in a while cause it's close, and we have gone to Clifftop for the past couple years which I really enjoy and he is learning to tolerate..

G. Carson.


ScottK - Posted - 12/27/2006:  12:51:11


Since I live in Portland, Oregon, I go to the Portland Old-Time Music Gathering (http://www.bubbaguitar.com/festival/index.html). It's always a lot of fun with a couple square dances and lots of jamming. The 2007 edition is coming up in a couple of weeks, January 10-14.

Last year I went to the Golden Old Time Music Festival (http://www.goldenoldtimemusic.com/) in Yreka, California, and enjoyed it a lot. It's kind of small and very friendly. Lots of jamming in the campground at night. They've already got Dirk Powell, Riley Baugus, and Foghorn Stringband lined up for this year so I plan to go again.

Last year I went to Weiser (http://www.fiddlecontest.com/) for the first time, but I didn't go to the fiddle contest. I just camped and jammed in Stickerville (http://www.stickerville.org/). There was plenty of good music in the campground. I had hoped to go to the Centralia Campout (http://www.centraliacampout.com/), but had conflicts and couldn't make it. I hope to hit both Weiser and Centralia this year.

For the last three years I've attended American Banjo Camp (http://www.langston.com/ABC/) up near Port Townsend, Washington. I enjoyed it a lot all three years. I got a lot of inspiration and motivation learning directly from Ken Perlman, Mike Seeger, Mac Benford, Michael Miles, Brad Leftwich, Paul Brown, Howie Bursen, and Laura Boosinger. I can't absorb that much in a weekend, but the inspiration fuels my practice for months after the camp. The faculty concerts and hosted jams are also a lot of fun. I'll probably try to go again this year.

The last couple of years I also attended the spring Banjo Workshop hosted by Bob Carlin at Dusty Strings in Seattle. Last year's workshop featured Bob with Dan Levenson and Molly Tannenbaum. This year's featured Bob with Laura Boosinger and Candy Goldman. Both were very good. Not so much jamming at this workshop, though, since folk aren't staying on-site.

Scott

Muddy Roads - Posted - 12/28/2006:  17:40:06


I feel like there are almost none on the east coast. i live in NYC. there was a festival in brooklyn over the summer with jams and instructional sessions too. Big old time jam in the middle with lots of circles out and around the lawn. I think it's annual and usually around august.
That Portland, OR jam is a blast, made it last year.

MR

www.musicaccord.net/muddyroads

mom of 10 - Posted - 12/29/2006:  11:11:43


I go to the best (of course) Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, KS.
Believe me, it's not just bluegrass!
The shows are wonderful, the street jams are awesome, the camps are great. Just too much to mention.
I have a son who plays bodhran, so we often hang out with the celtic players (yea Carp Camp!) but there's lots of old time, too.
Come if you can. Sep. 12-16, 2007. Of course, I'll be there for the full 10 days of prefestival/festival. www.wvfest.com

Melanie

If y'got time to breathe, y'got time for music.
Briscoe Darling, 1963

Kole - Posted - 12/31/2006:  10:51:01


Always the Florida Old-Time Music Championships. My guitar player lives on Clay Hill Rd. We could walk there in 3 minutes. April 2007 Brooksville, Fla. Please try to attend.

Flesher Tarantella
Cedar Mountain Banjos

Wilt Rott - Posted - 01/04/2007:  11:42:59


CLIFFTOP!!!

"A banjo can get you through times with no money, but money can't get you through times with no banjo" - John Hartford

freddfish - Posted - 01/14/2007:  20:59:19


Anybody know of ANYTHING within a 3 hour drive of Baltimore? Besides the Getttysburg Fest, that is...going to that this year if I can.

The Fish

Fred from Baltimore
Rover openback 5-string
RIP Mississippi John Hurt, Dock Boggs, Uncle Dave Macon

"These Boys is not white! Hell, they ain't even Old-Timey!!"
-Homer Stokes, in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

black flag - Posted - 01/14/2007:  22:02:49


I'm thinking of going to the Charlie Poole Festival in Eden , NC, June 8-9. It's a long way from California, but I have free airline tickets and need to be in DC the next weekend anyway.
Chris

R.D. Lunceford - Posted - 01/15/2007:  06:24:14


My fave is the *Bowlin Owner's Outdoor Rendezvous and Off-Road Dirt-Bike Rally* (free admission with an empty beer bottle) held in the Aleutian Islands every New Year's Eve.

R.D. Lunceford- "Missourian in Exile"
*************************
Model 1865 Bowlin Fretless Banjo


Edited by - R.D. Lunceford on 01/15/2007 06:27:05

patches - Posted - 01/15/2007:  10:43:29


When is the Gettysburg event?

Keep on the sunny side!

Don

freddfish - Posted - 01/16/2007:  19:09:20


quote:
Originally posted by patches

When is the Gettysburg event?

Keep on the sunny side!

Don



http://gettysburgbluegrass.com/

Don't know if there is any CH going on though...

Fred from Baltimore
Rover openback 5-string
RIP Mississippi John Hurt, Dock Boggs, Uncle Dave Macon

"These Boys is not white! Hell, they ain't even Old-Timey!!"
-Homer Stokes, in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

jbalch - Posted - 01/16/2007:  22:55:16


quote:
Originally posted by R.D. Lunceford

My fave is the *Bowlin Owner's Outdoor Rendezvous and Off-Road Dirt-Bike Rally* (free admission with an empty beer bottle) held in the Aleutian Islands every New Year's Eve.

R.D. Lunceford- "Missourian in Exile"
*************************
Model 1865 Bowlin Fretless Banjo



Yeah...but that is a pretty elite group RD. I rode my 10-speed down there last New Years ... with a Bart Reiter banjo and a whole case of empty beer bottles...but alas...I couldn't get in. They said something about no frets (or smooth tires) allowed.

Don't forget: Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfresboro, TN. ..home of the official National Old-Time Banjo Championship. Our festival is always the weekend after the 4th of July.



http://www.johnbalchmusic.com/
http://www.myspace.com/johnbalch


Edited by - jbalch on 01/16/2007 22:58:19

rinemb - Posted - 01/20/2007:  18:00:10


Melanie, you are a real trooper. I will go to Walnut Valley this year-if I am not out on a job. Being its only 40 miles away, and I haven't been in years. Wish iit had more old time. And its getting soooo crowded! I do plan to go to Clifftop for the first time. Chip, I am sure I will be relying on you to give me all the pretrip and where to go suggestions-down the road. From there I hope to finally make the "pilgrimage" up to "Rine's Ridge' in the WV Panhandle, where all of my kinfolkhomesteaded and pioneered since 1780. I wonder if any of em play, or provide some good old shine...Brad

May not the incidence of success, nor the pretense of retirement-Lessen the want of enlightenment.

Stev187 - Posted - 01/21/2007:  11:30:40


Back in the day (which is my code for 10 years ago when I was playing banjo regularly), I almost went to Clifftop several years running. Something always came up--job, school, personal life.

I'd love to go this year, but I want to ask a question or two of Clifftop regulars.

1. Would I get more playing in if I came down with my string bass? I think I learn as much about banjo playing bass with a good banjo player than I do with a banjo in my hand. My goal would be to play with some really hot banjo and fiddle players.

2. Do folks like to play with a bass fiddle at that festival? (I'd say I'm pretty darn good).

3. Anybody got a string band they enter in the contest that would need a bass player for the festival? I'd love to hook up with some folks who wanted hot bottom end up on stage.


Steve
Flint, MI
-----------------------------------
"I wish I'd bought me a half pint and stayed in the wagon yard."

oldtimer - Posted - 01/21/2007:  16:58:05


I don't get to festivals much anymore, but some of the most enjoyable festivals have been those held by the Minnesota Old-time and Bluegrass Association. They have a moderate sized festival around August 1 that is about evenly divided between bluegrass and old-time (really GOOD old-time), with a bunch of good workshops, friendly knowledgable jams, dances and stage performers. They have a smaller gathering in June that is old-time. Both festivals are very pleasant.

All the old-time "stars" have raved about how wonderful these two festivals are. Google their website for information.

Best regards,
Glenn Godsey

1998 Riley Baugus
1923 Whyte Laydie
Prust 13" fretless tackhead
Early Ramsey fretless
1878 Henry C. Dobson

"Time passes unhindered"

GSCarson - Posted - 01/21/2007:  18:00:20


rinemb & Stev187,
Chip and others can shed more light on this but I'd say if you like old time fiddle and banjo tunes, you'll probably enjoy Clifftop. Although the festival starts mid week, some folks start coming the previous weekend, and the early jamming is a lot of fun, there are plenty of folks there. As far as the bass goes, if you enjoy playing it, I'd bring it along, you should find plenty of opportunities to play it, and hopefully to get into a contest band if you meet the right people. I was in a couple jam sessions last year where we did not have a bass and one showed up in mid song, and it just energized the session even more. I am working on an out of state project and drive about 8 hours each week coming and going, and I still listen to some of the jam session recordings I made during the last couple years there because they bring back some good memories.
G. Carson

chip arnold - Posted - 01/21/2007:  18:29:30


Hi Glenn, I met your friend Micah this weekend at Buckingham's. A really nice kid and a heck of a picker. He showed off your engraving work on the banjo he made. Beautiful.

Clifftop. Y'all come. I'd bring the bass but bring whatever else you play too. One bass to a jam but many times there are more than one of everything else.

Hey Brad, Get there early if you can. It fills up pretty quick and level spots go fast. We always make a ten day fester out of it and never want to leave. We camp up on the hill by the water tower. Clifftop is a VERY crowded affair. Bring rain gear, boots and a coat. It got down to 38 the year before last but usually it's pretty hot.

Play with a plan
Chip

GSCarson - Posted - 01/21/2007:  21:55:41


Chip,
Off topic but... Micah is a good guy, he's getting married in March to a girl we introduced him too... I ended up as best man somehow, I will look like an old geezer standing up there with those kids. Had fun with him building that banjo, there is a photo of us on my home page the day we finished assembling his. See you at Clifftop if not earlier, there is rumor of a southern picking trip coming together up here to help ward off cabin fever. Now, back to the festivals.
Glenn

mom of 10 - Posted - 01/23/2007:  21:25:52


Where and when is clifftop? Is it really on a cliff?
Melanie

If y'got time to breathe, y'got time for music.
Briscoe Darling, 1963

chip arnold - Posted - 01/23/2007:  22:06:52


Very near the New River Gorge which has huge cliffs! The name really comes from the little settlement of Clifftop, West Va.
http://www.wvculture.org/stringband/

Play with a plan
Chip

cashwo_wv - Posted - 01/23/2007:  22:07:24


I go to:

Clifftop http://www.wvculture.org/stringband/
WV Vandalia Gathering http://www.wvculture.org/vandalia/

I'm going to try and venture out of state this year!!!

BrendanD - Posted - 01/24/2007:  03:39:32


quote:
Originally posted by mom of 10

Where and when is clifftop? Is it really on a cliff?
Melanie


Well... it's not readily visible at the festival site, but somehow our Clifftop "Brigadoon" band seems to have found one to fall off of anyway:



I couldn't say quite where that is, really...

But I can say that Clifftop is the absolute highlight of my year, musically and socially. My wife Maxine and I fly out from California every year for it, and we usually stay for about 10 days, total. We're always completely fried at the end of it, but there is nowhere else that we can see, hear, and play with so many of our favorite musicians and friends from far and wide. Our band I mentioned above is a perfect example: our fiddler is from Massachusetts, our bass player is from Alabama, our guitar player is from Pennsylvania, and our tenor guitar player just moved from North Carolina to Pennsylvania. (You see why we only get together once a year.)

Sleep? Bah! I'll sleep when I'm dead!

Brendan

"Many thing un-understandable a chicken-hearted seems slim usually."

- from a Japanese shopping bag (printed in English)

mcallise - Posted - 01/26/2007:  23:07:26


I go to Clifftop and Mount Airy - Mt. Airy is not as huge or as picturesque as Clifftop, and there's more of a mix of bluegrass and old time, but it's in a great location and I always have lots of fun and get no sleep.

BTW: If you've never been to a festival - plan on not sleeping. There is NO quiet time ever, and there will be drunks hollering and whooping up and down around your tent from midnight till dawn; you will unfailingly choose a tent site next to the worst offenders. I'm 3 for 3.

If you are over 40, my advice is stay offsite or bring earplugs.

Uncle Mac - Jug Music Rules!

chip arnold - Posted - 01/27/2007:  10:05:43


"If you are over 40, my advice is stay offsite or bring earplugs."
No, no, no! Don't listen to this nonsense! The whooping and hollering almost always dies down before dawn. Why I remember nights when it was quiet enough to hear a freight train by 4:30 am. Besides, you should be out picking at that time of day (night).
Stay offsite? Never. I'm 60.

Play with a plan
Chip

ScottK - Posted - 01/27/2007:  13:52:25


Hey Brendan,

I picked up your "On the Edge" CD at the Portland Old Time Music Gathering a couple weeks back. Great album! I'm really enjoying it a lot! I'm looking forward to learning a few of the tunes I wasn't previously familiar with as soon as I catch up a little on the learning backlog from the weekly jam session I'm currently attending.

BTW, anybody ever hear of the "White Trash Mystics"? Mike Seeger showed up at the Portland Old Time Music Gathering (as an attendee, not as a featured performer) and was wearing a White Trash Mystics T-shirt at one of the square dances. I was curious about it, but didn't get a chance to ask him about it. Didn't find much when I did a web search later. Seems to have been a band a while back. Just curious...

Scott

BrendanD - Posted - 01/30/2007:  04:51:47


quote:
Originally posted by ScottK

Hey Brendan,

I picked up your "On the Edge" CD at the Portland Old Time Music Gathering a couple weeks back. Great album! I'm really enjoying it a lot! I'm looking forward to learning a few of the tunes I wasn't previously familiar with as soon as I catch up a little on the learning backlog from the weekly jam session I'm currently attending.

Thanks for the compliments, Scott; I'm glad you like it so much! "On The Edge" (all traditional tunes) and its companion CD, "Clifftop Notes Vol. 1" (all original Mark Simos tunes with additional musicians, Vol. 2 coming out later this year) are the first recordings I've played on. I'd be curious to hear if you have any favorites on the CD (I do!), either the tracks themselves or as new tunes to learn.

quote:
BTW, anybody ever hear of the "White Trash Mystics"? Mike Seeger showed up at the Portland Old Time Music Gathering (as an attendee, not as a featured performer) and was wearing a White Trash Mystics T-shirt at one of the square dances. I was curious about it, but didn't get a chance to ask him about it. Didn't find much when I did a web search later. Seems to have been a band a while back. Just curious...

Yeah, I saw Mike wearing that T-shirt in Portland, too. The White Trash Mystics were around (out east) in, I think, the early '90s (and probably earlier and later, too); they were featured as a swing band at a lot of dance camps and weekends in that era. The only musician in the band who comes to mind just now is Tom Mitchell, who's a terrific and versatile guitar player. I think there were several permutations of that band over the years, but I can't remember who else was in it. All great musicians, though!

Brendan

"Many thing un-understandable a chicken-hearted seems slim usually."
- from a Japanese shopping bag (printed in English)

Frosty Morn - Posted - 01/30/2007:  12:04:47



The Appalachian String Band Festival "Clifftop" is my favorite. I'm happy to make the 17 drive from New England. If you need to sleep while there, and require silence to do so, bring earplugs. Old time tunes can be heard 24 hours a day. It's an extraordinary experience in a delightful setting.

Regarding "teaching camps", I don't travel far for something like that. Fortunate enough to have the Old Time Music Camp North and Banjo Camp North in Massachusetts. Of the two, I prefer the OTMCN. More fiddlers per banjo player.



Deering - Posted - 02/14/2007:  15:48:13


How does Clifftop compare to Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro, TN, held in July? Is it the same atmosphere, or does Murfreesboro have more stage performances, or which is best for parking lot jamming? Murfreesboro is a shorter trip for us Georiga folks.

chip arnold - Posted - 02/14/2007:  17:03:43


Hi Lyle,

Never been to Dave Macon Days although I'd like to.

Clifftop is not about stage performances at all. Except that starting Thursday the competitions go non stop thru Sat. night. But it's NOT like you're gonna sit there and be entertained with sets by famous bands. One tune in the preliminaries and two in the finals then off you go and here comes the next competitor. There are Master's Workshops which are always good. There are dances with good bands and callers.
There is no "parking lot". Several thousand people are camping and they're all musicians. So the jamming happens at the campsites. Also some jamming on the porch of the lodge and at some of the vendor's booths......Jake Krack keeps a jam all day and night at his dad's fiddle booth. There are dozens and dozens of jams going at all hours of the day and night. Some very open and some very closed. It is the most intense musical experience you'll ever have. Total immersion. Straight ahead Old Time with the same as no Bluegrass at all. It takes us 8 1/2 hours pulling a little (very little!) camper to get there from Blairsville, Ga. Come up by the water tower and find me and Tish and we'll pick.
See you at Bear on the Square?

Play with a plan
Chip

Deering - Posted - 02/14/2007:  19:19:55


Thanks for the info, Chip, it sounds like the best one could hope for. Will try to figure that one in, and will certainly see you in April. I thought about mosying up to east Nashville to the Breaking Up Christmas get-together, what do you know about that one, it is around the 4th of March.?

chip arnold - Posted - 02/14/2007:  19:27:38


Glen, Betty Vornbrock's birthday weekend is the same time so we've never been to Breaking up Winter. I do know folks who go and they love it. Lo Gordon will be going and he'll be vending there. Wife Mary will be coming to Betty's. Just hunt him down and you'll be in the middle of things. http://www.nashvilleoldtime.org/BUW...ngthere9.htm

Play with a plan
Chip

Deering - Posted - 02/14/2007:  23:19:28


OK, thanks. I will probably go to that one, and you remember i told you a few months ago, I went over to Lo's place and had my first lesson. He is a great guy and I enjoyed meeting him.

maryzcox - Posted - 02/15/2007:  07:48:37


Hello,
We went to Uncle Dave Macon Days last year and it was fun. It was held in a little restored village within the town. Very clean and neat and shady areas too.
We didn't camp because it wasn't really set up for camping--only a few shady sites that were already taken and no electric water hookup.
We were fortunate to stay at a bed and breakfast within walking distance.
Besides all the contests, they had a guest performer, a parade, and really nice arts and crafts booths, food vendors too.
There was alot of jamming going on under the trees in back of the contest stage and folks seemed pretty friendly.
Best wishes,
Mary Z. Cox


www.maryzcox.com

If you suspect you need a new banjo--you do. Trust your musical instincts. If a banjo calls to you to buy it, don't fight destiny. It was meant to be. :)

Limax - Posted - 02/15/2007:  10:34:13


There aren't too many camps to speak of on the west coast (unless you count the gathering in Washington), so I don't get really any opportunities to attend, especially since I live around SF. The main opportunities open to me are when someone comes through and offers a weekend workshop, which always happens on a weekend where I have a scheduling conflict.

A salted slug gathers no moss.

INFP47 - Posted - 02/15/2007:  15:34:01


As someone else said, there are not a lot of old-time festivals here in the Northeast (just a lot of snow at the moment). I generally go to the GreyFox Bluegrass Festival in Ancramdale, NY in July. Grey Fox generally has some good old time music. Recently Uncle Earl has been there. I also go to the Old Songs Festival in Altamont in June. It's a folk festival with some old-time. This weekend I'm going to Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs, NY, mainly a dance festival, including contras, but also old-time banjo workshops and concerts.

I'm going to Banjo Camp North this year and would enjoy hearing from anyone who is also going or who has tips on how to get the most out of banjo camp.

Tim

Jim Treganza - Posted - 02/12/2007:  14:17:23


I'm brand new at this and want to take a few lessons. I've been unable to find anybody who gives clawhammer lessons less than 45 miles away from Stockton, CA. I work for a local theatre and we were even unable to find a picker to play with the orchestra in a recent show! For money! Does anybody know somebody who plays old-time banjo in this neck of the woods? I really don't want to drive to Berkeley or Sacramento. Thanks.

Clawdan - Posted - 01/08/2007:  14:06:12


Hi Folks,
Bob Carlin and I are planning a workshop weekend in Austin in late March this year. Wanted to start by giving you a heads up and see who is interested. I'll be glad to keep you up to date of details as they develop.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

ukjonathan - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:42:16


hi I thought the striking of the strings with the claw hand would be the hardest bit, but no I'm wrong! I can hit the strings in various configurations but can I hell get the bum ditty bit. It just sounds like ting, ting ting. I strike my 1st bottom string then strum down following on by thumb off the drone string. But still no bum ditty. Anyone help? I guess this is the hard bit?

Frode B - Posted - 02/13/2007:  18:09:53


What would you call this fingering technique? http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ct0PbWwY5g8
It's me, and I have been fooling around with the banjo for a couple of years without any guiding. I'm a guitar/pedal steel player so I guess I am mixing it all up on the banjo.

The banjo is a Bart Reiter special ( thanks mr.Balch!)


Frode
Oslo, Norway

Rimstick - Posted - 02/11/2007:  23:52:42


Gang -
Looking for some advice here. I got the "bum tiddy" going pretty good but it still doesn't consistantly sound like music. One of the problems I've identified is that my strum is making music, whereas when I listen closely to recordings, I think the strings should sound more "dead", as if I was muting them by "chiming" at the 7th fret. More of a wash board rasp than musical notes. Hope you can follow that.

I've moved my elbow closer to the rim, which raised my hand position. This in turn put a very flat attack angle on the strings for the lower fingers and helped some.

I fully realize there are some times you need the strum to "chord" as part of the song, but I'm talking about the ability to generally produce a "beat" that gets your toes tapping and sets the beat of the song.

Any ideas?



Regards,
Rimstick


Uncle Dave Macon makes me laugh !!

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 02/01/2007:  11:52:07


How well does the brass plate to the fifth fret position work on a fretless? Anyone have experience with this?

MarkJohnson - Posted - 02/12/2007:  07:29:17


I have always felt that the tune, Cold Frosty Morning" was a moody piece of music to say the least and best played in a minor key. We recorded it in the key of "A Model" or "Mountain Minor/Sawmill Tuning".

I just figured out how to post this tune to my Hangout Homepage for anyone who is in the process of learning this piece. It is another perspective on a great old tune. MJ


Madgenius - Posted - 02/14/2007:  12:17:59


Hi

Can anybody recomend a good place to find a whole bunch of easy to play 2 and 3 chords songs suitable for clawhammer and mandolin (both beginner)

Thanks in Advance

Danny

"Music is a joy to me, sometimes living in it is the only safe place to be" Brian May

Stev187 - Posted - 02/07/2007:  08:06:22


quote:
Originally posted by ZEPP
For those who are unfamiliar with Arnie's and Chris's work, they are required listening for all my students! Absolutely great stuff!



On another thread, Zepp mentioned "required listening" for his CH banjo studnets. What recordings do folks think should be on that list?

I'll start by adding just one: Cathy Fink's Banjo Haiku. There are many others, but I am stark raving mad about this record.

Let's build a "required listening" list on this thread... What would you add to the list?

Steve
Flint, MI
-----------------------------------
Current Old-Time Ohrwurm: "New Money,"Doc Roberts

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  14:17:08


with thanks to Tobias for the link
what is the name of the tune played in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utgc...ated&search=

and where can I buy a good recording of it?...a tab?...standard notation

I think this is going to become my next obsession

Banjonically yours

Joe

Faelan - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:07:30


I hurt my claw finger! I am also a firearms enthusiast, so I've also hurt my trigger finger, it's very dear to me, thankfully it's nothing major- just throbbing right now and can't play!

What to do in the mean time?

chip arnold - Posted - 12/26/2006:  23:06:10


Do you go to festivals?

Which ones?

Do you go to teaching camps?

Which ones?

Play with a plan
Chip

tdignon - Posted - 02/11/2007:  16:36:54


I'm anxious to find an instructor to help me patch over some of the rougher habits I've acquired through book-banjo-learnin'. Have been having a lot of trouble finding people through a search engine, thought you guys might know best. I'm open even to New York City though I'm hoping to find a teacher as local as possible (preferably New Paltz, Woodstock, Poughkeepsie, Kingston area.)

Thanks so much,
Terry

tdignon - Posted - 02/12/2007:  12:38:23


Hope you guys don't mind, bumping this just once to see if there is anyone out there that could help me with this. If bumping isn't allowed or is frowned upon please let me know-- I won't do it again!

*cups hands over mouth* IS THERE A BANJOOOO TEACHER IN THE VALLLEEEYYYYY?

:) :( :) :(

jojo25 - Posted - 02/12/2007:  15:07:53


Terry,

I can't help you with a teach in your area, but you might want to consider attending a banjo camp in order to get some of those rough edges smoothed out. Other things to do that might help...

- play with others...esp. those who are more advanced than you, if possible...but find some folks to jam with
- attend performances of OT players...and pick up by osmosis or by asking them questions or begging for a short lesson afterwards...if you have the hutzpah to do that!
- listen to the good ones...there are some good recent threads here at
BHO that will key you in to whom to listen to
- don't give up...persistance is a very powerful tool

Banjonically yours

Joe

jojo25 - Posted - 02/12/2007:  15:10:42


one more thing...plan to go to a least one good OT festival this year...Clifftop or ??

Banjonically yours

Joe

tdignon - Posted - 02/12/2007:  18:37:01


Thanks Joe, I've only been playing for a few months now and being that I'm an isolationist, and also that its winter, I haven't been outside meeting other players as much as I'd like. Would you recommend a specific festival? My girlfriend and I are traveling cross country this summer and would like to hit a few.

There seems to be so many though, unable to decide which are the best!

malarz - Posted - 02/12/2007:  21:21:31


Banjo Camp North in eastern MA in May. check out www.mugwumps.com

tdignon - Posted - 02/13/2007:  11:24:00


Thanks, that's the nearest banjo camp I've found. I also like the idea of having a beginners track... going to check it out in greater detail!

INFP47 - Posted - 02/13/2007:  21:50:40


If you can get to the Albany area, there are a lot of resources. Check out www.pickingandsinging.org. It's a great group of folk, old time and celtic musicians. Check with Ulster County Community College, Orange CCC or Dutchess CCC Continuing Education Dept. They may offer Clawhammer lessons. I'm an administrator with Adirondack Community College and we have frequently offered banjo lessons with a clawhammer emphasis. I also once took clawhammer lessons thru Central Piedmont Community College in N.C. from Wayne Erbsen.

It's been a while since I lived in New Paltz but there is probably a good acoustic music store in the area that could refer you to a teacher. Also check out the Rosendale Cafe, they sometimes have old-time performers. The Towne Crier cafe over in Dutchess County is one of the best folk music cafes in the Northeast. At either of these cafes you can probably hook up with other clawhammer types.





Philj200 - Posted - 02/14/2007:  08:10:50


The YMCA facility in Hugonut (near Port Jervis) has events that include folk music. There's a chance to link up with people there. Give them a call. Don't bother with their clunky website.

Philj200

tdignon - Posted - 02/14/2007:  12:24:35


INFP,

Thanks so much for the heads up. There aren't any acoustic music stores that I know of in town, but the idea to check out UCC was a great one. Going to give them a call today or tomorrow to see if they offer anything along those lines.

How long ago did you live in New Paltz?

Terry


INFP47 - Posted - 02/14/2007:  22:27:57


Terry,

I lived in New Paltz in the late 60's/early 70's when I was a student there. Recently, I've spent some time in New Paltz most years. I love the town. I later lived in Rosendale and I have since lived all over the MId-Hudson Valley. Now I'm up in Glens Falls. I bet Poughkeepsie has a good acousic music store. Check it out. They could probably recommend a teacher.

I started playing CH in the 70's and then stopped for 30 years. I started in again last fall and I'm still a beginner. I'm also planning on going to Banjo Camp North this year.

Tim

flatfoot - Posted - 02/15/2007:  01:00:08


.

Contact Happy Traum at Homespun tapes. He is in Woodstock and knows everything about musicians in that area.

.

Lewis! Do you hear a Banjo? Paddle Faster!

tdignon - Posted - 02/15/2007:  19:35:38


Contacted Happy Traum, he was very helpful

Thanks a bunch you guys

Jim Treganza - Posted - 02/12/2007:  14:17:23


I'm brand new at this and want to take a few lessons. I've been unable to find anybody who gives clawhammer lessons less than 45 miles away from Stockton, CA. I work for a local theatre and we were even unable to find a picker to play with the orchestra in a recent show! For money! Does anybody know somebody who plays old-time banjo in this neck of the woods? I really don't want to drive to Berkeley or Sacramento. Thanks.

Clawdan - Posted - 01/08/2007:  14:06:12


Hi Folks,
Bob Carlin and I are planning a workshop weekend in Austin in late March this year. Wanted to start by giving you a heads up and see who is interested. I'll be glad to keep you up to date of details as they develop.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

ukjonathan - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:42:16


hi I thought the striking of the strings with the claw hand would be the hardest bit, but no I'm wrong! I can hit the strings in various configurations but can I hell get the bum ditty bit. It just sounds like ting, ting ting. I strike my 1st bottom string then strum down following on by thumb off the drone string. But still no bum ditty. Anyone help? I guess this is the hard bit?

Frode B - Posted - 02/13/2007:  18:09:53


What would you call this fingering technique? http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ct0PbWwY5g8
It's me, and I have been fooling around with the banjo for a couple of years without any guiding. I'm a guitar/pedal steel player so I guess I am mixing it all up on the banjo.

The banjo is a Bart Reiter special ( thanks mr.Balch!)


Frode
Oslo, Norway

Rimstick - Posted - 02/11/2007:  23:52:42


Gang -
Looking for some advice here. I got the "bum tiddy" going pretty good but it still doesn't consistantly sound like music. One of the problems I've identified is that my strum is making music, whereas when I listen closely to recordings, I think the strings should sound more "dead", as if I was muting them by "chiming" at the 7th fret. More of a wash board rasp than musical notes. Hope you can follow that.

I've moved my elbow closer to the rim, which raised my hand position. This in turn put a very flat attack angle on the strings for the lower fingers and helped some.

I fully realize there are some times you need the strum to "chord" as part of the song, but I'm talking about the ability to generally produce a "beat" that gets your toes tapping and sets the beat of the song.

Any ideas?



Regards,
Rimstick


Uncle Dave Macon makes me laugh !!

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 02/01/2007:  11:52:07


How well does the brass plate to the fifth fret position work on a fretless? Anyone have experience with this?

MarkJohnson - Posted - 02/12/2007:  07:29:17


I have always felt that the tune, Cold Frosty Morning" was a moody piece of music to say the least and best played in a minor key. We recorded it in the key of "A Model" or "Mountain Minor/Sawmill Tuning".

I just figured out how to post this tune to my Hangout Homepage for anyone who is in the process of learning this piece. It is another perspective on a great old tune. MJ


Madgenius - Posted - 02/14/2007:  12:17:59


Hi

Can anybody recomend a good place to find a whole bunch of easy to play 2 and 3 chords songs suitable for clawhammer and mandolin (both beginner)

Thanks in Advance

Danny

"Music is a joy to me, sometimes living in it is the only safe place to be" Brian May

Stev187 - Posted - 02/07/2007:  08:06:22


quote:
Originally posted by ZEPP
For those who are unfamiliar with Arnie's and Chris's work, they are required listening for all my students! Absolutely great stuff!



On another thread, Zepp mentioned "required listening" for his CH banjo studnets. What recordings do folks think should be on that list?

I'll start by adding just one: Cathy Fink's Banjo Haiku. There are many others, but I am stark raving mad about this record.

Let's build a "required listening" list on this thread... What would you add to the list?

Steve
Flint, MI
-----------------------------------
Current Old-Time Ohrwurm: "New Money,"Doc Roberts

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  14:17:08


with thanks to Tobias for the link
what is the name of the tune played in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utgc...ated&search=

and where can I buy a good recording of it?...a tab?...standard notation

I think this is going to become my next obsession

Banjonically yours

Joe

Faelan - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:07:30


I hurt my claw finger! I am also a firearms enthusiast, so I've also hurt my trigger finger, it's very dear to me, thankfully it's nothing major- just throbbing right now and can't play!

What to do in the mean time?

chip arnold - Posted - 12/26/2006:  23:06:10


Do you go to festivals?

Which ones?

Do you go to teaching camps?

Which ones?

Play with a plan
Chip

tdignon - Posted - 02/11/2007:  16:36:54


I'm anxious to find an instructor to help me patch over some of the rougher habits I've acquired through book-banjo-learnin'. Have been having a lot of trouble finding people through a search engine, thought you guys might know best. I'm open even to New York City though I'm hoping to find a teacher as local as possible (preferably New Paltz, Woodstock, Poughkeepsie, Kingston area.)

Thanks so much,
Terry

N8116B - Posted - 05/18/2006:  13:39:11


Do any of you stuff a rag or anything in the pot behind the head to mute the sound? I have a heard a few players who sometime have things in the pot and was wondering how common this is.

---------------------------
Scott
---------------------------
Instruments:
1. Bart Reiter Galax
2. Deering Goodtime Special (looking for a new home)

grich - Posted - 05/18/2006:  13:43:03


What's next bras !

Greg Rich

N8116B - Posted - 05/18/2006:  13:44:39


quote:
Originally posted by grich

What's next bras !

Greg Rich



Guess we know where you mind is at... I was thinking Stove Top when I wrote the subject

---------------------------
Scott
---------------------------
Instruments:
1. Bart Reiter Galax
2. Deering Goodtime Special (looking for a new home)

tonehead - Posted - 05/18/2006:  13:51:59


http://www.banjohangout.org/forum/t...PIC_ID=50718

Here are some thoughts.


Be significant.

grich - Posted - 05/18/2006:  13:59:01


I kinda figured you were thinking about stove top, I took a chance on the second thing that came to mind......... I lied !



Greg Rich

vrteach - Posted - 05/18/2006:  14:00:38


Yes, look through the topic that tonehead points out. Among CH players stuffing (both temporary and permanent) is pretty common.


Erich
-------
http://www.freepgs.com/vrteach/banjo/index.php

frailin - Posted - 05/18/2006:  14:23:57


There was a really great discussion of this a few weeks back. Check out this thread:

http://www.banjohangout.org/forum/t...PIC_ID=50718

Craig


www.frailin.com

uncledelphi - Posted - 05/18/2006:  16:04:08


I'm right with you, Craig! Socks are for feet, not banjos. I love my banjos loud, brassy, and with lots of sustain, just like they were intended to be!

-----------------------------------------------------
Single musical male seeks single musical female. Must have high tolerance for Celtic and Olde Tyme music.

Bill Rogers - Posted - 05/18/2006:  21:08:24


I use a towel when playing late at night in hotel rooms. Othrewise--ixnay.

Bill

cottoneyedjoe - Posted - 05/18/2006:  22:24:44


Scott,
I used to put a towel in the back of my Goodtime. Then I got the Reiter Galax. That banjo was meant to ring! The sustain and tone I get from that banjo keep me from putting anything in it. I don't want to kill that beautiful tone.

I see you have one as well. Don't do it!!!!!

N8116B - Posted - 05/18/2006:  22:57:00


quote:
Originally posted by cottoneyedjoe

Scott,
I used to put a towel in the back of my Goodtime. Then I got the Reiter Galax. That banjo was meant to ring! The sustain and tone I get from that banjo keep me from putting anything in it. I don't want to kill that beautiful tone.

I see you have one as well. Don't do it!!!!!



I know I love the sound of the Galax seems to go on forever!!

---------------------------
Scott
---------------------------
Instruments:
1. Bart Reiter Galax
2. Deering Goodtime Special (looking for a new home)

Dr.Ken - Posted - 05/22/2006:  03:35:23


I enjoy experimenting to get different sounds. I've got a "tone enhancer" mute which I can set down on the strings, and I've tried different things in the resonator -- although usually to make it quieter since I live in an apartment building.

nbanta - Posted - 05/23/2006:  00:30:08


I have long been of the opinion that if the banjo sounded better with a sock stuck in the pot, the maker would have built it that way. I love the full sound of my Tubaphone as it was meant to be played--"au naturel".

Lately, however, I have realized that, to get into the rhythmic groove, I really need to be able to let loose and give the string a pretty good whack on the "bum" (um...Ok, I'll let this pass my internal censor--after all I am addressing serious-minded clawhammerers, right?).

When I'm playing without stuffing the pot, with a small group of musicians who play on the quiet side, I tend to hold back so that the banjo doesn't overpower the other instruments, with a usually negative effect on my rhythm. So in this situation, lately I have been stuffing the pot.

When I play alone or with a large group of rowdies, I take out the sock and just let the banjo sound as it was meant to.


Ned

--Colorado

capt banjo - Posted - 05/30/2006:  08:19:07


When I bought my banjo , the dealer gave me something to stick inside the head. He called it a " SilverBacked Gorilla Bugger". It is a blue gummy substance that will fall off several times until it dries out a little bit; it then will stick inside for ever. It allows the banjo to ring but tones down the loudness ever so slightly. I will have to go back to him this week to find out the name of the stuff . I will then get back on this thread and tell you the name.

piperdoc - Posted - 05/31/2006:  11:03:01


i'm with bill rogers. i hate the stuffed sound but i do it to make my practice easier on my family.
interestingly, and i would love to hear if anyone else notices this: i actually feel the damping in the strings as i hit them. feels horrible.
meir

Nide44 - Posted - 05/31/2006:  11:34:04


I move the stuffed washcloth around in my openback,
dependant on who's home and in which rooms.
Directly under the bridge for the least volume (for late a nite), down at the tailpiece if
someone's in the next room & slid up to the neck if they're in the kitchen.
But I love it when I'm alone and can take it out, entirely.
Can't seem to tune it properly unless I can hear it un-dampened.

Bob B
Granpa, dat song's nide,
play it agin'

Roy Smith - Posted - 06/09/2006:  08:24:12


I've always modulated tone and volume by right hand position (over the scoop vs over the head) and by how heavily I strike the strings, and I've never stuffed my banjos.

But... At Mt. Airy last weekend I played a bano made by William Fielding (http://www.vermontfurnituremakers.c...erbanjo.html) that had a 1.5" square of packing foam between the head and dowel stick at the neck side of the pot. It sounded just gorgeous and plenty loud enough. I'm going to test some foam pieces in my Ramsey woody this weekend.

Roy

lukie2p - Posted - 06/14/2006:  04:49:05


I have foam in my banjos.

I've used shirts, hand towels... I even tried plastic bags when Molly Tenenbaum showed me she was trying them out.

I figure the banjo is fine on its own, but I like experimenting to come up with a sound that suits my (changing) needs. It's like a factory car. Put wider tires on it to help it corner better. No different than changing the head to get a different sound, only easier.

usonian - Posted - 06/14/2006:  09:51:20


After reading this discussion and the previous one linked to earlier, I tried a rolled-up washcloth stuffed up near the neck of my Saga SS-10 and I find that I really like the little bit of extra "plunk" it gives me. Doesn't affect volume as far as I can tell.

http://myspace.com/chaseinstruments http://achase.net/xlog http://chaseinstruments.blogspot.com

Nide44 - Posted - 06/14/2006:  10:41:00


usonian,
I find that as you move the cloth closer to the bridge, and right under it-
you get decreasing volume as well as decreasing sustain.
Try sliding it down near the tailpiece, for an interesting 'middle' sound.

Bob B
Granpa, dat song's nide,
play it agin'

folkdog - Posted - 06/14/2006:  10:53:00


For those whose banjos have a no-knot tailpiece, an alternative to stuffing the head is threading or tying something around the strings between the bridge and tailpiece. This cuts down on some of the overtones and sustain, typically giving the sound a little more plunk, but doesn't actually dampen the head. I'm currently using a little piece of suede threaded through the strings just north of the tailpiece. This pushes the sound in the same general direction as stuffing the head does, but is much more subtle.


frailin - Posted - 06/14/2006:  19:17:12


I cut a 1/8-1/4" by 1 1/2" piece of leather and position it as folkdog. It cuts down significantly on the overtones and warms the banjo's voice(tubaphones can sould shrill... it really helps with that).

Craig


www.frailin.com
www.myspace.com/frailin

And as of earlier today!!
www.myspace.com/singletonstreet

fmoss - Posted - 06/19/2006:  14:30:06


quote:
Originally posted by N8116B

Do any of you stuff a rag or anything in the pot behind the head to mute the sound? I have a heard a few players who sometime have things in the pot and was wondering how common this is.

Scott



I just returned a week ago from the Midwest Banjo Camp put on by Ken Perlman. (It was terrific, btw.) One of the instructors was Riley Baugus, an outrageously fine clawhammer player who backs up Tim OBrien, Dirk Powell, and the likes. He had a great sounding banjo (don't recall the maker), but while talking to him after a session, I noticed that he had a small piece of foam about the size of a small kitchen sponge wedged between the skin and tone ring right under the end of the fret board. It made his banjo sound like he was playing gut strings ----- but not quite as "plunky". His banjo did ring, but I think the foam cut the sustain and some overtones a bit so the instrument sounded wonderfully "ol timey" (I don''t know how else to describe it.) Needless to say, I'm huntin' some foam.

Fred

vrteach - Posted - 06/19/2006:  14:58:31


I didn't know that, but he sure got a deep and warm sound from that banjo. And that even though it has a slightly shorter neck and he had it tuned up to A/D.

Also, his sound partially comes from being a "play-over-the-neck-not-the-head" guy.


Erich
-------
http://www.freepgs.com/vrteach/banjo/index.php

folkdog - Posted - 06/19/2006:  14:59:44


quote:
Originally posted by fmoss
I noticed that he had a small piece of foam about the size of a small kitchen sponge wedged between the skin and tone ring right under the end of the fret board.



I assume you mean between the skin and coordinator rod (or dowel stick), not the tone ring. Si?

Greg

Keith E - Posted - 06/19/2006:  15:08:27


I'm pretty sure Riley built that banjo he was playing.

fmoss - Posted - 06/21/2006:  11:03:52


Yes, between the skin and the rod -- right below the end of the fretboard. I 'm glad others who were there have chimed in and agreed that the sound of his banjo was super. I think "warm" is a good description.

By the way, I'm sitting here listening to a cd by two other instructors at the Midwest Banjo Camp, Arnie Naiman and Chris Coole, called "5 strings attached with no backing." It is an old cd ('97 or '98). I absolutely love it - a mix of old and new tunes and songs. It was one of a couple they brought with them. The tragedy was the U S Customs didn't allow them to bring their supply of cds to sell in from Canada. (So much for NAFTA!) Anyone have their other cd (I forget the name)?

I also picked up Mark Schatz's new cd there, "Steppin in the Boiler House." It is just as good if not better than his first cd "Brand New Old Time Way." Great stuff!!

JackJo - Posted - 06/29/2006:  22:01:53


Here's a Bart Reiter on eBay. The seller didn't even bother to remove the rag when he took the photos.



gottasmilealot - Posted - 02/05/2007:  20:03:20


Here's something that works for me that's simple, inexpensive, and adjustable while out playing. It's an artist's sponge available at art supply stores or flea markets cheap.

The spong can be place between the rod and the head, sliding it to change position and muting, or folding it in half for more pressure on the head; or,



Place it between the rods when not in use. They can be doubled if desired, or you can just stuff it in your pocket.



It's a lot less bulky than a towel or sock, although socks are handy for putting on your hand and wiping down your banjo when finished playing.

Here's the front... I keep it under the tailpiece because my head is a bit translucent, and I don't care to see it through the head. I moved it up a little so you could see it for the sake of the photo. Putting it in a kids sock makes it white and not noticeable if you have it up towards the neck.


Keith

Mountain Banjer Girl - Posted - 02/05/2007:  21:10:46


I do not recommend stuffing anything in the back of your banjo! It kills its natural sound....it's like stuffing a sock down its throat!

The only exception I can think of is already addressed here. If you are in a hotel room where you could easily disturb other people, then I think it is very considerate to tone down the volume of your banjo by placing a small towel in the back of it.

Pour it on.

bschorfhaar - Posted - 02/05/2007:  21:48:32


i bet my wife sometimes wishes i'd mute my banjer with some quick drying cement in the pot and a hefty toss into lake
sammammish out back.

u k sandra - Posted - 02/06/2007:  12:04:15


I knitted a scarf for my banjo. I had some cream wool left over from knitting a jumper. Its about three feet long and I roll it up and stuff it behind the head. It works a treat for when my husband`s watching telly.

s donnelly

banjozane - Posted - 02/07/2007:  23:42:33




Look, They Even Stuffed Em Back in the Old Days!



NOT!

Bluegrass Rocks, but Old-Time Rules!

banjozane - Posted - 02/15/2007:  17:19:16


Hey, Instead of Stuffing Your Pot, You could stuff your banjo WITH POT! Get a good mellow sound, and get good and mellowed out after you smoke one.

J/K



Bluegrass Rocks, but Old-Time Rules!

trapdoor2 - Posted - 02/15/2007:  19:20:55


If it has steel strings, I'm a stuffer. I've used sox, foam, washrags, you name it. My favorite is a red-rag (workshop rag) that's been washed about a hundred times. I had a small cube of foam between the dowel stick and head (right up next to the neck/pot joint) on my first Stewart...until the foam crumbled away. Now it wears a sock.

When I converted over to Nylon, Nylgut or gut, the stuffing just wasn't necessary. Also, I find that some of the sharp overtones can be mitigated by a skin head (or even fiberskyn).

Just depends on your ears; do what it takes to make 'em happy!



"If banjos needed tone rings, S.S. Stewart would have built 'em that way."

===Marc

banjopogo - Posted - 02/15/2007:  22:42:33


There are so many variables on this topic
that one shouldn't really generalize to all banjos.

My latest banjo I started out stuffing, recently moved
away from it, but at a gig someone in the audience
who had been a musician complained about it being
too ringy, so I stuffed a wadded up plastic bread bag in it.
Cheap, and easily available!

Drummers use various methods to deaden ringing drums,
and it can be a problem with banjos, depending on the style
of the player.
If a banjo players style is more percussive, that is, more drum-like,
it could be a problem.
But if a players style is more guitar-like, then the ringing could
be a virtue.

I think skin heads are less likely to need stuffing that
plastic or fiberskyn heads.
The skin is it's own mute!

Michael

mp3 page: http://ezfolk.com/audio/bands/1088/
hifi radio: http://ezfolk.com/audio/play.php?mode=radio&id=481
lofi radio: http://ezfolk.com/audio/play.php?mode=radio&id=522

"We have met the Enemy, and he is us!"- Walt Kelly's "Pogo"

wormpicker - Posted - 02/15/2007:  23:01:22


quote:
Originally posted by N8116B

quote:
Originally posted by cottoneyedjoe

Scott,
I used to put a towel in the back of my Goodtime. Then I got the Reiter Galax. That banjo was meant to ring! The sustain and tone I get from that banjo keep me from putting anything in it. I don't want to kill that beautiful tone.

I see you have one as well. Don't do it!!!!!



I know I love the sound of the Galax seems to go on forever!!

---------------------------
Scott
---------------------------
Instruments:
1. Bart Reiter Galax
2. Deering Goodtime Special (looking for a new home)




I'll be the third member of the Bart Reiter Galax Club to "chime" in. I agree that I love that whyte laydie clang of my Galax, and I never thought I'd ever want to dampen it. But I got curious when this thread first appeared. I also took a little ribbing about my unstuffed head when I had a little picking party with two of our Hangout comrades who shall remain nameless <cough>Banjo Brad, J-Walk<cough>. So I decided to give the sock a try. And you know what? It's not bad! I didn't really lose the ring, but the sock softened up its "edge" a bit. I'll confess now that the three recent recordings I posted on my homepage are w/sock.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

chip arnold - Posted - 02/15/2007:  23:22:24


Paul, that's terrific picking! Very clean and nice.

Play with a plan
Chip

wormpicker - Posted - 02/15/2007:  23:32:43


Hey, thanks, Chip! I was mostly intending to point out the sound of the banjo here, not my beginner banging, but I'll take a nice compliment wherever I can get one.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

mike hansen - Posted - 02/16/2007:  09:50:48


Is there a Reiter Galax Club...I guess I'm a member...

I read a post a while back about getting the temper-pedic mattress sample. It is a great stuffer...with my skin head and that thing stuffed right at the neck I get the sound I want...

by the way..because I had that teper-pedic sample sent to my parents house my mom found herself reading the literature...when I came home one day she explained that she actually decided to buy the mattress...and it's all because of banjohangout and the search for better stuffing....

www.myspace.com/kazoorecords
Bart Reiter "GALAX" Model

Jim Treganza - Posted - 02/12/2007:  14:17:23


I'm brand new at this and want to take a few lessons. I've been unable to find anybody who gives clawhammer lessons less than 45 miles away from Stockton, CA. I work for a local theatre and we were even unable to find a picker to play with the orchestra in a recent show! For money! Does anybody know somebody who plays old-time banjo in this neck of the woods? I really don't want to drive to Berkeley or Sacramento. Thanks.

Clawdan - Posted - 01/08/2007:  14:06:12


Hi Folks,
Bob Carlin and I are planning a workshop weekend in Austin in late March this year. Wanted to start by giving you a heads up and see who is interested. I'll be glad to keep you up to date of details as they develop.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

ukjonathan - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:42:16


hi I thought the striking of the strings with the claw hand would be the hardest bit, but no I'm wrong! I can hit the strings in various configurations but can I hell get the bum ditty bit. It just sounds like ting, ting ting. I strike my 1st bottom string then strum down following on by thumb off the drone string. But still no bum ditty. Anyone help? I guess this is the hard bit?

Frode B - Posted - 02/13/2007:  18:09:53


What would you call this fingering technique? http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ct0PbWwY5g8
It's me, and I have been fooling around with the banjo for a couple of years without any guiding. I'm a guitar/pedal steel player so I guess I am mixing it all up on the banjo.

The banjo is a Bart Reiter special ( thanks mr.Balch!)


Frode
Oslo, Norway

Rimstick - Posted - 02/11/2007:  23:52:42


Gang -
Looking for some advice here. I got the "bum tiddy" going pretty good but it still doesn't consistantly sound like music. One of the problems I've identified is that my strum is making music, whereas when I listen closely to recordings, I think the strings should sound more "dead", as if I was muting them by "chiming" at the 7th fret. More of a wash board rasp than musical notes. Hope you can follow that.

I've moved my elbow closer to the rim, which raised my hand position. This in turn put a very flat attack angle on the strings for the lower fingers and helped some.

I fully realize there are some times you need the strum to "chord" as part of the song, but I'm talking about the ability to generally produce a "beat" that gets your toes tapping and sets the beat of the song.

Any ideas?



Regards,
Rimstick


Uncle Dave Macon makes me laugh !!

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 02/01/2007:  11:52:07


How well does the brass plate to the fifth fret position work on a fretless? Anyone have experience with this?

MarkJohnson - Posted - 02/12/2007:  07:29:17


I have always felt that the tune, Cold Frosty Morning" was a moody piece of music to say the least and best played in a minor key. We recorded it in the key of "A Model" or "Mountain Minor/Sawmill Tuning".

I just figured out how to post this tune to my Hangout Homepage for anyone who is in the process of learning this piece. It is another perspective on a great old tune. MJ


Madgenius - Posted - 02/14/2007:  12:17:59


Hi

Can anybody recomend a good place to find a whole bunch of easy to play 2 and 3 chords songs suitable for clawhammer and mandolin (both beginner)

Thanks in Advance

Danny

"Music is a joy to me, sometimes living in it is the only safe place to be" Brian May

Stev187 - Posted - 02/07/2007:  08:06:22


quote:
Originally posted by ZEPP
For those who are unfamiliar with Arnie's and Chris's work, they are required listening for all my students! Absolutely great stuff!



On another thread, Zepp mentioned "required listening" for his CH banjo studnets. What recordings do folks think should be on that list?

I'll start by adding just one: Cathy Fink's Banjo Haiku. There are many others, but I am stark raving mad about this record.

Let's build a "required listening" list on this thread... What would you add to the list?

Steve
Flint, MI
-----------------------------------
Current Old-Time Ohrwurm: "New Money,"Doc Roberts

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  14:17:08


with thanks to Tobias for the link
what is the name of the tune played in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utgc...ated&search=

and where can I buy a good recording of it?...a tab?...standard notation

I think this is going to become my next obsession

Banjonically yours

Joe

Faelan - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:07:30


I hurt my claw finger! I am also a firearms enthusiast, so I've also hurt my trigger finger, it's very dear to me, thankfully it's nothing major- just throbbing right now and can't play!

What to do in the mean time?

chip arnold - Posted - 12/26/2006:  23:06:10


Do you go to festivals?

Which ones?

Do you go to teaching camps?

Which ones?

Play with a plan
Chip

tdignon - Posted - 02/11/2007:  16:36:54


I'm anxious to find an instructor to help me patch over some of the rougher habits I've acquired through book-banjo-learnin'. Have been having a lot of trouble finding people through a search engine, thought you guys might know best. I'm open even to New York City though I'm hoping to find a teacher as local as possible (preferably New Paltz, Woodstock, Poughkeepsie, Kingston area.)

Thanks so much,
Terry

N8116B - Posted - 05/18/2006:  13:39:11


Do any of you stuff a rag or anything in the pot behind the head to mute the sound? I have a heard a few players who sometime have things in the pot and was wondering how common this is.

---------------------------
Scott
---------------------------
Instruments:
1. Bart Reiter Galax
2. Deering Goodtime Special (looking for a new home)

jojo25 - Posted - 02/14/2007:  17:33:52


Chip wrote (in the thread about festivals and specifically about Clifftop)

"There are dozens and dozens of jams going at all hours of the day and night. Some very open and some very closed."

How do you tell which are open, or find the ones that are open...and good? I go to Clifftop alone, all the way from Wisconsin, and I've had the most fun at Clifftop when I've stumbled upon one of those open jams...but I've also been stymied by finding that figurative "closed" sign flashing in neon

any suggestions?

Banjonically yours

Joe

chip arnold - Posted - 02/14/2007:  18:37:55


Well, this is a thing that has frustrated just about everyone at one time or another.
There are reasons why some jams are "very closed'. It's easy to feel snubbed but you shouldn't. OT festivals are mostly competition festivals and lots of folks are practicing for the contests. Some little groups are made up of pickers who only get to play together once or twice a year at festivals and just want to savor their time together alone. Lots of reasons.

There are some right ways and wrong ways of approaching a festival jam. And some strong clues as to whether you should approach it at all.
As you walk along, the first clue is likely to be the size of the jam. If it's spilling out of the camp chances are that it's pretty open. Open jams can get pretty big pretty quick. If you're interested, wait 'till the tune is over and just ask someone near you if you can join in.
If you're attracted to a smaller jam, look for pleasant eye contact. If you get a smile, or some other outwardly friendly gesture, wait for the end of the tune and ask.
If you're still not sure, something I've done is to lay my case down and just listen for awhile. Make eye contact and "look hopeful". If you don't get a nod, smile real big at everyone and move on. That same bunch might just ask if you'd like to join them the next time you walk by. Jams in "public" areas ... at Clifftop that could mean the porch of the lodge or that general area.....are likely to be open. When you do get in a jam, play softly at first and find a way to fit into the overall sound. Be friendly and compliment people...schmooze! Look for the same folks turning up in other jams. If you run into someone who was in a jam you wanted to join, talk to them and make a friend. Don't be bashful, tell them you enjoyed their playing and that you'd like to pick some with them. You'll probably get an invitation to their camp.
The biggest, most important rule and it's the one most folks have trouble with is...Don't take it personal when you're not asked in.




Play with a plan
Chip

Don Borchelt - Posted - 02/14/2007:  19:01:06


Chip wrote: "If you're attracted to a smaller jam, look for pleasant eye contact. If you get a smile, or some other outwardly friendly gesture, wait for the end of the tune and ask. If you're still not sure, something I've done is to lay my case down and just listen for awhile. Make eye contact and "look hopeful". If you don't get a nod, smile real big at everyone and move on."

Chip, that's exactly right. If your welcome to join in, you will get visual clues, and if you aren't sure whether they are welcoming you or not, it's because they probably aren't. We all have egos, and it is hard to swallow the idea that we aren't always invited, but sometimes that's just the way it is.

I always wanted to make the trip down to Clifftop, and I was thinking about doing it this year, but now I'm having second thoughts.

- Don Borchelt



"Well, I know there's a lotta big preachers that know a lot more than I do
But it could be that the good Lord likes a little pickin' too."

- Tom T. Hall, from The Year That Clayton Delaney Died


Edited by - Don Borchelt on 02/14/2007 19:03:19

chip arnold - Posted - 02/14/2007:  19:20:13


Why the second thoughts Don? C'mon down!

Play with a plan
Chip

Clawdan - Posted - 02/15/2007:  14:08:06


If they are sittin close in a very small inward facing circle and no-one else is around playing, it's probably closed. If a few on the outskirts, probably invitational (ie. eye contact or outright invitation) and if it is big as it can, probably open.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

MrSrubas - Posted - 02/15/2007:  14:17:01


quote:
I always wanted to make the trip down to Clifftop, and I was thinking about doing it this year, but now I'm having second thoughts.

Don, I think I have the Mrs. convinced. If you can't find anyone to play some tunes with, find me we'll play modal tunes all week <grin>

GSCarson - Posted - 02/15/2007:  14:28:32


Look me up too guys, my son and I will be there and we'll introduce you to some fine players from PA, SC, OH and KY we jam with. If you can, remember to ask at the Krack fiddle shop tent if you come, Jake Krack can tell you where we are camped.

Glenn Carson

chip arnold - Posted - 02/15/2007:  15:22:45


Tish & I camp up by the water tower on the right.Look for a little '67 Shasta.

Play with a plan
Chip

Clawdan - Posted - 02/15/2007:  17:01:13


Look for us on Vendor's Row Don. Big Airstream with white tarp out front. You should come down.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

jojo25 - Posted - 02/16/2007:  13:33:25


thanks for the responses gentelmen...so I'll consider myself invited to you'all's camps (right?)...if'n I can manage to get to Clifftop this year...small matter of my better half expecting a trip to Italy, which is gonna eat up most, if not all, of my vacation time!

Banjonically yours

Joe

chip arnold - Posted - 02/16/2007:  13:37:39


jojo25
Send her to Italy.....see you in camp!



Play with a plan
Chip

Jim Treganza - Posted - 02/12/2007:  14:17:23


I'm brand new at this and want to take a few lessons. I've been unable to find anybody who gives clawhammer lessons less than 45 miles away from Stockton, CA. I work for a local theatre and we were even unable to find a picker to play with the orchestra in a recent show! For money! Does anybody know somebody who plays old-time banjo in this neck of the woods? I really don't want to drive to Berkeley or Sacramento. Thanks.

Clawdan - Posted - 01/08/2007:  14:06:12


Hi Folks,
Bob Carlin and I are planning a workshop weekend in Austin in late March this year. Wanted to start by giving you a heads up and see who is interested. I'll be glad to keep you up to date of details as they develop.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

ukjonathan - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:42:16


hi I thought the striking of the strings with the claw hand would be the hardest bit, but no I'm wrong! I can hit the strings in various configurations but can I hell get the bum ditty bit. It just sounds like ting, ting ting. I strike my 1st bottom string then strum down following on by thumb off the drone string. But still no bum ditty. Anyone help? I guess this is the hard bit?

Frode B - Posted - 02/13/2007:  18:09:53


What would you call this fingering technique? http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ct0PbWwY5g8
It's me, and I have been fooling around with the banjo for a couple of years without any guiding. I'm a guitar/pedal steel player so I guess I am mixing it all up on the banjo.

The banjo is a Bart Reiter special ( thanks mr.Balch!)


Frode
Oslo, Norway

Rimstick - Posted - 02/11/2007:  23:52:42


Gang -
Looking for some advice here. I got the "bum tiddy" going pretty good but it still doesn't consistantly sound like music. One of the problems I've identified is that my strum is making music, whereas when I listen closely to recordings, I think the strings should sound more "dead", as if I was muting them by "chiming" at the 7th fret. More of a wash board rasp than musical notes. Hope you can follow that.

I've moved my elbow closer to the rim, which raised my hand position. This in turn put a very flat attack angle on the strings for the lower fingers and helped some.

I fully realize there are some times you need the strum to "chord" as part of the song, but I'm talking about the ability to generally produce a "beat" that gets your toes tapping and sets the beat of the song.

Any ideas?



Regards,
Rimstick


Uncle Dave Macon makes me laugh !!

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 02/01/2007:  11:52:07


How well does the brass plate to the fifth fret position work on a fretless? Anyone have experience with this?

MarkJohnson - Posted - 02/12/2007:  07:29:17


I have always felt that the tune, Cold Frosty Morning" was a moody piece of music to say the least and best played in a minor key. We recorded it in the key of "A Model" or "Mountain Minor/Sawmill Tuning".

I just figured out how to post this tune to my Hangout Homepage for anyone who is in the process of learning this piece. It is another perspective on a great old tune. MJ


Madgenius - Posted - 02/14/2007:  12:17:59


Hi

Can anybody recomend a good place to find a whole bunch of easy to play 2 and 3 chords songs suitable for clawhammer and mandolin (both beginner)

Thanks in Advance

Danny

"Music is a joy to me, sometimes living in it is the only safe place to be" Brian May

Stev187 - Posted - 02/07/2007:  08:06:22


quote:
Originally posted by ZEPP
For those who are unfamiliar with Arnie's and Chris's work, they are required listening for all my students! Absolutely great stuff!



On another thread, Zepp mentioned "required listening" for his CH banjo studnets. What recordings do folks think should be on that list?

I'll start by adding just one: Cathy Fink's Banjo Haiku. There are many others, but I am stark raving mad about this record.

Let's build a "required listening" list on this thread... What would you add to the list?

Steve
Flint, MI
-----------------------------------
Current Old-Time Ohrwurm: "New Money,"Doc Roberts

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  14:17:08


with thanks to Tobias for the link
what is the name of the tune played in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utgc...ated&search=

and where can I buy a good recording of it?...a tab?...standard notation

I think this is going to become my next obsession

Banjonically yours

Joe

Faelan - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:07:30


I hurt my claw finger! I am also a firearms enthusiast, so I've also hurt my trigger finger, it's very dear to me, thankfully it's nothing major- just throbbing right now and can't play!

What to do in the mean time?

chip arnold - Posted - 12/26/2006:  23:06:10


Do you go to festivals?

Which ones?

Do you go to teaching camps?

Which ones?

Play with a plan
Chip

tdignon - Posted - 02/11/2007:  16:36:54


I'm anxious to find an instructor to help me patch over some of the rougher habits I've acquired through book-banjo-learnin'. Have been having a lot of trouble finding people through a search engine, thought you guys might know best. I'm open even to New York City though I'm hoping to find a teacher as local as possible (preferably New Paltz, Woodstock, Poughkeepsie, Kingston area.)

Thanks so much,
Terry

N8116B - Posted - 05/18/2006:  13:39:11


Do any of you stuff a rag or anything in the pot behind the head to mute the sound? I have a heard a few players who sometime have things in the pot and was wondering how common this is.

---------------------------
Scott
---------------------------
Instruments:
1. Bart Reiter Galax
2. Deering Goodtime Special (looking for a new home)

jojo25 - Posted - 02/14/2007:  17:33:52


Chip wrote (in the thread about festivals and specifically about Clifftop)

"There are dozens and dozens of jams going at all hours of the day and night. Some very open and some very closed."

How do you tell which are open, or find the ones that are open...and good? I go to Clifftop alone, all the way from Wisconsin, and I've had the most fun at Clifftop when I've stumbled upon one of those open jams...but I've also been stymied by finding that figurative "closed" sign flashing in neon

any suggestions?

Banjonically yours

Joe

Piotyr - Posted - 02/13/2007:  18:26:35


My fingers are 3/4" wide and cover too much fret space when playing a chord. Also they are short -- so it;'s really hard to get enough arch
to allow an open string to ring freely.

I think I need a banjo with the widest possbile fingerboard to accomodate my situation. Any suggestions about what banjo(s) might have widest fret areas? Particularly at the nut end, where they start out smaller?

Thanks.

Piotyr

rinemb - Posted - 02/13/2007:  19:14:09


The gold tone Bob Carlin model (BC-350 I think) has a very wide neck, and nice banjo for the money. Its the widest I know. Go to goldtone.com to review. Street price is often 66% of list price seen on the site. I have wide fingers as well,but manage with the more typical 1-1/4" at nut neck, especially when capod up 2 frets. Brad

May not the incidence of success, nor the pretense of retirement-Lessen the want of enlightenment.

R.D. Lunceford - Posted - 02/13/2007:  19:19:26


I think Ramsey may have a little wider spacing as well.

Beyond that, a little modification in left-hand technique may be advisable, but that is beyond the scope of the current discussion.
In advance though, what I am referring to would lead to a more single-stiring approach.

R.D. Lunceford- "Missourian in Exile"
*************************
Model 1865 Bowlin Fretless Banjo

RPM - Posted - 02/13/2007:  19:19:42


Are you a new player? I think what you probably really need is an instructor. It's not unusual for beginners to think they don't fit their instrument, when it's really just a matter of technique -- usually hand position.
Where is your thumb on the neck in relation to the fingers?

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/13/2007:  19:25:41


Piotyr
I really recommend you try to get along on whatever banjo you have currently. A wider fingerboard means a wider neck which is just going to make it harder to reach the 4th string with short fingers.
Believe me you don't have to have really long thin fingers to play banjo - especially not old time banjo. You will get it over time and with practice. Guys who's hands are so stubby it looks as if they are wearing mittens routinely play circles around me.


The Whiskey Before Breakfast variations and a few tunes in "F" tuning are now available on the web at:
http://home.thegrid.net/~fjbrad/id20.html

bhmember - Posted - 02/13/2007:  23:25:21



Believe me, if some of these great big guys with fat fingers can play those tiny little mandolin frets, you an do that banjo just fine.


wannabe

"Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand." Mark Twain

Yopparai - Posted - 02/14/2007:  01:21:54


quote:
Originally posted by bhmember
Believe me, if some of these great big guys with fat fingers can play those tiny little mandolin frets, you an do that banjo just fine.
Thats what I was gonna say. If I had a nickel for every ham fisted, great sounding mandolin player....

Aside from that, what was said earlier. If you are relatively new to the instrument, have patience and seek professional counselling - Um.. I mean, an instructor. In climbing that initial learning curve on just about any instrument, its is normal at some point to feel like there is just some kind of physical incompatability. I think it stems from the fact that you are starting to understand and grasp what you are supposed to be doing in your mind (which is a very good thing) but your muscle memory and dexterity and flexibility have not caught up. Most of the time, practice, patience, and validation/direction of a teacher/mentor will get you over that hump.

stanger - Posted - 02/14/2007:  02:16:50


Hi, Piotyr...
I'll bet you are holding your banjo neck in the Ethopian Death Grip (my term).

The neck shouldn't be resting in the palm of your hand at all, and your thumb should not be pointing upwards toward the peghead. Place your thumb on the middle of the banjo neck, arch your wrist away from the neck so there is a downward curve in it. In this position, just your fingertips should be touching the strings. It will take a little time to get used to this, but don't go back to your present postition, ever. It will suddenly become a lot easier to fret the strings accurately. Use very little pressure in your left hand- just enough to push the string down to the fret.
regards,
Stanger

FretlessFury - Posted - 02/14/2007:  09:06:00


I agree with those who are saying that a new banjo is not the solution to this problem. I think it comes down to proper technique. In fact, if you have short fingers a wider neck might work against you as woodchuck pointed out.

Whenever I hear someone describe a problem such as yours I have to mention Itzhak Perlman. Perlman is one of the finest violinists in the history of the instrument, and his fingers are short and fat. Find a clip of him playing on YouTube and you will be absolutely amazed at what this man can do.

Another player comes to mind: Ricky Scaggs. He's a very fine mandolin player with wide fat fingers. He manages just find on that extraordinarily cramped fingerboard.

A teacher might really be able to help you. Even a good guitar teacher you might be able to show you proper left hand technique. Ideally, your fingers work as pistons coming straight up and down perpendicular to the strings. This might mean that you have to put the ball of your thumb on the back of the neck. Again, light touch is best as has been pointed out.

Good luck!

Tom Collins

--------------------------
www.newhottimes.com

Red hot old time music.


Edited by - FretlessFury on 02/14/2007 09:07:36

wrentree - Posted - 02/14/2007:  09:11:48


And your fingers will be actually turned sideways to the neck, so that you are not using the finger at the fat view. You are playing with the side view of your finger.

Dad always told me"If you want to have friends, you have to be friendly." Harold

Piotyr - Posted - 02/14/2007:  11:39:46


Thanks, everybody. I appreciate all your insights. And it also tells me I should find a new teacher!

(But the Goldtone recommendation sure sounded good!
Maybe some day ... <grin>)

Appreciatively,

Piotyr

stringbeaner - Posted - 02/14/2007:  13:57:51


The Rev. Jack Campbell (old friend now deceased) had a set of fingers that looked like transplanted toes. When he latched onto the banjo neck, he looked like he was makin' a fist, yet he could do some stuff which I'm still tryin' to figger out.

Stanger and Tom Collins both have offered good advice. Study on what they said before you rush off and buy another banjo

banjobutte

Lonesome Steve - Posted - 02/14/2007:  14:16:12


Since this has turned into a fat-fingered musicians tribute thread, I'd like to mention Danny Gatton. He was an incredibly talented jazz/blues/rock/country guitar player who never acheived anywhere near the recognition he deserved in his far too short life. His fingers? You guessed it. Pretty darn short and fat. And how about Django Reinhardts fingers...

My mom used to say, "Bloom where you're planted."

brokenstrings - Posted - 02/14/2007:  17:29:23


For that matter, how about Andres Segovia's? I grant you he didn't play banjo, but it's no less of a challenge to play with short, stubby fingers on guitar.

Jessy

Frailaway, ladies, frailaway!

stringbeaner - Posted - 02/15/2007:  14:42:47


Segovia's hands were HUGE! I shook hands with him after a concert once and his hand completely enveloped mine! I don't recall him having any trouble.

banjobutte

sroberts007 - Posted - 02/16/2007:  22:16:27


Well, I can say for sure in this application, size DOESN"T matter, its all in your head and what you learn by. I played guitar for 31 yrs and now banjo. Been a rock n roller and a classical guitar player and my fingers are short and fat....means nothing, other than you will adapt to play the way you want to. Even when I was 17 yrs old I looked ay Roy Clarks fingers. This guy can play anything with strings on it, even a broomstick and his fingers look like beenee weenee sausages.


Edited by - sroberts007 on 02/16/2007 22:18:57

Piotyr - Posted - 02/17/2007:  00:07:45


I want to tell you how much I value the kinship that exists among banjo players. I can tell from the enthusiasm shown in all these forums, the openess of the questions and the thoughtfulness of the answers, how dedicated you are to the instrument and all who play it.

It might help you to know that my background, as a banjo newbie, is that I'm a former symphony musician -- trained the whole 9 yards, Eastman Schl of Music, and so on. I'm older now and need to find a new outlet, musically, The emboucher and lung power needed to continue as a symphony tuba player desert you at 74. But I think I've found a new musical "home."

Thanks.

Piotyr



rinemb - Posted - 02/17/2007:  08:54:04


Piotyr, Keep the tube though, I heard some great old time done with a tuba as the bass. Ommpas with a few turn-arounds. You may have to find you a beater, since your symphony tuba is probably a Real good one. A fine tuba can buy a lot of very good banjos. I found an old salvation army tuba and used it for some dixie land jazz, when not playing bass. Sold it way too cheap. Brad

May not the incidence of success, nor the pretense of retirement-Lessen the want of enlightenment.

RCCOOK - Posted - 02/17/2007:  09:09:30


I agree with the rest of the players here. A new instrument is rarely a solutuion. It sounds as though you are not arching you hand around the neck as a fiddle player. I took Viola early in my life and one of the first things they teach you is to get your hand arched around the neck. You have to play with finger tips and not pads. A wider neck probably won't help. I had a 1927 Gibson that had a gouge in the neck from the thumb if this helps..........Rod

MountainBanjo - Posted - 02/17/2007:  09:46:14


quote:
Originally posted by sroberts007

Well, I can say for sure in this application, size DOESN"T matter, its all in your head and what you learn by. I played guitar for 31 yrs and now banjo. Been a rock n roller and a classical guitar player and my fingers are short and fat....means nothing, other than you will adapt to play the way you want to. Even when I was 17 yrs old I looked ay Roy Clarks fingers. This guy can play anything with strings on it, even a broomstick and his fingers look like beenee weenee sausages.



If you call these beanie-weenie sausages I'd hate to know what you'd call mine.


Jim Treganza - Posted - 02/12/2007:  14:17:23


I'm brand new at this and want to take a few lessons. I've been unable to find anybody who gives clawhammer lessons less than 45 miles away from Stockton, CA. I work for a local theatre and we were even unable to find a picker to play with the orchestra in a recent show! For money! Does anybody know somebody who plays old-time banjo in this neck of the woods? I really don't want to drive to Berkeley or Sacramento. Thanks.

Clawdan - Posted - 01/08/2007:  14:06:12


Hi Folks,
Bob Carlin and I are planning a workshop weekend in Austin in late March this year. Wanted to start by giving you a heads up and see who is interested. I'll be glad to keep you up to date of details as they develop.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

ukjonathan - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:42:16


hi I thought the striking of the strings with the claw hand would be the hardest bit, but no I'm wrong! I can hit the strings in various configurations but can I hell get the bum ditty bit. It just sounds like ting, ting ting. I strike my 1st bottom string then strum down following on by thumb off the drone string. But still no bum ditty. Anyone help? I guess this is the hard bit?

Frode B - Posted - 02/13/2007:  18:09:53


What would you call this fingering technique? http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ct0PbWwY5g8
It's me, and I have been fooling around with the banjo for a couple of years without any guiding. I'm a guitar/pedal steel player so I guess I am mixing it all up on the banjo.

The banjo is a Bart Reiter special ( thanks mr.Balch!)


Frode
Oslo, Norway

Rimstick - Posted - 02/11/2007:  23:52:42


Gang -
Looking for some advice here. I got the "bum tiddy" going pretty good but it still doesn't consistantly sound like music. One of the problems I've identified is that my strum is making music, whereas when I listen closely to recordings, I think the strings should sound more "dead", as if I was muting them by "chiming" at the 7th fret. More of a wash board rasp than musical notes. Hope you can follow that.

I've moved my elbow closer to the rim, which raised my hand position. This in turn put a very flat attack angle on the strings for the lower fingers and helped some.

I fully realize there are some times you need the strum to "chord" as part of the song, but I'm talking about the ability to generally produce a "beat" that gets your toes tapping and sets the beat of the song.

Any ideas?



Regards,
Rimstick


Uncle Dave Macon makes me laugh !!

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 02/01/2007:  11:52:07


How well does the brass plate to the fifth fret position work on a fretless? Anyone have experience with this?

MarkJohnson - Posted - 02/12/2007:  07:29:17


I have always felt that the tune, Cold Frosty Morning" was a moody piece of music to say the least and best played in a minor key. We recorded it in the key of "A Model" or "Mountain Minor/Sawmill Tuning".

I just figured out how to post this tune to my Hangout Homepage for anyone who is in the process of learning this piece. It is another perspective on a great old tune. MJ


Madgenius - Posted - 02/14/2007:  12:17:59


Hi

Can anybody recomend a good place to find a whole bunch of easy to play 2 and 3 chords songs suitable for clawhammer and mandolin (both beginner)

Thanks in Advance

Danny

"Music is a joy to me, sometimes living in it is the only safe place to be" Brian May

Stev187 - Posted - 02/07/2007:  08:06:22


quote:
Originally posted by ZEPP
For those who are unfamiliar with Arnie's and Chris's work, they are required listening for all my students! Absolutely great stuff!



On another thread, Zepp mentioned "required listening" for his CH banjo studnets. What recordings do folks think should be on that list?

I'll start by adding just one: Cathy Fink's Banjo Haiku. There are many others, but I am stark raving mad about this record.

Let's build a "required listening" list on this thread... What would you add to the list?

Steve
Flint, MI
-----------------------------------
Current Old-Time Ohrwurm: "New Money,"Doc Roberts

jojo25 - Posted - 02/08/2007:  14:17:08


with thanks to Tobias for the link
what is the name of the tune played in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utgc...ated&search=

and where can I buy a good recording of it?...a tab?...standard notation

I think this is going to become my next obsession

Banjonically yours

Joe

Faelan - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:07:30


I hurt my claw finger! I am also a firearms enthusiast, so I've also hurt my trigger finger, it's very dear to me, thankfully it's nothing major- just throbbing right now and can't play!

What to do in the mean time?

chip arnold - Posted - 12/26/2006:  23:06:10


Do you go to festivals?

Which ones?

Do you go to teaching camps?

Which ones?

Play with a plan
Chip

tdignon - Posted - 02/11/2007:  16:36:54


I'm anxious to find an instructor to help me patch over some of the rougher habits I've acquired through book-banjo-learnin'. Have been having a lot of trouble finding people through a search engine, thought you guys might know best. I'm open even to New York City though I'm hoping to find a teacher as local as possible (preferably New Paltz, Woodstock, Poughkeepsie, Kingston area.)

Thanks so much,
Terry

N8116B - Posted - 05/18/2006:  13:39:11


Do any of you stuff a rag or anything in the pot behind the head to mute the sound? I have a heard a few players who sometime have things in the pot and was wondering how common this is.

---------------------------
Scott
---------------------------
Instruments:
1. Bart Reiter Galax
2. Deering Goodtime Special (looking for a new home)

jojo25 - Posted - 02/14/2007:  17:33:52


Chip wrote (in the thread about festivals and specifically about Clifftop)

"There are dozens and dozens of jams going at all hours of the day and night. Some very open and some very closed."

How do you tell which are open, or find the ones that are open...and good? I go to Clifftop alone, all the way from Wisconsin, and I've had the most fun at Clifftop when I've stumbled upon one of those open jams...but I've also been stymied by finding that figurative "closed" sign flashing in neon

any suggestions?

Banjonically yours

Joe

Piotyr - Posted - 02/13/2007:  18:26:35


My fingers are 3/4" wide and cover too much fret space when playing a chord. Also they are short -- so it;'s really hard to get enough arch
to allow an open string to ring freely.

I think I need a banjo with the widest possbile fingerboard to accomodate my situation. Any suggestions about what banjo(s) might have widest fret areas? Particularly at the nut end, where they start out smaller?

Thanks.

Piotyr

chip arnold - Posted - 01/31/2007:  22:33:38


Dan suggested this thread after the "clucking" thread veered off in this direction.

Dan said: "P.S. I won't respond further to this issue (melodic players) on this thread any further, since it is really off the poster's topic, but it would make an interesting topic of its own."

So how about it? Do you consider yourself a melodic player? A rythm backup to the fiddle only? Like or dislike ornamentation?

That oughta' be enough to start.

Play with a plan
Chip

wormpicker - Posted - 01/31/2007:  22:47:38


Ok, I'll offer my totally uninformed, non-expert, historically bankrupt opinion. I love it all!

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

chip arnold - Posted - 01/31/2007:  22:50:47


Hey Paul, being "historically bankrupt" means always having a fresh start! :-)

Play with a plan
Chip

The Llama of Doom - Posted - 01/31/2007:  23:08:39


So like... Are the banjo gods going to strike me down if I like both?

~ Brandon Steed


Edited by - The Llama of Doom on 01/31/2007 23:09:02

wormpicker - Posted - 01/31/2007:  23:15:23


quote:
Originally posted by chip arnold

Hey Paul, being "historically bankrupt" means always having a fresh start! :-)



You got it. Every time I sit down with my banjo, it's like I've never played it before.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/01/2007:  00:33:50


If the only choices are "Melodic" and "Rhythmic backup to the fiddle" then I would imagine that about 98% of us would call ourselves melodic.
Listen to some Tommy Jarrell (fiddle) and Fred Cockerham (banjo) - or Fred with Kyle Creed or Wade Ward and Glen Smith or J.P Nestor and Norman Edmonds and you will realise there is no backup. The instruments are playing together as equals.


The Whiskey Before Breakfast variations and a few tunes in "F" tuning are now available on the web at:
http://home.thegrid.net/~fjbrad/id20.html

Isaac Enloe - Posted - 02/01/2007:  01:46:42


Equals, yes, but I still believe that the fiddle leads the tune. What I love about being a banjo player is that it's the fiddler's job to "know" the tune. I get to craft an arrangement and create texture on the spot, in constant communication with the fiddler--matching the melody or weaving slightly around it, experimenting with rythm and attack. It becomes all about choices: whether to "cluck" or not and when, for example, or when to play clawhammer, two-finger, or three finger, when and where to lay on the fifth string or leave it for the off beat, when to throw in a brush and when to go for a single string attack, or when to match the melody and when to hang back. It all depends on the tune, the fiddler, the mood.... This is why I'm not a fiddler. Yet. :)


Edited by - Isaac Enloe on 02/01/2007 01:55:18

banjopogo - Posted - 02/01/2007:  02:37:15


I feel it's the banjo players job to play the <core> melody.
In tunes that have verses like Soldier's Joy, that core melody is very similar
the the sung melody.
Then the banjo should embellish that core melody in
a rhythmic, banjoistic way- not trying to imitate what the fiddle is playing,
but supporting it, and never clashing with it.

Usually nowdays, though, melodic banjo refers to a banjo player that's so busy doubling what the fiddle
is doing, that he/she has no time for rhythmic ornamentation.
I'm definitely not that kind of melodic player.

Isaac,
you sound like the kind of banjo player I'd like to jam with!


Michael

mp3 page: http://ezfolk.com/audio/bands/1088/
hifi radio: http://ezfolk.com/audio/play.php?mode=radio&id=481
lofi radio: http://ezfolk.com/audio/play.php?mode=radio&id=522

"We have met the Enemy, and he is us!"- Walt Kelly's "Pogo"

BRASMAN - Posted - 02/01/2007:  03:44:11


I like a good melody. If I had to choose one it would be a melody with a little ornamentation.

Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

rinemb - Posted - 02/01/2007:  06:38:10


I guess being from Kansas and having very little exposure to the Old Time "Mecca" maybe I am not constrained to conventional rules. (Now if I had my choice I would live in Appalachia and fit in however possible) I came out of the bluegrass world of the Walnut Valley Festival. In learning clawhammer banjo I have really enjoyed for the first time playing melodically (instead of rythm guitar in bluegrass). In primarily playing with a fiddler, we tend to mix playing both in unison (though I can't play all the notes the fiddler does) and take turns backing each others leads (an old bluegrass habit). The variety stretches out the tune and our unsophisticated listeners seem to enjoy it. In playing backup I mix chording and minimal note melody. Brad

May not the incidence of success, nor the pretense of retirement-Lessen the want of enlightenment.

Don Borchelt - Posted - 02/01/2007:  07:26:59


oldwoodchuckb wrote: " Listen to some Tommy Jarrell (fiddle) and Fred Cockerham (banjo) - or Fred with Kyle Creed or Wade Ward and Glen Smith or J.P Nestor and Norman Edmonds and you will realise there is no backup. The instruments are playing together as equals."

banjopogo wrote: "I feel it's the banjo players job to play the <core> melody. In tunes that have verses like Soldier's Joy, that core melody is very similar (to) the sung melody. Then the banjo should embellish that core melody in a rhythmic, banjoistic way- not trying to imitate what the fiddle is playing, but supporting it, and never clashing with it."

Okay, I know this is really, really lame, but when I made these two points about six months ago, when I still had only one "star," I got absolutely reamed by the old-timey banjo gods, to use Brandon's phrase. Anyway, I think the idea of a core melody, while transparently obvious for "play party" type tunes like Soldier's Joy, Old Joe Clark, or Sally Goodin, is also true for what appear to be more complex tunes that do not have a vocal tradition associated with them. That's why two fiddlers can have very different versions of the same tune, and we still recognize the tune they are playing as the same. I learned Whiskey Before Breakfast years ago from a Voyager recording of Dick Barrett, which is where a lot of people first picked it up. The versions I hear from eastern fiddlers today have diverged substantially in phrasing detail from Barrett's original. Still, we easily recognize the intuitive core melody that provides the basic melodic structure of the tune, no matter who is playing it. In that sense, I would argue that most of the fiddle notes are also essentially embellishments; it is just that based on the mechanical structure of the fiddle and fiddling technique, those embellishments tend to be linear, and thus easily mistaken for essential melody. In fact, for such tunes, we would all probably apply a somewhat different interpretation of where the core melody ended and the ornament began. But it is still there.

I would agree that the fiddle player usually provides the lead in an ensemble, in an organizational sense, based upon traditional habits, and that tradition works well in practice. Musically, however, I would argue that the banjo and fiddle are still essentially equals, and the banjo rendition is as valid an enunciation of the tune as the fiddle one, assuming both are being ably played. Years ago, I was a slavish melodic player, trying to get every fiddle note on the banjo. Somewhere along the way I realized I was playing a banjo. Now I use melodic phrasing very sparingly, for most of my arrangements.

- Don Borchelt



"When I asked my cousin, Horney Rodgers, several years ago how he rated himself as a fiddler, he paused for a moment and replied, "I'm the only man that I ever heard that played the fiddle jest exactly the way I wanted to hear it played.""

- John Rice Irwin


Edited by - Don Borchelt on 02/01/2007 07:30:43

Arcadian - Posted - 02/01/2007:  07:38:28


You're right Chip, an interesting thread. My experience appears to be a good bit like Brad's. I grew up in Kansas where banjos and OT music were about as common as paperback copies of Baghavad Ghitta. Eventually I moved to Missouri, where OT music was about 10% easier to find than in Kansas. One result--perhaps both benefit and disadvantage--for me is that I was never exposed to the core of OT banjo tunes and instead learned tunes from fiddle or guitar recordings I enjoyed most. As a result, perhaps a fourth of my tune sheet I learned from Norman Blake's flat picking, many others from some non-OT source. Because neither my fiddle playing friend nor I learned the OT tradition of "fiddle takes the lead," I often play melody and the fiddle plays mostly a harmonic line.

To reply more directly to Chip's questions, I'd say I have little interest in playing rhythm or back up--only what is necessary to get along comfortably in OT jams (if I can ever find any). The ornamentaton question is a bit more complicated. To some extent, it's a function of experience--I would play more if I could do 'er.
On the other hand, I feel about musical ornamentation like I do about MOP inlay: no matter how well it's done, too much of it can detract from a tune instead of enhance it.

"If I get Up There and all they have is harps, I'm gonna have to re-negotiate the whole thing" --Arcadian

mrussell - Posted - 02/01/2007:  07:54:55


I've tried it both ways, strictly rhythm and strictly melodic, depending on the song and situation, and have ended up somewhere in the middle. Like most ad-hoc groups, the guys I play with take turns leading the song, so I have to pound out a melody for a line or two, then sink back into the background.

So I don't think it's a one way or another discussion. I think a competent player should be able to play whatever fits the situation. If I'm playing by myself, it's more melodic with enough ornamentation to keep a rhythm. In a group, especially with a guitarist, I'm mostly playing chords and occasionally, playing a bass or harmonic line with lots of fill-ins.

The banjo, especially played in an OT style, is very capable of caring the melody, without giving up what makes a banjo sound like a banjo, and not a fiddle.

Just a thought,

Mike

dbrooks - Posted - 02/01/2007:  09:06:44


I've been playing in a contra dance band setting for the past couple of years and am still learning my way around. Most of the tunes where I feel like I am making a contrbution are tunes where I am playing the melody along with the fiddles. The fiddles definitely lead the way in our group. I modify my version of the tune to fit how the fiddlers play it.

The fiddles provide the glide, and the banjo provides the texture, the gravel, the punch that offers accent to the fiddles' melody lines. The banjo, as an instrument, seems ideally suited to playing the melody in a rhythmic way, so I don't think of making a conscious choice between melody and rhythm. On occasion, I will vamp through an A or B part for variation or to give me right hand a rest. I think my melodic playing adds to the rhythmic drive of the group.

As a (perhaps) interesting sidelight, one of the guitar players in our group plays a kind of clawhammer style guitar. There are times when I wish he would play a more basic rhythmic style with bass runs that drive the music rather than playing a melody line along with everyone else. We often don't have a bass in the group, so the guitar bass notes would be really welcome.

This thread invites me to think more about what I'm doing and why. Thanks for that.

David

Tikron - Posted - 02/01/2007:  09:21:57


Wouldn't it be ideal to be able to have as many 'tools' as possible at your disposal? This would enable one to be a strong support to other players when they are up front yet at times to raise the banjo's voice to a level where it sings out to the delight of listeners.

In bluegrass jams (and in many other styles of music), each steps up to take a lead and then steps back while others take a turn. What I hear of OT music, it seems the more traditional approach is for everyone to play together - adding slight variations within the structure of the tune each time around. Now - from the historic OT players, I would like to know: Is the idea of each player 'taking a break' something that you see as a poor fit with OT music? If so, does this affect your preference for rhythmic or ornamented styles of playing in an OT context and why?

Ron

hognamay - Posted - 02/01/2007:  10:12:25


In my opinion, this is a break down of OT muisc where the fiddle has total lead. Music needs to offer something for each musician and not just to flow a "prima donna". The fiddle and banjo are equal in melody and rhythm. Music without ornamentation is rather dead and I think most players put it as part of the melody/rhythm. I remember one person describing OT music as everyone plays lead. I have not seen many get togethers, where each OT musicians takes a lead as in other styles of music. I see 'jams" as being different than "sessions". Anything goes in a "jam" but in a "session" a traditional playing style is followed; which brings us back to Chip's original question. I don't think I have answered it, but hopefully given some thoughts.

deso - Posted - 02/01/2007:  10:45:32


OK, I'll take the bait! We're all commenting on what we THINK we're doing (melodic,rhythm, or whatever) but no matter how you think you approach a tune, what does the listener hear or feel? I'd put my money on them hearing melody from the fiddle and rhythm from the banjo whether you are playing pure melodic style or not. It's just what happens sonically when the two instruments are put together. I don't think one style is more valid than the other, it's like anything in music, you need to do what makes the "whole" sound better... my 2 cents!

Deke

deso - Posted - 02/01/2007:  10:48:42


"The fiddles provide the glide, and the banjo provides the texture, the gravel, the punch that offers accent to the fiddles' melody lines. The banjo, as an instrument, seems ideally suited to playing the melody in a rhythmic way, so I don't think of making a conscious choice between melody and rhythm."

I think dbrooks hit this nail perfectly!

Deke

jasperr - Posted - 02/01/2007:  11:51:29


Playing the banjo a a life journey, with lots of twists and turns. I started in the '60's playing folk music, got into melodic after Melodic Clawhammer Banjo came out in the late '70.'s, took some lessons with Ken in Greenwich Village in the early '80s. Then in the 90's, started listening to Tommy, Kyle, etc. and my playing got more rhythmic. So to answer Chip's question, I like to play with a strong rhythm, but I also like to hit lots of notes. I guess that puts me kinda in the middle.

Jim

trapdoor2 - Posted - 02/01/2007:  12:01:52


In the rare instance I get to play with others, I would say I prefer to be a rhythmic player, providing backup, supporting the drive and popping the melody occasionally. At home, alone, I tend to play more melodically.

If a banjo player plays alone in the woods, with no one to hear him, is he playing melodically?

"If banjos needed tone rings, S.S. Stewart would have built 'em that way."

===Marc

chip arnold - Posted - 02/01/2007:  12:19:25


Good discussion. I'm enjoying this!

OWCB said...."If the only choices are "Melodic" and "Rhythmic backup to the fiddle" then I would imagine that about 98% of us would call ourselves melodic." Yes, you're absolutely right. I didn't frame the questions well at all.....sorry.
I think that individual take on this stuff underlies an awful lot of the discussions (and cussins) on BHO.
Do you feel that you fall mostly in one "style groove" or equally in more than one. Does your playing approach change depending on circumstance? Dare I ask.......Do you think certain ways are more appropriate or authentic? Prettier? More driving? Better suited for solo playing, accompaniment to singing, etc.?

Okay, the worm can is open, let's fish!



Play with a plan
Chip

Bluesage - Posted - 02/01/2007:  12:25:54


I'm reposting my take from the original thread that this one is a spin off from:

As to the debate over the melodic style, don't be critical of any player's approach. I've heard melodic players in a string band context who sound great. I've also heard more traditional players (round peak, etc) who sound great playing solo or accompanying their voice. In the end, a greater variety of approaches will further the art of clawhammer banjo.

Clawhammer banjo is not exclusively a "string band" instrument. Traditionally it was used in many different settings and contexts and should continue in the the spirit of that tradition.

Use it for accompanying your voice or a group "sing-in". Use it as a lead instruments in bluegrass, county or rock bands. Use it as a featured solo instrument that is more than capable of holding it's own against the guitar, fiddle or mandolin. And, of course, use it as in a string band context.

Don't limit the instrument by insisting that there is a right or wrong way to approach clawhammer technique; their isn't... In fact, I'd stress the importance of getting comfortable with multiple styles.

Encourage all players, no matter what style they play, to continue to follow their particular muse when exploring the banjo. Melodic is an very versatile style but I would feel it a great loss if that all I played.

As I've said before, it's all good!

Mike Iverson
-free downloads of my clawhammer banjo arrangements (pdf files) at www.bluesageband.com

KE - Posted - 02/01/2007:  12:55:31


Can I hear an Amen?!

wormpicker - Posted - 02/01/2007:  13:07:24


Amen, Brother!

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

Clawdan - Posted - 02/01/2007:  15:03:06


quote:
Originally posted by Tikron

Wouldn't it be ideal to be able to have as many 'tools' as possible at your disposal? ...

...- adding slight variations within the structure of the tune each time around. Now - from the historic OT players, I would like to know: Is the idea of each player 'taking a break' something that you see as a poor fit with OT music? If so, does this affect your preference for rhythmic or ornamented styles of playing in an OT context and why?

Ron




I am glad to see this is turning into a true discussion and see so many thoughtful responses. First, let me say, that Ron, that is exactly the point for me and what I teach my students. Have the tools in your hands so you can play the music in the varying situations you will find yourself. Also, Ron, "traditionally" (and that of course is a loaded term itself) these days (aha!) in the festival and clifftop style jams, folks tend to all play together and do not take "breaks" as in bluegrass.

As to the issue itself, I don't think any of us should be judging whether one is better than the other, but we must recognize that they are different. If I were to say the choice is x or x, it would have a thrid x. It is not melodic vs rhythmic, it is Melodic, rhythmic or ornimental. And it is not REALLY a choice of one vs another, but how much of one and etc.

That said, two other factors come into play. First, (I've mentioned this before) is the "social" issue. Sorry, "Round Peak" is NOT a traditional style, but it is the style of Tommy Jarrell, Kyle Creed and several others of the "round peak" area of the country who where by their own words, NOT traditional players, but innovators much like Earl said he was. WE built the traditional aspect in when we decided that is "the way" you "should" play (not me, but the community at large) when in fact when Tommy was asked if everyone around there (RP) played that style, he said, "Nope, I'm the only one".

SO, the social issue has its community who defines its background according to what it wants to create then attempts to impose it (actively or subconciously) upon those who wish to join that community. Yes, many of us wish to be included so we strive to conform, so we want to know and be able to play "right". There is no right. Your playing ultimately becomes a product of the musical community you become a part of.

Second, there is the issue of Musical style, not technical style. We're talking Irish, Scottish, Old Time Appalachian Stringband, Texas Swing, Contest and etc. Clawhammer is most suited to and drawn from the Southern Appalachian playing of folks already mentioned. Fingerstyles tend to be seen as more suited "bluegrass" event though there is quite a strong and identifiable old time finger picking style(s), Irish usually has tenor banjo, Dixieland - plectrum. BUT BUT BUT, there are many folks who cross those lines and blend styles of playing an music. They are innovators who while great at what they do are in some ways seen as "social outcasts" of all styles blended. NO PROBLEM but you do have to be aware.

Enough for now, suffice it to say I don't think there is any "wrong" way to play (unless it hurts) but there are ways you will fit into the gang, and ways you won't. If'n you want to fit in, you work within the structure, gain standing, push the edges as far as you want or until you are in another structure.

Play what you like, like what you play. Play with like minded folks and you'll all have a great time, but then that's the point isn't it.

Oh, sorry, to answer Chip's question, I feel I am a rhythmic player that does not wish to abandon the tune. Every fiddler or other musician I play with is a new opportunity to develop my style according to what I hear and visa versa. We LISTEN to each other and adjust accordingly. Hey, if ya got the tools, it's easy!

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm


Edited by - Clawdan on 02/01/2007 15:05:18

vrteach - Posted - 02/01/2007:  15:38:44


I don't consider myself to be a "melodic" player. But does this make sense? I always am playing a melody, if I know the tune (or practially always). To me the term "melodic clawhammer" is loaded, and pertains to the effort to play well-known tunes in their completeness--all the notes and ornaments. The melodies I play are always pretty much skeletonized with good bit of non-melodic drop-thumb added for the rhythm. Hence, I don't consider myself to be a melodic player. I suppose that my view comes from that John Burke book, which I never really learned from.

I guess that it is a continuum from playing chord accompanment to ... something else. I like it all.


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/01/2007 15:40:13

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/01/2007:  16:00:55


Whatever I know about old-time banjo I learned from listening and re-listening to a tape I made of Walt Koken with the Busted Toe Mudthumpers back in 1969. Walt's playing (somewhat different than his present sound and with the reckless verve of a young player) was driving, rhythmic and melodic all at once. That's been my goal (seldom achieved) ever since. Walt had listend to and played with the Round Peakers and other southeastern musicians, but he also was influenced by his fiddler, George Dorian, who spend his summers with family on Cape Breton and brought a number of tunes, as well as stylistic influences, from there. Koken's playing was, and is, sui generis, based on traditional models, but slave to none of them. I've always preferred it to just about any--but that's a matter of taste.

Bill

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/01/2007:  18:01:06


What I think is being forgotten here is that "Melodic" is a very specific style. The stated purpose is to play the fiddle melody with decorations and all. Melodic was not really invented by Ken Perlman, he just was the organizer, spokesman and writer who took it national.

There were other melodic players involved (Howie Bursen comes to mind as well as Hank Sapoznik and Bob Carlin --- although by the late 70s both were denying that they ever played the style even when confronted with copies of the Kicking Mule LP "Melodic Clawhammer Banjo".

Much of the invention of Melodic clawhammer took place in and around Cornell University - the same area that produced the Correctones and Bubba George Band -- two of the big influences on modern "festival style".

After Melodic everyone seems to assume what's left is "Round Peak" which is a very specific style I don't actually hear a whole lot of these days. Many of the newer cds in my collection are in straight festival style and many of the groups seem to have first gotten together at festivals. As I stated above this style is Not Round Peak and would not be recognized as such by Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, etc. All you need do is compare the first "Camp Creek Boys" record (County) against the festival style and you would see that even when done in a full band situation Round Peak is not Festival.

So where do you put the rest of us? There are thousands of us out here. We don't play Melodic, we don't play Round Peak, and we don't play Festival. We also don't play like each other. Every one of us is made up of all our influences - not just old time but everything we play.

So I play old time clawhammer banjo, influenced by Festival, Melodic, Round Peak, Galax (for those who count RP and Galax as separate styles - I find them close enough for folk music) , East Kentucky, West Kentucky, Kentucky This and Kentucky That (based on the many many lps Folkways and others made from Kentucky recordings), Scott Ainslie, Al Tharp, Ritchie Stearns, Phil Jamison, Rick Good, and many other banjo players I've met, watched and copied, an awful lot of fiddle players since I (like many others) find it easier to hear the melody on fiddle than banjo, Time spent with my bluegrass banjo playing friend and his collection of Ralph Stanley and Don Reno lps. Time spent playing New England Contradances, Time spent playing straight country, country rock, rock, classical, flamenco, and folk, on guitar banjo, mandolin and bass - even some Irish pennywhistle some Irish bouzouki. Oh and of course the Elizabethan and Baroque lute material.

I've met players (mostly at festivals) who brag that old time is the only music they've ever played and I suppose that is true - but I wonder if it is the only music they ever listened to. I've never been a jazz player but I have lps like Sketches of Spain, Kind Of Blue, and Jazz At Oberlin that have been in my collection since I was a teenager. Others like Monk and Coltran only go back to the 60s. In the 60s I spent six months teaching a room mate how to play blues harmonica - I don't play the instrument but went through the book with him to get him going, then played blues backup for him until he was pretty good at it. In the blues field I've also played a lot of jug band material and jug band-ized straight blues. My own "old time" group in the early 80s was as much jug band old time. We still jam with friends who are as into jug as they are old time - but they are also are into old European tunes, many of gypsy or sephardic origin. After 25 years they are still expanding our musical gestalt.

No one plays in a vacuum. We are the sum total of our influences, plus our own creativity. I have heard people who do thier best to reproduce styles exactly as they existed on old recordings - they can't actually do it, although NLCR does come close at times.

Think about your own influences. Do you think that your only influence in your current style is other players in that style? I don't think so. We can't give up prior knowledge. It is like listening to the William Tell Overture and NOT thinking of The Lone Ranger. We are imprinted with our past.

The Whiskey Before Breakfast variations and a few tunes in "F" tuning are now available on the web at:
http://home.thegrid.net/~fjbrad/id20.html

Clawdan - Posted - 02/01/2007:  18:18:55


You are missusing your terms. Sorry the words are not being used as they are defined. Look em up then let's talk. Time to make the terms mean what they mean. Ken's "Melodic" is WAY beyond what melodic means. If we are going to have a discussion, we have to accept the definitions of the terms as they were intended, not corrupted. In many ways it is the same problem we had with defining double thumb and drop thumb.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/02/2007:  00:31:14


I agree with Dan about Perlman's melodic style. As Tony noted, the Ithaca area spawned a number of "melodic" players. I suggest that they all took their initial cues from Walt Koken, who was in Ithaca and playing his version of melodic clawhammer before Bursen and Perlman arrived in town. Both of them saw and heard him. The most telling comment about Koken's fiddle-tune playing came from Hank Bradley, when asked at a workshop whether it was possible to clawhammer all the notes to a fiddle tune. Hank allowed as it was: "John Burke can, and he does; Walt Koken can--and he's got the sense not to."

Bill

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/02/2007:  02:24:57


Dan,
Ken was the first to make use of the term, and has in fact written several books with "Melodic" and "Clawhammer" in the titles. He was writing these books in the 1970s, before more than a few dozen banjo players in the world were even thinking about Round Peak players as operating in a style.

There are few clearly defined styles in old time banjo and Melodic happens to be one of them. It seems to me that re-defining away from the main practicioner and instructor (to say nothing of the namer) of the styleis of no value to anyone and simply makes it all more confusing for everyone

Since almost all old time banjo is based on the melody that means that Adam Hurt, and Fred Cockerham are both "melodic" players as are Ritchie Stearns, Andy Cahan, You, Me and everyone on this forum who has been playing long enough to work his way through Skip To My Lou. In fact it means that just about everyone who isn't doing a Charlie Poole chord and bass run type accompaniment is therefore melodic.

Or it means that everyone can have thier own version of melodic - including people who might decide that since Charlie Poole played within the harmony of the song and the harmony is based on the melody that Charlie Poole was a melodic player.

Which seems to bring us right back to the first post and the comparison between Melodic and rhythmic backup in which just about everyone is going to end up being melodic.

There already is a word for an amorphous style that includes many differing and sometimes antithetical techniques -- Old Time.






The Whiskey Before Breakfast variations and a few tunes in "F" tuning are now available on the web at:
http://home.thegrid.net/~fjbrad/id20.html

Clawdan - Posted - 02/02/2007:  09:44:53


Like you said, in concept we agree. BTW, Ken's book title was titled that because of the recording by the same name. Melodic Clawhammer Banjo was titled such to keep it in line with the Melodic bluegrass trend at the time.

I think it's been all said.

Play nice,
Dan "Ain't no bum-diddy" Levenson
Old Time Music and Dance
www.ClawhammerBanjo.us
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch, A guide for the claw-less - a MelBay Publication
and Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 20313) - 117 tunes tabbed for clawhammer banjo with standard notation and suggested chords.
Tune list at http://www.folknet.org/dan/FestTunesBJBook.htm

ZEPP - Posted - 02/02/2007:  10:21:13


quote:
Originally posted by chip arnold

Do you consider yourself a melodic player? A rythm backup to the fiddle only? Like or dislike ornamentation?


A bit late to enter the fray, I know, but I've been swamped...

Every now and then I sorta consider myself to be a kinda semi-quasi melodic player sometimes, maybe. My style changes to fit the circumstances. When I play by and for myself, I tend to be a fairly melodic player, but I become less and less so as the number of others I'm playing with increases.

Over the years, it has been a true joy to play with fiddlers with whom I have meshed musically. I can get pretty bored playing with fiddlers who want nothing from a banjo but rhythmic backup, or whose styles just don't fit with mine.

Do I like ornamentation? You bet. Unabashedly. I love to take a tune and add counterpoint, trills, frills, triplets, bass lines, and chord substitutions. Anything I can do to make it interesting or challenging or weird. Do I insist on playing this way with others? Of course not. Why waste the effort on something that either cannot be heard or not be appreciated if it were--it's sorta like teaching a pig to sing. (For those not familiar with the reference, the quotation is ascribed variously to Mark Twain or Robert Heinlein: “Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”)

I've said it myriad times before: I love the banjo. I love clawhammer. It doesn't have to be "Old-Time," or Celtic or Pop or Folk or anything--I just love to play it and hear it.

Above all, remember this: It's just a banjo.

Cheers,
ZEPP
Edited to add a comma!



* zepp@zeppmusic.com website: http://zeppmusic.com/ Skype us at zeppmusic *


Edited by - ZEPP on 02/02/2007 11:18:34

jasperr - Posted - 02/02/2007:  13:11:42


I found this in a BNL interview with Bob Carlin from more than 25 years ago. Bob’s playing has evolved, but I thought this was interesting.

BNL What is the difference between frailling, clawhammer and melodic clawhammer?
BOB You could call the style of old-time banjo playing that is prevalent in the South today, especially in string bands, frailing. It’s very rhythmic, there’s very little melody played, and it’s very chordal. Fred Cockerham’s style is an example of what I’d call “clawhammmer.” It’s both melodic and rhythmic at the same time and is a little more complex than fraling, using the thumb on the inside strings as a rhythmic device. And then, melodic clawhammer is playing the melodies note-for-note, even using the fifth string for melody. My style is somewhere in between the clawhammer style and the melodic style. I use more notes that Fred Cockerham but I use more rhythm than many melodic players.

Jim

Avery - Posted - 02/02/2007:  16:39:34


Jim,

In practical terms, I think the Bob Carlin quote makes the most sense of anything I've read on this thread.

As for myself, I'm a Melodic player. I initially learned bluegrass, then put the banjo down for a decade. Then in 1985 I was the soundman for the Watch City Coffee House in Waltham, MA, when Ken Perlman played. My jaw dropped, I said to myself, "I want to play like that when I grow up," and that's pretty much where I've been ever since -- though I must admit, I really like the banjo playing of Leonard Podolak these days.

Avery

www.docaltmed.com

maryzcox - Posted - 02/04/2007:  14:46:45


Hello Chip and Don and all the folks who just love banjo and who really never buy into that fiddle dominance scenario.
Wait till you see the design on my new T-shirt! My t-shirt folks have promised them in time for Campbell and I'll have them in a cardboard box at the Suwannee Banjo Camp too in March.
They told me that everyone at the t-shirt place from the owner to the art department were snickering with glee and delighted to produce such a masterpiece of a t-shirt. Yes, banjoist--frailers, clawhammerers, melodic pickers, tubby banjo pickers--you do have secret friends and supporters that love you even if there is not a fiddle to serve within five hundred miles!

They are going to be expensive--but don't you just love the design?
Best wishes,
Mary Z. Cox

www.maryzcox.com

If you suspect you need a new banjo--you do. Trust your musical instincts. If a banjo calls to you to buy it, don't fight destiny. It was meant to be. :)

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/04/2007:  20:02:08


That is a great design. What color will the shirts be? What sizes? What price? Can I pre-order?

Judy

Mountain Banjer Girl - Posted - 02/04/2007:  20:40:28


Banjo playing, especially in an old-time band context, should play the melody. As I have been taught, the fiddle plays the complex melody, the banjo should follow the fiddle, playing a skeleton melody, and the guitar and the bass play rhythm. To me, melodic banjo playing is not traditional in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Pour it on.

FretlessFury - Posted - 02/04/2007:  21:19:01


quote:
Originally posted by Mountain Banjer Girl

Banjo playing, especially in an old-time band context, should play the melody. As I have been taught, the fiddle plays the complex melody, the banjo should follow the fiddle, playing a skeleton melody, and the guitar and the bass play rhythm. To me, melodic banjo playing is not traditional in the southern Appalachian Mountains.




Neither is upright bass.

Bass is extremely rare in any of the old stringband recordings, and even if you do hear it it is bowed. The modern pizzicatto bass that has taken over old time recordings is a modern crossover instrument from bluegrass. It is not in any way traditional yet it is currently ubiquitous. You can't even compete in the stringband competition at Clifftop without one.

A second case in point: piano was sometimes used in stringband recordings in the 20's and 30's. If someone showed up to a "traditional" old time jam today with a piano they would be shot on the spot, yet the precedent for piano is clearly set on many old recordings. I'm thinking in particular of the Echoes of the Ozarks collections on County.

A third case in point: most of the recordings of string bands from the 20's and 30's do not feature clawhammer banjo. That's not saying that clawhammer wasn't around at the time, or wasn't recorded at all. It just wasn't the predominant banjo style of recorded stringbands in the 20's and 30's. The influx of clawhammer players into old time really happened with the 60's revival picking up the playing of Tommy Jarrell and co. It was, of course, the most common form of banjo picking in the Round Peak area well before the 60s, but it really took the folk movement to bring this style of playing into wide popularity. Now clawhammer is the predominant mode of banjo playing in old time music. It hasn't always been the case.

In this sense you could argue that melodic clawhammer might have just as much claim on "tradition" as Round Peak. Melodic clawhammer, as noted above, came into being in the 60's along side the melodic three fingers styles of the time. This happened a little after Round Peak style downpicking became the favorite of old time players.

Certainly most of the modern stringbands recording these days do not have a "traditional" sound. The banjo cluck taken from the mandolin chop, the heavy use of pizzicatto bass, the flatpicked guitar are all modern elements taken directly from bluegrass.

My point here is not to say that these modern bands aren't good, just that what many modern players think of as "traditional" is actually not all that old at all in the scheme of things. I think this fact leaves plenty of room for melodic clawhammer, and that we'd do well to keep our minds and ears open to styles and instrumentations that at first don't jibe with our notion of "tradition".




Tom Collins

--------------------------
www.newhottimes.com

Red hot old time music.


Edited by - FretlessFury on 02/04/2007 21:54:02

RoundPeakBanjo - Posted - 02/04/2007:  22:27:07


As Banjer gal MENTIONED melodic clawhammer "IS NOT" traditional to southern appalachians. But most of us know that on the old recordings that there was a lot of 2 finger picking featured. Da Costa Woltz played a mighty fine ROUND PEAK clawhammer on John Browns Dream while Frank Jenkins finger picked on the Southern Broadcasters album back in the 20's.
All is relative to the definition of traditional

chip arnold - Posted - 02/04/2007:  22:41:36


RoundPeakBanjo said:
"But most of us know that on the old recordings that there was a lot of 2 finger picking featured."

I said:
"Yippee for 2-finger banjo!" .................Oh, sorry, couldn't help it.

Play with a plan
Chip

FretlessFury - Posted - 02/04/2007:  23:33:53


quote:
Originally posted by RoundPeakBanjo

As Banjer gal MENTIONED melodic clawhammer "IS NOT" traditional to southern appalachians.




Right. Neither is pizzicato upright bass, but it's everywhere in southern stringband music (and stringband music in general).

As far Da Costa Woltz and early Round Peak playing: I didn't mean to imply that clawhammer doesn't exist in the early recordings, but that it was relatively rare at least in the recorded stringband music from that time. The Southern Broadcasters' recordings are some of the very best examples of clawhammer from the 20's, but if you really sift through the material it's mostly two finger picking that was being recorded.

So what happened in the history of old time music that pushed clawhammer into the majority? The 60' revivalists' fascination with Tommy Jarrell and friends helped push downpicking into a wider audience. Clawhammer supplanted other banjo styles as the old time style of choice during this revival.

I think that we're essentially in agreement, RoundPeakBanjo. The idea of "tradition" is a slippery term, and old time music is an extraordinarily hetergeneous music. Melodic clawhammer has been around for as long as clawhammer has been the first choice for most old time musicians, so why are we confining ourselves to this idea of "tradition" that falls apart under the light of scrutiny anyway?

Like you said: the notion of tradition is relative.

My point is that even though melodic clawhammer might not be "traditional", the very notion of "tradition" in old time music is relative. Today's newfangled approach to the music could very well become tomorrow's upright pizzicato bass: a new sound that becomes the current old time standard. Again, i'm not saying there are no rules, because there obviously are. It's just that to a large degree we should be judging the music on what sounds good, not on what is or isn't "traditional".

[edit:]

I'd just like to quickly add that I'm not a melodic player myself. I count myself firmly in the Round Peak camp for most of the tunes I play in A and D. I still love listening to, and sometimes attempt to play, melodic style clawhammer. I also think that it can sound wonderful in a stringband context and shouldn't be relegated to solo performances only.

More melodic, more Round Peak, more inovation. Played well, it's all great!









Tom Collins

--------------------------
www.newhottimes.com

Red hot old time music.


Edited by - FretlessFury on 02/04/2007 23:46:35

Don Borchelt - Posted - 02/04/2007:  23:59:30


Fretless Fury wrote: "My point here is not to say that these modern bands aren't good, just that what many modern players think of as "traditional" is actually not all that old at all in the scheme of things. I think this fact leaves plenty of room for melodic clawhammer, and that we'd do well to keep our minds and ears open to styles and instrumentations that at first don't jibe with our notion of "tradition"."

Well put. There is a lot of myth making in both old-time and bluegrass music, usually put forward by purists who seek a conformity that was never prized by the original adherents who were the "formgivers."

- Don Borchelt



"When I asked my cousin, Horney Rodgers, several years ago how he rated himself as a fiddler, he paused for a moment and replied, "I'm the only man that I ever heard that played the fiddle jest exactly the way I wanted to hear it played.""

- John Rice Irwin

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/05/2007:  00:07:36


A thought: Tradition is not frozen in time, but dynamic. The old-time players of the 20s and 30s did not play the same material in the same way as would have the players of the 1890s, e.g. "Revival" players, would, it seems to me, seek to precisely emulate the playing of a previous era--but "traditional" players would build on and expand that playing--but incrementally, without the wholesale rapid change that would take it into completely uncharted waters.

Bill

banjozane - Posted - 02/08/2007:  00:00:05


It's Very easy to put generic labels on playing styles. I have heard banjo pickers who only play a 3rd of the notes of the melody, and I have heard players who play ONLY the notes of the melody. At what point is one considered to be a "Melodic" picker?

As for me personally, I am of the understanding that Old Time Music's Predecessors (all of the UK folk music, etc) were melody based. (....No matter what instrument set the melody.)
Now, with that being said, I would like to make a statement.
If you are not playing enough of the melody notes for the tune to be recognizable, then you are not playing that tune.
Don't get me wrong. I am all for accent, flashy intros, and fancy fingerwork, but if you get away from the identity of the tune by having more ornamental notes than notes of the melody, then you are turning the banjo into an ACCESSORY INSTRUMENT.
The banjo was never meant to be such an instrument.
Now, as far as the fiddle goes, one could very accurately say that the music that Today's Old Time music is derived from traditionally relied upon the fiddle to provide the basis for the melody. The fiddle by design is a melody centered instrument.


Bluegrass Rocks, but Old-Time Rules!

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/08/2007:  00:12:34


I think we often apply the term "melodic" to a style that puts as many appropriate notes into a given melody as possible. It's just as true for the fiddle as the banjo. Some fiddlers will add more notes to the basic melody than others. But we never hear about "melodic" fiddlers. Old-time banjo is really the same way, but players who play every possible note (e.g. Ken Perlman) have come to be called "melodic," although the only difference from another player's approach might simply be playing more of the melody.

Bill

ZEPP - Posted - 02/08/2007:  06:59:03


quote:
Originally posted by banjozane


The banjo was never meant to be such an instrument.


Oh? I'm just curious: Exactly who "meant it" to be what? I guess I was out that day.

Cheers,
ZEPP




* zepp@zeppmusic.com website: http://zeppmusic.com/ Skype us at zeppmusic *

arnie - Posted - 02/08/2007:  07:56:19


When I'm playing with others I'll vary my playing and the degree of melody play. I get bored just playing melody - I like to stick in chords or even change from basic clawhammer to simple rhythmic chording from time to time, bass runs or whatever - I try out stuff that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. ( Of course this may depend on who I am playing with - I try not to get others irritated with what I'm doing) When I'm playing solo or with a guitar I play more melody, but I like to play with changes in rhythm and sometimes love to leave complete spaces in the music.
Arnie

Arnie Naiman
http://www.merriweather.ca/Records.aspx?ID=2

Limax - Posted - 02/08/2007:  09:40:59


Since I play the banjo mainly for myself, and I really don't know any fiddle players, or even other banjo players; in my area, I'm a melodic player. That could change but I made myself a promise that this instrument was not going to be primarily for performance. I had too many years of that, am I'm still recovering.

A salted slug gathers no moss.

uncledelphi - Posted - 02/08/2007:  10:02:02


I'll dip my toe into these (hopefully not controversial) waters. The regional style I play, from Sand Mountain, Alabama, is both rhythmic and melodic at the same time. It emphasizes the Basic Frailing Motion almost all the time, and puts an intricate melody on top of that. This style is most definitely traditional on Sand Mountain; the Master of the style learned it in the 1880s or 1890s from a freed slave, who formulated it on a plantation before the Civil War.

Austin Rogers

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