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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Finger pick or not finger pick


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/74831

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janolov - Posted - 02/08/2007:  10:19:11


quote:
Originally posted by banjozane


The banjo was never meant to be such an instrument.



What was the banjo meant to be?

If we go back to the minstrel period (about 1840 - 1890?). I would say that minstrel banjo was melodic in some way. The surviving banjo tutors (by Briggs, Converse, Buckley etc) from that period present banjo pieces that are more melodic than rythmic or chordic. Still it wasn't "fiddle melodic" but more a try to use the banjo's unique properties for solo performance.

The melodic banjo discussed in this thread is more that the banjo plagiarizes the fiddle part ("fiddle melodic") without emphasizing the banjo's unique properties.

Janolov

banjozane - Posted - 02/15/2007:  17:05:57


The Banjo was meant to be a versatile instrument. It could be an accompaniament, or a solo instrument. The banjo's own characteristic construction and design bear witness of it's creator's intent! It's loud, bossy, and meant to be heard!

BTW

I wasn't being so snide as to try to cite the original inventor, or teach a lesson on the origins of evolutionay banjology. I was just drawin' an inference.

Bluegrass Rocks, but Old-Time Rules!

Clawdan - Posted - 02/15/2007:  17:21:02


quote:
Originally posted by banjozane

The Banjo was meant to be a versatile instrument. It could be an accompaniament, or a solo instrument. The banjo's own characteristic construction and design bear witness of it's creator's intent! It's loud, bossy, and meant to be heard!...


Versatile, yes, but not "loud ..." In it's most original US configuration, it is skin headed, gut strung, earthy and bold. The "loud and bossy" doesn't happen until the addition of tone rings, resonators, plastic heads, metal strings and metal picks. Seems that banjo has become what it was never originally - but tradition is innovation to bring it up to date.

I notice most of us in the ot crowd tend to attempt to reproduce the more mellow, thumpy and deep toned history and shun the bright, loud and "bossy". Perhaps another thread?

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

banjozane - Posted - 02/16/2007:  01:48:56


By Brassy, I meant Character.... not sound.... as far as the volume goes.... banjos were as loud as technology allowed. When I see a picture of pre civil-war era people dancing around a banjo picker... it makes me think of an instrument that was designed to be heard..... but then again.... i'm no historian.

Bluegrass Rocks, but Old-Time Rules!

rinemb - Posted - 02/16/2007:  20:16:55


Don't you wonder how that lone minstrel banjo player sitting on a stump could even be heard by a dozen or more dance partners swingin and stompin-even if they were dancing on dirt? I once had my 110 YO Stewart/nylgut strings out where there was nearly perfect quietness...no street noise, no rustle of tree leaves, etc., none of that white noise and background noise that is always there around civilization. You would be surprised how loud the Stewart sounded. Brad

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

Dave Vinci - Posted - 02/17/2007:  11:22:03


quote:
Originally posted by rinemb

Don't you wonder how that lone minstrel banjo player sitting on a stump could even be heard by a dozen or more dance partners swingin and stompin-even if they were dancing on dirt?



Hey, been there, done that! I play a minstrel banjo with skin head and gut strings and have played for folks dancing. If folks are dancing outside on grass or dirt or whatever, it works just fine, HOWEVER, inside a barn with a wooden floor and folks with period correct footwear (wooden heels, etc) it can get purty loud with all the stompin' going on. It's still fun though!

Dave Vinci

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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

Dave Vinci - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:25:19


Hi All,

I frequently play banjo solo and in public. Basically, where I go, the banjo goes. I do some re-enacting and bring my fretless along where I play all pre-1840 stuff which most of the public should know but frequently doesn't. Needless to say I play the melody so hopefully folks will recognize the tunes. One thing I have noticed is that if I embelish the tune too much, folks can't tell what I'm playing... maybe, that's a skill thing on my part but I don't think so.... I was wondering if that is a common experience.

Dave Vinci

BRASMAN - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:30:27


Well I can not play good enough to do that to a tune yet. LOL
However I have heard tunes that I could not recognize for the above mentioned reason though. They did not sound bad but I just could not recognize them.

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

chasgrav - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:31:15


I would tend to doubt that it's the embellishment that crosses them up. I'm very often surprised by how many people don't have any familiarity with even the ubiquitous oldtime tunes, (Arkansas Traveller, Buffalo Gals, Girl I Left Behind, Scotland the Brave, et al). I think the world is fundamentally very different for generations raised after the 1960s! OTOH, some people just really don't hear melodies at all, and may not spot a tune they've heard all of their lives. I guess we're all just wired differently!

arnie - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:39:54


Keep it clean - within your abilities to make it sound easy for the listener. Some folks (like Adam Hurt) can play complex and clean - he's got that skill down.

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

dbrooks - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:59:48


What Arnie said.

To vary a phrase, the audience is always right.

David

chip arnold - Posted - 02/09/2007:  13:45:04


It's important when playing to learn to lift the melody above the rest of whatever you're doing on the banjo. Just a little more firmness or accent on the melody notes, maybe a little space or breathing room at the beginning and end of melodic phrases, a series of 1/4 notes among the 1/8 note busyness to keep focus on the bones of the tune.
Have a listen to my banjo hero on his website.
http://www.willkeys.com/html/screen.html
Although Will played with others he was masterful as a solo player. Listen to how clearly he defines a tune while still putting lots of other stuff in there too.
Arnie says listen to Adam Hurt and you should......but you should listen to Arnie too and you can do that on his BHO homepage.


Play with a plan
Chip

trapdoor2 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  14:39:41


The only public playing I do is at a local coffee-house. I've never really had any patron 'recognise' a tune...but I can't say there are lots of people out there familiar with Briggs, Buckley or Converse.

Many people have problems differentiating between instrumental tunes (I have a terrible time remembering tune names). All they hear is a continuous string of notes; sing to them, though, and they suddenly hear the tune. If the tune has a strong "hook", it will usually get some nods of recognition. Morley's "A Banjo Oddity" has the "Pop Goes The Weasel" quote and it makes follks look up from their newspaper and smile.

Dave, have you explored the Minstrel Banjo group in Google Groups? Or perhaps visited the Banjoclubhouse? http://www.milfordmusic.com/Banjo%20Audio.htm You might enjoy it.

Also, you should pop into the Banjolounge some evenings. I usually try to drown out the BG players with cool old Fretless tunes. Sometimes it actually works! http://banjolounge.ivocalize.net/

Cool banjos in your photos.

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

===Marc

ajbadger - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:33:50


I think it is the responsibility of the player to play the piece that that it is recognizable. Embellishment is good but it can become noise to the point of making the tune something it is not. I have heard extremely skilled banjo players bum-ditty popular tunes into oblivion. So, sometimes, it is not so much a lack of talent but intent. They have to know that they are doing this and that is their choice.

I personally prefer that people can recognize what I am playing while keeping it somewhat banjo-unique.

Sincerely,

AJ

http://phritzysworld.wordpress.com
===============
"Reason is the slave of desire."

rinemb - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:59:42


I like to hear the melody of the tune as well. However, since you are playing solo and therefore probably playing the tune several times through I think it would be "cool" to say; play first time through fairly straight-with melody of tune obvious, then maybe the next to the last time through-LET IT ALL HANGOUT, then last itme through bring it home on the melody. (Our guitar player used to do that in our Western Swing days, and sometimes we just had to go have a beer then come back and reel him in.) Brad

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

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/09/2007:  17:22:26


I find that most fiddle players can't recognize tunes they KNOW when played on banjo solo unless you give them the titled too. I don't think most people are oriented to hearing the banjo as melody.
Even when I used to play "melodic" banjo I found that most people didn't recognize the tunes - whether played by me or one of the well known melodic superstars of the era.
It remains a question as to how much more any of them would have known were it solo fiddle. I think the public knows "Turkey In The Straw". Beyond that you can play just about anything fast and noisy when they ask for "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and they don't seem to know the difference.

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

Lonesome Steve - Posted - 02/09/2007:  18:41:40


If you want your audience to recognize the tunes, try playing stuff by Justin Timberlake and John Mayer. :)

Seriously, I wouldn't expect John Q. Public to recognize .1% of the typical old-time repertoire, embellished or not. And I would agree with OWC that people's ears aren't really tuned to hearing a melody the way it's played on a banjo. Personally, I like the fact that people don't recognize the tunes I'm playing. It gives me all kinds of freedom to make artistic "substitutions" and "interpretations" (i.e. screw up).

nbanta - Posted - 02/10/2007:  22:36:19


quote:
Originally posted by oldwoodchuckb

I find that most fiddle players can't recognize tunes they KNOW when played on banjo solo unless you give them the titled too.



All this time, I thought it was just me. It makes me feel better to know that this happens to the highly experienced players, too!

Ned

--Colorado

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/10/2007:  23:20:57


Lonesome Steve
It was public ignorance that allowed me to play flamenco guitar in coffee houses. Nobody knew from nothin' so I could get away with anything. Occasionally some smart alec would accost me between sets to ask why I played Tientos falsettas in Tangos rhythm. I could usually snow them with "Haven't you been to Barcelona recently? It's all the rage."
Then I started playing for a dancer and all of a sudden I had to get right. I ended up doing a lot more work with singers and/or dancers than solo but I always missed the freedom of playing alone - tempo, rhythm, key - nothing was set in stone.
I do that late at night now, playing freeform clawhammer banjo - a little Fred Cockerham, a little Miles Davis, slide into a Beatles tune and come out on "I Feel Pretty". I sometimes wish therewas an audience for it but is there was they probably would want me to sit up straight, stop pausing for a sip of water, and wear something a little more formal than my jammies.

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

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/10/2007:  23:34:18


Depends on your audience. The younger set was not reared on the "old standards" either at home or in school. I think the latter is where most folks of my generation (b. 1944) first heard those tunes/songs if they were not in a region of local traditional music. But that material is no longer present in the elementary schools, which have no time for the arts of any kind now that the feds have mandated the whole country become Lake Wobegon writ large.

Bill

stanger - Posted - 02/11/2007:  01:04:43


When I play solo, I play both 3-finger and clawhammer. Some tunes work better in one or the other. I found an audience is usually interested when I give them a short introduction to the tune, and sometimes a little history, and I try to mix in a few new tunes that will work to cover the bases as best I can.

In a pinch, I usually fall back on some story songs by Pete Seeger or Woody Guthrie. They always work for everyone.
regards,
Stanger


Edited by - stanger on 02/11/2007 01:05:59

MrNatch3L - Posted - 02/11/2007:  02:42:32


The "statement - embellishment - restatement' model from late 18th and early 19th century classical music serves me well. For example, I do an arrangement of Elanor Rigby. First time thru I am very careful to focus on the melody, so people recognize the tune. Then I do an embellished version, and close with a shortened retatement that again focuses the melody. This approach seems to work well for tunes that are generally well-known.

eickmewg - Posted - 02/11/2007:  07:19:45


Sounds like the classic "theme and variations" form. First time through, the simple melody is displayed. Then all is fair game and the more ornamented, the better.

Bill


'05 Lee Rose Hill 12", #165
'06 Romero 13" custom walnut, #0684

Rimstick - Posted - 02/11/2007:  23:37:51


quote:
Originally posted by chasgrav

I would tend to doubt that it's the embellishment that crosses them up. I'm very often surprised by how many people don't have any familiarity with even the ubiquitous oldtime tunes....


I see the same thing. I'm a Boy Scout leader and when we sit around the camp fire the boys want me to sing "She'll be Comming 'Round the Mountain", "Clemintine", etc that I learned at YMCA day camps and in public school. These kids have never, ever heard these songs. They think I wrote them all !!

When I was in elementary school our music teacher brought her Auto-Harp in once a week or we listened to folk songs on public school FM radio. "Hootnanny" was on TV. Oscar Brand was on the radio Saturday. It gave me the appreciation I needed to enjoy it today. I may not always know the tune's name, but I can sing one verse and whistle the rest. (And in case you think I was raised in the "Styx", this was Atlanta city schools.)

But today's kid (born after 1970) has no idea of the wealth of folk music and folk lore about to be lost. As sales of the "Fox Fire" books show, it's not that it's not appreciated, it's simply a big blank spot in the collective American education.

May I suggest you introduce each song with 1 sentence to "frame" the song's place in American history. That will capture the adult audience, and then play to the kids, because they are the ones who'll remember it.



Regards,
Rimstick


Uncle Dave Macon makes me laugh !!

R.D. Lunceford - Posted - 02/12/2007:  06:22:43


A lot of sad yet true comments regarding the state of our music in the modern world.

In my Cotton Blossom book I wrote:
"... many ancient societies viewed music of paramount importance- they realized that music was the great encoder of values and morals. In addition, history, myth, and genealogies were often borne by a nation’s musical traditions. One of the most disturbing trends I see in present day society is the tendency for the schools to have abandoned the teaching of our traditional songs and stories to our children in favor of the often valueless fabrications of “childrens’ authors and songwriters”. At worst, the goal of these misguided “professionals” is wholly mercenary, and at best, to replace the traditional material they see as out of step with modern sensibilities. Our traditional music became traditional for the precise reason that it suits us best.

I have a sticker on my banjo case that reads in Irish:
"Ni bheidh are leitheidi aris ann." - "The likes of us will never be again."
I suppose it's up to us to see this doesn't come to pass, but its an uphill battle.
The banjo regulary loses out against the video game.

The music is the product of a more patient culture, and the world is different now.


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

Richard - Posted - 02/12/2007:  06:33:03


quote:
Originally posted by rinemb

I like to hear the melody of the tune as well. However, since you are playing solo and therefore probably playing the tune several times through I think it would be "cool" to say; play first time through fairly straight-with melody of tune obvious, then maybe the next to the last time through-LET IT ALL HANGOUT, then last itme through bring it home on the melody. (Our guitar player used to do that in our Western Swing days, and sometimes we just had to go have a beer then come back and reel him in.) Brad

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



agreed !
have a bit of fun with it, as well.

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

Nide44 - Posted - 02/13/2007:  14:04:31


"First time thru I am very careful to focus on the melody, so people recognize the tune. Then I do an embellished version, and close with a shortened retatement that again focuses the melody."

Duh ??
Isn't that the way its supposed to be done?
I was raised in a fairly musical family, post WWII and educated in the '50's & '60's as most of the others who are posting on this thread (or maybe a wee bit more age?).
I too, remember my elementary school teachers playing the autoharp for us in class, at least once a week.
Uh.....that was the way all music, from classical, to Pete Seeger's folk music..... happened.
Either the melody was specifically played (or sung), first.....then came the embellishment (the break)..... then back to the melody, to close.(or a minor variation of that formula)
Is there any other way for an audience to really appreciate what is being done?
Especially an audience that has not come specifically to hear/tune-in...... to
a certain genre, or single style of music?(for eductional or specific purposes)
I've played auditoriums, bars, schools, concert halls, county fairs,
living room couches, and cofee houses.
I've usually been in a group (or sometimes as a solo performer) that is just one of others on 'the bill'.
In most cases, the audience has come to be entertained.
(I'm aware of very few other reasons to listen to music)
That's the only formula for pleasing an audience that I'm aware of-
that really works.
It creates an 'understanding' for the song. Especially when prefaced by a story, anecdote, or the background of the particular piece. It creates a recognition factor that is subliminaly pleasing.
It's always worked - an audience wants that, whether they know it, or not.

Bob B
Yup ! Them's red braces


Edited by - Nide44 on 02/13/2007 14:09:08

banjoman.com - Posted - 02/15/2007:  17:23:00


I doubt it is an embellishment problem...unless you loose time when you start to add notes or your embellishments don't work with the tune.

Folks today don't know even the most common tunes from tradition. Moreover, the banjo is an unfamiliar sound to the general public so they can only take it in small doses. In my concerts, I find I have to change to a different instrument after about 3 banjo tunes to give their ears a rest ,if I really want to hold their attention. I can come back to the banjo later in the show but just can't give them too much at one time. I think todays ears are attuned to the low, bass end of the musical spectrum. The higher pitch and short sustain of the banjo is very unusual for most folks.

I might add that this is not true everywhere. I hosted the Tommy Jarrell festival in Mt. Airy last year and a room full of 500 local people sat and listened to fiddle tune after fiddle tune....all evening. And loved it! But that is very, very rare.



David

www.banjoman.com
www.myspace.com/davidholtmusic

twelvefret - Posted - 02/15/2007:  18:03:00


First off..how cool to have a musician like David holt respond. Thanks



[quoteI see in present day society is the tendency for the schools to have abandoned the teaching of our traditional songs and stories to our children in favor of the often valueless fabrications of “childrens’ authors and songwriters”][/quote]

IMHO, schools are not to blame or responsibile for establishing values, traditions, or anything thing else. This realm belongs to the family.

Also, how can we expect traditional music to continue when our society has elected many times to avoid or censure those traditions from which the music sprang from? It is a thought worth of consideration.

To the original poster.... I don't have to know the title to enjoy a beautiful song. That's why timing and tone will aways be important.

Twelvefret <><

"Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple." Pete Seeger

" I 'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park" from the movie, "Cars"

Jacinto Guevara - Posted - 02/16/2007:  15:19:03


I agree with Lonesome Steve.

I have a question about the majority opinion above. Why do y'all have a need for an audience to "recognize" a tune? I would find that endeavor to be one of potentially putting people to sleep. Ajbadge made a statment that isn't "wrong" but I find the 'keep it simple and don't obscure the melody' statement a bit of a contradiction to the whole concept of performance.

Hell, I say borrow, steal, arrange, fake and compose as if your life depended on it. Then knock 'em dead or at least wing a couple of 'em before they string you up.


Edited by - Jacinto Guevara on 02/16/2007 15:22:11

bw - Posted - 02/16/2007:  20:47:05


This kinda reminds me of the time I played John Coltrane for my high school music theory class. When all was said and done, everyone enjoyed listening, but no one really had a clue as to what they had just heard. Another way to look at it is to take a tune such as "Forkey ( or Forked) Deer and listen to David Holt play it for the intro. to the show 'Folkways" and then listen to how Brad Leftwich plays it on his Round Peak cd and then to listen to how I get through it ( I'm not in David's or Brad's league, but I'm a good double A player) and you have the same circumstance: a pleasing tune that folks enjoy, but no one seems to " clue in" on as to what they just heard... Charles Ives once said: "Sometimes people don't hear the music for the notes." Just my infrequent 2 cents...Brian in NC

Dave Vinci - Posted - 02/17/2007:  11:03:47


Thank you all for the interesting comments! Many of the points made make me feel like I'm more or less on the right track with my playing in public.

When I was a kid, ('50s, '60s) whenever my family went anywhere in the car we all sang to pass the time. My Mom likes a lot of the old songs, so we learned some of them there. My Dad was always a performer (a singer really) and I remember him singing every year in the show the Holy Name society did at church. That was a blackface minstrell show by the way and being in Philadelphia, there was always a banjo player. We also got exposed to traditional songs in school, particilarly the Stephen Foster songs which my kids never heard in school. So when my kids were growing up, we sang the old stuff in the car too. I also found that I had to debrief them after each history class they had in school too. I was/am appalled at the corrupt version of history that is being taught. But, I digress....

It was interesting, last night I performed at our local Civil War roundtable meeting with my fretless banjo and that is one venue where just about everyone recognizes many of the tunes. Except for the minstrel tunes from Converse or Briggs, etc. I made a real effort to do the close melody, then an embellished version, then back to the close melody again and the folks seemed to enjoy it. Thanks for the good advice!

Still, where I go, my banjo goes and folks around me get exposed to traditional music whether they like it or not

Dave Vinci

bw - Posted - 02/17/2007:  12:06:50


Dave...I am not sure if anyone has said this yet, but our own R.D. Lunsford and Bob Flesher have produced some wonderful materials/cds that involve taking many of the old mid-nineteenth century tutors and "spicing" them up a into a more contemporary offerring. I have stolen some great licks from them both...I agree that this is a great thread....good luck, Brian in NC

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

Dave Vinci - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:25:19


Hi All,

I frequently play banjo solo and in public. Basically, where I go, the banjo goes. I do some re-enacting and bring my fretless along where I play all pre-1840 stuff which most of the public should know but frequently doesn't. Needless to say I play the melody so hopefully folks will recognize the tunes. One thing I have noticed is that if I embelish the tune too much, folks can't tell what I'm playing... maybe, that's a skill thing on my part but I don't think so.... I was wondering if that is a common experience.

Dave Vinci

Alby - Posted - 02/16/2007:  15:33:42


Been playing Scruggs for a while , like to try clawhammer, Ive looked at few instruction sites and all say first part of the strum is a downward strike with index finger,this I find very difficult, I seem to be able to work it with an upward pluck , would this create problems later in more complex tunes.

Snowman217 - Posted - 02/16/2007:  15:42:28


i don't think so...i don't play clawhammer yet...but i have been working on it and it seems to be just however you wanna play it.
most things like that work if thats how you practice them often enough.

David Smith

Locust, NC

pickinman94@yahoo.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/16/2007:  15:55:21


I respectfully disagree; clawhammer is very flexible, but it is also, by definition, all downward. "However you wanna play it" comes with the limitations of striking downward and not playing by flicking your fingers at the strings. "Pete Seeger" up-picking, with the lead note being played by the index picking upward, isn't as adaptable for fiddle tunes and playing single notes at a fast tempo.

Bill

chip arnold - Posted - 02/16/2007:  16:00:36


If you want clawhammer, you gotta downpick. Stay with it and it'll come to you soon enough. There is an up-picking style where the hand is in the air and the finger picks up instead of down as you describe. Several folks who pick that way are members of the Hangout and will probably respond to your post. Nothing wrong with it at all....it just ain't clawhammer. And later on you're likely to find it limiting.
Go out and get yourself some learning material or, if humanly possible, a teacher. One who actually knows what clawhammer banjo playing is. Several members here have excellent material available.

Play with a plan
Chip

chip arnold - Posted - 02/16/2007:  16:01:50


Guess I was posting while Bill was.
What he said!

Play with a plan
Chip

ummy123 - Posted - 02/16/2007:  16:10:21


I myself had this very same problem. Having plated Scruggs style and also guitar ( both require up pick technique) I found it easy to fall into up-picking and asked the very same questions you have.
I was advised by some very able pickers to follow whatever came to me and suited me, and to this end I continued to up-pick Seeger style i/e basic strum technique. There are hundreds of tunes that you can learn and most clawhammer tunes can be up-picked with little difference in the playing, the only main difference is the sound which differs in down-picking clawhammer and up-picking Seeger style. Clawhammer has a more solid driving beat which is difficult to maintain in the up-picking style, but nevertheless, can be a very attractive sound in it's own right. I was advised by Ken Pearlman, No Less! that if I up-picked naturally then carry on doing so, but he also told me that up-pickers develope into melodic players. I now love the up-picking style and although I have also a love of the clawhammer sound I do what's best for me. Sometimes up-picking can be difficult in Jamming situations but what the hell.

chip arnold - Posted - 02/16/2007:  16:25:50


FWIW.....If you think you just have to pick up instead of down, why not rest your fingers on the head (like you do with your Scruggs stuff) and learn one of the Old Time finger styles?

Still though, if you were attracted to clawhammer's sound to begin with, my advice is to work at that first. Don't change horses too quickly. It's awkward at first but soon you'll be playing easily.

Play with a plan
Chip

FretlessFury - Posted - 02/16/2007:  16:30:47


I agree with Chip. There's a dearth of old-time finger pickers. If you're gonna up-pick anyway, learn some of the great old two finger stuff.

Downpicking isn't any more difficult than up-picking. It's just a matter of training your muscles. Repitition is the name of the game.

Tom Collins

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

Red hot old time music.

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/16/2007:  17:22:45


The thing about downpicking is that at first it is very unnatural to almost everyone who has played a fretted instrument. Save for flamenco and some South American stuff ALL guitar fingerstyles are based on picking upward all the time. Consequently you are out on a brand new limb reduced to once again being a beginner.
The Up side is that once you "get" the down picking to work it is just about the easiest way in the world to play the banjo. Frailing is a "knack" and it is the ONLY technique you need to play the banjo part for any old time melody.
Once you can frail you can then go on to "Drop Thumb" aka "Clawhammer". Adding this one technique makes it possible to play ALL the notes of 90% or more of all fiddle tunes.
There are no complicated rolls, no "back" picking, nothing else is needed. So the one technique can serve you jes'fine if you wish, and adding a second will allow you to play like Ken Perlman. You literally don't really need to do anythign else to play the banjo - all other techniques are optional and in fact there is controversy over whether they should be used at all.
I do suggest you find someone to watch your right hand and help you over the hump - it does not have to be a real "teacher", just someone who knows how to frail and can point out where you need to be more careful.
Two and three finger picking are great but you can learn to do them quite easily from frailing and it is a whol lot easier to find frailing tabs to learn a repertoire.

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

vega long neck - Posted - 02/17/2007:  17:48:23


Alby,
I guess it's what you're used to. In the 60s I started with the Seeger up pick method and was quite comfortable with it. It ISNT CH simply by its definition, and there are always the purist who love to point it out.... Big deal. Once I started to use more double thumbing and melody lines, I found that I had better accuracy (and speed?) using all down stroke. Bottom line, I will use both methods depending on what I want to play, sometimes in the same song. You also get nice variations in the sound by being able to switch. As far as awkward or hard to learn; practice, practice, practice...

Scott

FretlessFury - Posted - 02/17/2007:  18:13:23


quote:
Originally posted by vega long neck
It ISNT CH simply by its definition, and there are always the purist who love to point it out.... Big deal.



It's not a matter of being a purist. If you like the sound of clawhammer and want to learn it, up-picking is not going to help you get there.

I see this question come up every few months here. Someone posts and expresses interest in learning clawhammer, but asks if up-picking is ok to do instead because it initially seems easier. Well, of course up-picking is ok as long as you don't think it's going to magically make you a clawhammerer.

There is only one way to learn clawhammer and that is to play clawhammer.

Tom Collins

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

Red hot old time music.

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

Dave Vinci - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:25:19


Hi All,

I frequently play banjo solo and in public. Basically, where I go, the banjo goes. I do some re-enacting and bring my fretless along where I play all pre-1840 stuff which most of the public should know but frequently doesn't. Needless to say I play the melody so hopefully folks will recognize the tunes. One thing I have noticed is that if I embelish the tune too much, folks can't tell what I'm playing... maybe, that's a skill thing on my part but I don't think so.... I was wondering if that is a common experience.

Dave Vinci

Alby - Posted - 02/16/2007:  15:33:42


Been playing Scruggs for a while , like to try clawhammer, Ive looked at few instruction sites and all say first part of the strum is a downward strike with index finger,this I find very difficult, I seem to be able to work it with an upward pluck , would this create problems later in more complex tunes.

ttmoe - Posted - 02/18/2007:  06:32:09


Just wanted to let you know there's a new Tom Paley album
out on the swedish label Gravitation. "Beware young ladies!", also
featuring Bert Deivert.

Since I also release music on this label I was lucky to get an
early cdr last year. It made me go out and buy a banjo and take
that definite step out of society.

Sorry if it looks like an ad. It's just my way to say I'm not really that sad
Little Sadie had to go.

get it here:
http://www.gravitation.nu/discofram...ction=disco3

or here

http://cdbaby.com/cd/tompaley
---------------------------------

www.thetallestmanonearth.com
www.myspace.com/thetallestmanonearth

Faelan - Posted - 02/11/2007:  17:17:49


I'm trying to learn the drop thumb technique.. it's kicking my butt.

Any tips

wormpicker - Posted - 02/11/2007:  17:27:32


You'll get it. Just keep working with Dan's book! If you've got the double thumb going, it's just a matter of practicing closing the gap between your thumb and frailing finger. Start out by going painfully, sickeningly, embarrassingly slow, just to get the motion down. Good luck!

Paul



Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

chip arnold - Posted - 02/11/2007:  17:41:33


Watch Zepp's clear head video.

Just like when hitting the 5th string, set your thumb up while in the air so that when your finger contacts it's target string the thumb is already in position and comes to rest on it's target. When you lift your hand from the finger contact, your thumb will sound it's string as you lift off. No "picking motion" with the thumb.

Play with a plan
Chip


Edited by - chip arnold on 02/11/2007 17:42:48

J-Walk - Posted - 02/11/2007:  17:51:25


Yeah, what wormpicker said. Just take it slow and make it accurate. Then repeat about a million times. It's well worth the effort. Eventually, it will click and you'll find yourself trying to incorporate it into every song.

If you look at tabs that indicate drop thumb, there's almost always another way of playing the same notes without the drop thumb. When I first started, I that's exactly what I did. Now, I realize that the drop thumb technique is all about efficiency.


R.D. Lunceford - Posted - 02/11/2007:  18:19:16


Some good advice so far. Checking out what Zepp has provided is a good idea.

Wormpicker's advice is worth its weight in gold. Don't play any faster than you can play accurately- the speed will come.

Not much too add, but at the risk of being simplistic, just remember that in the end, all drop-thumbing is is plucking a string other than the 5th with your thumb. Players of other instruments do it all the time, and its not nearly so big a deal to them as we CHers make it out to be.

My point is don't get caught up in over-analysis.

Good Luck!

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

ZEPP - Posted - 02/11/2007:  18:23:28


My video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpRy-3wqP4w or you can download it at http://zeppmusic.com/Clearhead

Hope it helps.
Cheers,
ZEPP


* zepp@zeppmusic.com website: http://zeppmusic.com/ Skype us at zeppmusic *

Faelan - Posted - 02/11/2007:  18:26:03


Thanks all! I will certainly keep going at it. I think one problem is with the double thumbing I got up to a more comfortable pace and was having a hard time slowing down to get used to dropping the thumb.

wormpicker - Posted - 02/11/2007:  19:15:09


quote:
Originally posted by Faelan

I think one problem is with the double thumbing I got up to a more comfortable pace and was having a hard time slowing down to get used to dropping the thumb.



Ah, that is the key, Grasshopper.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/11/2007:  19:15:54


As with everything else, I recommend working on drop thumb wothout anything else to distract or complicate the technique. This is as important a technique as the frail itself, and it has to be done right.

Bring the frial finger down, sounding the 1st string Asit sounds the string the thumb comes to rest on the 2nd string. You should be able to feel the weight of your hand on the thumb. Now snap the thumb forward. Since it can't go far because of the string this will cause your hand to spring back into position for the next frail. Repeat. Repeat Repeat.

Don't do any fretting. Don't hit any Bum Did-ty strokes. HAve the thumb hit with every stroke. Just watch the hand and make sure it is getting the movement right. Go S L O W. When you think you are ready to speed up - Don't. Keep it slow. If you are driving people crazy deaden the strings.

Everything depends on that snap of the thumb -- whether on the 5th string or one of the inner string. Here is my latest version of the simplest exercise for getting the thumb right - no banjo involved.

Sitting at your desk, swing your arm from the elbow so the fingers just miss the desk but the thumb comes to rest on the edge. Feel the weight of the hand. Notice how applying pressure to the thumb actually moves the arm in the opposite direction (clawhammer does have a few things in common with rocket science). Give the thumb a hard snap, causing the hand to return to pre-frail position.

In reality the only motion in the hand is that little but sharp snap to the thumb. It is kinda like an automatic rifle. The thumb snap basically "chambers" the next frail. The entire hand then falls, hitting the string and re-cocking the thumb.

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

Stev187 - Posted - 02/11/2007:  21:38:04


Everything said above is excellent, especially Zepp's online clearhead vids. I only have two things to contribute that haven't been said, and the first one might seem insolent:

1) Don't drop thumb just to drop thumb. I've heard lots of clawhammer banjo players who rarely drop thumb and they sound great. Years ago I played for a famous banjo player who loved the tune I had just played. I explained to him that I really wanted to make it better and work in a bunch of drop thumbing. He said "Why? I love the way you play that tune--don't change it." My takeaway from that experience was this: don't work in a technique for the sake of working in a technique. The execution should follow the music that's in your head, not the other way around.

2) With the above said, I've been working on my drop thumb lately, too. If you don't have Levenson's 2nd DVD, get thee to his website or your favorite music store. I recently got myself a copy, and it's the perfect companion if you're scratching your head about drop thumb. He's developed some great exercises and explained them well. If you're a visual learner like me, this is a real help.



Steve
Flint, MI

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/11/2007:  22:33:53


The best "drop thumb" (as opposed to "clawhammer") player I know of is R.D. Lunceford. His "Drop Thumb" and "Cotton Blossom" CDs are superb illustrations of that style. The tab books that go with them are invaluable. I hasten to add that R.D. can play excellent notey clawhammer when he wants, but that's not the style he chooses to play as a rule. His playing is a perfect example of the dictum that "less is more."

Bill

Richard - Posted - 02/13/2007:  07:27:45


The thing that i found really important was to listen to a lot of drop - thumbing, so your head knows what your hands are getting at - for some reason, it made it a whole lot easier.

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

Clawdan - Posted - 02/13/2007:  09:29:16


Hi all,
Sound's like you are gettin' "Sound" advice! Remember first to just forget the finger and aim the hand with the thumb towards any inner string (none in particular) then the fifth - alternating in/out(5). That sets you up to succeed because you can't hit a wrong string if you are aimin' for any string. That will help set the feel of the hand then bring the finger back in - again with no particular string or pair in mind except the 5th every 2 and 4 beat. 1, in, 2, out, 3, in, 4, out. Then start working on accuracy.

Hope to see you in Tucson.


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

ndlxs - Posted - 02/13/2007:  11:41:11


I do recall (it was sometime ago) that it took me a good while to "get" drop thumb. I think I actually THOUGHT my way into doing it; I have always been a big fan of visualizing. What that means is during a quiet moment, for example, as you go to sleep; imagine yourself playing a piece, see yourself doing the drop thumbing.

Might not help, but neither will it hurt!

Andy Alexis
Sacramento, California
"The Pearl of the Central Valley"
Buy my CDs:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/pineycreek
and
http://www.offtocalifornia.com

Faelan - Posted - 02/13/2007:  12:46:22


Thanks for all the awesome advice all!

quote:
Originally posted by ndlxs
, as you go to sleep; imagine yourself playing a piece



I've only been playing a week but the sound is stuck in my head so much that I already do this.

I'll also sometimes wake in the middle of the night thinking I heard the 5th string! lol

rinemb - Posted - 02/13/2007:  16:36:09


With all of the good advice, I will add some moral support. If you keep playing with it and not obcess with it...it will happen. I had been to banjo camp, taken private lessons from "No bum-ditty" Dan, himself and was getting fairly frustrated that it was not gettin there. Finally, I took a very familiar song to me, and instead of two maeasures of bum-ditty or ditty-ditty, I forced myself to play the second measure as 2 drop-thumbs (I used Mississippi Sawyer). One day it felt natural to drop thumb on that tune. Now I can use simple 1rst-2nd string drop thumb at will. Maybe not perfectly clean, but its coming along. I still like my mostly HO & PO technics from my old guitar days, but I really enjoy the flexablility of using both. I will happen! Brad

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

Copo - Posted - 02/15/2007:  08:29:08


Drop thumbing. Awkward to learn. Impossible to forget. Im starting to get a consistent drop a couple of weeks following a lesson which also said about getting used to closing the gap between the fingers. Once ur brain and fingers get used to that, u'l start to get a clear sound....and boy, will it give u a boost.

tommac - Posted - 02/18/2007:  09:52:51


One thing that you can do to convince your hand that this is not some kind of evil torture devised by a frustrated music teacher is to practice double thumbing. We all spend so much time at the beginning learning how to do the basic strum that it's hard to break that bum ditty rhythm.
The timing is based on four beats but the hand is only playing three of them. The second beat,no note. Try playing the fifth string on the second and fourth beat. Keep the rest of the movement the same. So you have Single note, thumb on the fifth string, strum, then fifth string again. This is double thumbing. Once this is comfortable, it's just a matter of "double thumbing" on an inside string. This make a little easier transition when you go from Basic Strum to Double Thumb to Drop Thumb.

Tom MacKenzie

Nide44 - Posted - 02/18/2007:  10:18:35


I went to Dan's D.C. workshop this past fall, and he corrected an angle to my hand that made the DT more naural feeling. It also improved accuracy.
His post above, about just hitting any inner string just so you get the motion - is invaluable- but I had to make my whole hand at less of an angle of attack, and knuckles more paralell to the floor, to allow my thumb (a fat one) to get 'inside' easier. My DT is coming along on a few chosen songs as practice. Speed & accuracy is (I'm told) just about 'a million' repititions. My inner thought is that DT for DT sake is boring. It only should be used where it improves the sound or makes the abilty to access notes more practical. It also can confound the listener as a quick lick to 'show off', too - but continual DT without, phrasing, brushes, Double Thumb or rests, isn't what sounds good to me. Ya gotta use 'em all to make the whole package sound good. Now, that's a challenge (and goal) for me!
(And, believe it or not, s l o w l y (sometimes frustratingly so) I'm thinkin I'm gettin' there.

Bob B
Yup ! Them's red braces


Edited by - Nide44 on 02/18/2007 10:19:43

tom clunie - Posted - 02/18/2007:  10:53:41


I really ditto Nide's comments but I have to say that we are all built differently (get a half-dozen people and have them hold up their hands -very different shaped hands!) and we are also wired differently. You have to take the basic concept of DT, watch and listen to everyone else, then figure out what works for you, emphasis on the one million reps. TC

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

Dave Vinci - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:25:19


Hi All,

I frequently play banjo solo and in public. Basically, where I go, the banjo goes. I do some re-enacting and bring my fretless along where I play all pre-1840 stuff which most of the public should know but frequently doesn't. Needless to say I play the melody so hopefully folks will recognize the tunes. One thing I have noticed is that if I embelish the tune too much, folks can't tell what I'm playing... maybe, that's a skill thing on my part but I don't think so.... I was wondering if that is a common experience.

Dave Vinci

Alby - Posted - 02/16/2007:  15:33:42


Been playing Scruggs for a while , like to try clawhammer, Ive looked at few instruction sites and all say first part of the strum is a downward strike with index finger,this I find very difficult, I seem to be able to work it with an upward pluck , would this create problems later in more complex tunes.

ttmoe - Posted - 02/18/2007:  06:32:09


Just wanted to let you know there's a new Tom Paley album
out on the swedish label Gravitation. "Beware young ladies!", also
featuring Bert Deivert.

Since I also release music on this label I was lucky to get an
early cdr last year. It made me go out and buy a banjo and take
that definite step out of society.

Sorry if it looks like an ad. It's just my way to say I'm not really that sad
Little Sadie had to go.

get it here:
http://www.gravitation.nu/discofram...ction=disco3

or here

http://cdbaby.com/cd/tompaley
---------------------------------

www.thetallestmanonearth.com
www.myspace.com/thetallestmanonearth

Faelan - Posted - 02/11/2007:  17:17:49


I'm trying to learn the drop thumb technique.. it's kicking my butt.

Any tips

flatfoot - Posted - 02/17/2007:  11:54:42


.

I use a Seeger up-picking style when I accompany my singing. This works well for songs at 90 BPM or faster. When I sing slow songs, like some of the Carter Family ballads, my playing just runs out of steam. I can 't keep a beat going.

I have a couple of recordings where some real old-time guys play double-time and really drag out the long notes. I cant play that fast.

What do y'all do for slow songs? Is there a way to make CH or up-picking work? Or should I just get out a guitar?

.

I'm learning how to tune the strings
I'm learning how to frail
And how to sound like Earl Scruggs
The bluegrass holy grail.

Bluesage - Posted - 02/17/2007:  12:45:37


Playing slow songs effectively is possible using clawhammer or up-picking technique, but you may have to have some patience in developing a slow, delicate touch. I use a lot of brushes followed by "Brush Skips", expecially on the first beat of the measure, to soften the sound.

Here's a couple of examples (from my website) of slower pieces done clawhammer style:

http://bluesageband.com/Tab%20MP3s/...kM_nocom.mp3
http://bluesageband.com/Tab%20MP3s/...%20r%20M.mp3

Check out the "Brush Skip" instruction sheet on my website...

Mike Iverson
-free downloads of my clawhammer banjo arrangements (pdf files) at www.bluesageband.com

flatfoot - Posted - 02/17/2007:  13:05:14


.

Thanks Mike
This gives me something to go on. I think I can hear what you are doing and I can work something out for myself..

.

I'm learning how to tune the strings
I'm learning how to frail
And how to sound like Earl Scruggs
The bluegrass holy grail.

vega long neck - Posted - 02/17/2007:  17:36:20


Another method is to use a generous amount of double thumbing. I use an index-thumb-index-thumb pattern that allows me to drift across all the strings for "good" notes. Brushes work in here but keep them occasional and soft. An occasional subtle slide is nice too. A good example would be "Four Strong Winds" in C; I intro by going through one verse in a half double thumb half basic strum (up pick or CH) and then get ever more basic while singing verses. For the chorus I tend to up the banjo a bit and use more brush strums. I'm told it works pretty well

Scott

chip arnold - Posted - 02/17/2007:  18:23:32


Or learn one of the OT finger styles.

Play with a plan
Chip

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/17/2007:  19:23:56


I usually played in band situations so I could get away with playing very few notes and it wouldn't sound empty the way a solo banjo can.
The problem with coming up with a simple suggestion is that this isn't a simple problem and almost every banjo player (old time) tends to work it out a different way. The banjo just doesn't have enough sustain for playing too slow - although some instruments, like tu-ba-phones, have a lot when compared to others.
At one point I had a banjo necked instrument with a roughly mandola sized body but I just found it easier to switch to guitar for a things the banjo didn't work on and it made for fewer instruments to bring to gigs.
My best suggestion is to listen to Buell Kazee and Dock Boggs for some ideas on getting around the problem.

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

tom clunie - Posted - 02/18/2007:  11:00:46


Songs like "Shanandoah" can be done clawhammer style, but I don't think they sound very good. I have lately been experimenting with a slow guitar-picking style for such songs. How successfully...? TC

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

Dave Vinci - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:25:19


Hi All,

I frequently play banjo solo and in public. Basically, where I go, the banjo goes. I do some re-enacting and bring my fretless along where I play all pre-1840 stuff which most of the public should know but frequently doesn't. Needless to say I play the melody so hopefully folks will recognize the tunes. One thing I have noticed is that if I embelish the tune too much, folks can't tell what I'm playing... maybe, that's a skill thing on my part but I don't think so.... I was wondering if that is a common experience.

Dave Vinci

Alby - Posted - 02/16/2007:  15:33:42


Been playing Scruggs for a while , like to try clawhammer, Ive looked at few instruction sites and all say first part of the strum is a downward strike with index finger,this I find very difficult, I seem to be able to work it with an upward pluck , would this create problems later in more complex tunes.

ttmoe - Posted - 02/18/2007:  06:32:09


Just wanted to let you know there's a new Tom Paley album
out on the swedish label Gravitation. "Beware young ladies!", also
featuring Bert Deivert.

Since I also release music on this label I was lucky to get an
early cdr last year. It made me go out and buy a banjo and take
that definite step out of society.

Sorry if it looks like an ad. It's just my way to say I'm not really that sad
Little Sadie had to go.

get it here:
http://www.gravitation.nu/discofram...ction=disco3

or here

http://cdbaby.com/cd/tompaley
---------------------------------

www.thetallestmanonearth.com
www.myspace.com/thetallestmanonearth

Faelan - Posted - 02/11/2007:  17:17:49


I'm trying to learn the drop thumb technique.. it's kicking my butt.

Any tips

flatfoot - Posted - 02/17/2007:  11:54:42


.

I use a Seeger up-picking style when I accompany my singing. This works well for songs at 90 BPM or faster. When I sing slow songs, like some of the Carter Family ballads, my playing just runs out of steam. I can 't keep a beat going.

I have a couple of recordings where some real old-time guys play double-time and really drag out the long notes. I cant play that fast.

What do y'all do for slow songs? Is there a way to make CH or up-picking work? Or should I just get out a guitar?

.

I'm learning how to tune the strings
I'm learning how to frail
And how to sound like Earl Scruggs
The bluegrass holy grail.

rockbanjo - Posted - 02/17/2007:  14:57:18


Hi folks,?please have you any Ken Perlman 6 CD set Clawhammer Banjo by Homespun?
I have also this CD set but I just find that that I have 5 and 6 CD scratched.
I would like buy the complete older 6 CD Homespun set or trade, for any banjo instructioanl DVDs.
If you would like help me please contact me at:
rc.service@bluetone.cz
and I send you my CD and DVD list.
Many thanks in advance for help
Richard

Rachel Streich - Posted - 02/17/2007:  16:37:17


Did you just buy the Ken Perlman 6-CD set a short time ago? If so, I think you should call or email Homespun and tell them that you received it with scratched CDs # 5 and 6 -- I'm sure they will at least replace the damaged CDs or maybe even the entire set.

Even if you've had the Clawhammer Banjo 6 CD set for a while, call or emaii Homespun anyway -- maybe you can buy replacements for the damaged disks # 5 and 6.

That's what I would do, anyway.

Rachel Streich

What?: c 1920 Weymann 5-string openback
How Long?: Since 1989
Venues: Mostly jamming, willing to teach
Style: Old-time clawhammer
Other: Fiddle, guitar, some mandolin, vocals
Working On: "Garfield's Blackberry Blossom"
Dream Banjo: I'll know it when I see it

wormpicker - Posted - 02/17/2007:  19:02:58


Rachel,

Richard has been posting this request for months. He apparently buys and sells music tapes, CDs and DVDs. He has posted to the Banjo Hangout under many different user names, including lassy, rockbanjo, richi, and several others. I don't know the legitimacy of his business, but I know that after I responded to one of his posts he started sending me unsolicited weekly listings of his inventory by Excel attachments (when I asked him to stop, he did). I believe his past user accounts have been locked, but don't know the reason.

Paul


Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

Rachel Streich - Posted - 02/18/2007:  11:06:53


Oh. I didn't know that. Thanks for the heads-up, Paul.

Rachel Streich

What?: c 1920 Weymann 5-string openback
How Long?: Since 1989
Venues: Mostly jamming, willing to teach
Style: Old-time clawhammer
Other: Fiddle, guitar, some mandolin, vocals
Working On: "Garfield's Blackberry Blossom"
Dream Banjo: I'll know it when I see it

Banjoman - Posted - 02/18/2007:  11:35:29


The above "member' is a spammer. He sends spam through BHO and If you answer he will have you email address. He has been locked because that's what we do with spammers.

Hugh
Playing since 1964

"If the banjo was any good, The Beatles would have used it."- Bill McEuen


Click Here: Banjo Hangout Rules & Guidelines.

Click Here: Bobby Thompson's Home Page


Edited by - Banjoman on 02/18/2007 11:38:19

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/18/2007:  15:02:12


Thanks for the warning. However, most spammers do not fade away. They just change their aliases and appear again as someone else.

I suppose we should just be aware that this sort of thing happens occasionally.

One way to track the real from the fake (if you are suspicious, that is) might be to take a look at the home pages - how long has someone been a member, what is the quality of the posts that they've made, etc....takes time, though.

Judy




wormpicker - Posted - 02/18/2007:  18:25:00


As spammers go, I think Richard it among the least annoying. He may change his user name, but always give the same name and email address in his messages. And as I said, as soon as I asked him to stop sending me his inventory list, he stopped. He even apologized. I'm sure he'll surface again soon with a new user name.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

Banjoman - Posted - 02/18/2007:  18:54:23


Yep, and we'll lock him again. He know's the rules and he disregards them.

Hugh
Playing since 1964

"If the banjo was any good, The Beatles would have used it."- Bill McEuen


Click Here: Banjo Hangout Rules & Guidelines.

Click Here: Bobby Thompson's Home Page

frodo1mjg - Posted - 02/18/2007:  22:09:16


I had some contact with this guy a few months ago. Pretty much the same scenario he wanted to Trade "in quote" some copywrited material. I just didn't have the heart to tell him that it was stealing. He made a few more inquiries and then went away of his own volition. Maybe someone ought to send him an e-mail and explain to him how we do business around here.

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

Dave Vinci - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:25:19


Hi All,

I frequently play banjo solo and in public. Basically, where I go, the banjo goes. I do some re-enacting and bring my fretless along where I play all pre-1840 stuff which most of the public should know but frequently doesn't. Needless to say I play the melody so hopefully folks will recognize the tunes. One thing I have noticed is that if I embelish the tune too much, folks can't tell what I'm playing... maybe, that's a skill thing on my part but I don't think so.... I was wondering if that is a common experience.

Dave Vinci

Alby - Posted - 02/16/2007:  15:33:42


Been playing Scruggs for a while , like to try clawhammer, Ive looked at few instruction sites and all say first part of the strum is a downward strike with index finger,this I find very difficult, I seem to be able to work it with an upward pluck , would this create problems later in more complex tunes.

ttmoe - Posted - 02/18/2007:  06:32:09


Just wanted to let you know there's a new Tom Paley album
out on the swedish label Gravitation. "Beware young ladies!", also
featuring Bert Deivert.

Since I also release music on this label I was lucky to get an
early cdr last year. It made me go out and buy a banjo and take
that definite step out of society.

Sorry if it looks like an ad. It's just my way to say I'm not really that sad
Little Sadie had to go.

get it here:
http://www.gravitation.nu/discofram...ction=disco3

or here

http://cdbaby.com/cd/tompaley
---------------------------------

www.thetallestmanonearth.com
www.myspace.com/thetallestmanonearth

Faelan - Posted - 02/11/2007:  17:17:49


I'm trying to learn the drop thumb technique.. it's kicking my butt.

Any tips

flatfoot - Posted - 02/17/2007:  11:54:42


.

I use a Seeger up-picking style when I accompany my singing. This works well for songs at 90 BPM or faster. When I sing slow songs, like some of the Carter Family ballads, my playing just runs out of steam. I can 't keep a beat going.

I have a couple of recordings where some real old-time guys play double-time and really drag out the long notes. I cant play that fast.

What do y'all do for slow songs? Is there a way to make CH or up-picking work? Or should I just get out a guitar?

.

I'm learning how to tune the strings
I'm learning how to frail
And how to sound like Earl Scruggs
The bluegrass holy grail.

rockbanjo - Posted - 02/17/2007:  14:57:18


Hi folks,?please have you any Ken Perlman 6 CD set Clawhammer Banjo by Homespun?
I have also this CD set but I just find that that I have 5 and 6 CD scratched.
I would like buy the complete older 6 CD Homespun set or trade, for any banjo instructioanl DVDs.
If you would like help me please contact me at:
rc.service@bluetone.cz
and I send you my CD and DVD list.
Many thanks in advance for help
Richard

banjoholic - Posted - 02/19/2007:  14:24:54


Would those of you who consider yourselves primarily old-time fingerpickers (3-finger, 2-finger, etc) mind sharing what banjo(s) you play? I've been doing more old-time fingerpicking lately, and am quite certain this justifies the acquisition of another banjo. This begins the research phase.

chip arnold - Posted - 02/19/2007:  14:41:04


Every new thing requires a new banjo. That's just how it works and you can't escape. And every improvement or variation of an old thing requires a new banjo too.

I play a Baldwin style C, a Paramount style A and an OME Juggernaut. All have tonerings and all have resonators. I play without picks (unless a nail breaks) and I love the sound of these banjos. Not at all the plunky sound sought by a lot of todays clawhammerers.

Will Keys played a '26 Paramount style A without picks and you can hear him at his website. http://www.willkeys.com/html/screen.html

Pete Peterson is a terrific OT 3-finger picker who uses a very simple old Supertone with spunover pot. Pete uses a thumbpick and no fingerpicks.
Marvin Gaster plays a Gibson with a resonator and a rolled brass ring. No Picks.
Gail Gillespie plays a Gibson similar to Marvins in a beautiful OT 3 finger style with picks.
If she chimes in here, she can list a whole bunch of fingerpickers along with what they played.

Play with a plan
Chip

twelvefret - Posted - 02/19/2007:  14:56:20


[quoteWould those of you who consider yourselves primarily old-time fingerpickers (3-finger, 2-finger, etc) mind sharing what banjo(s) you play? I've been doing more old-time fingerpicking lately][/quote]

I use the only banjo I have, a RK California Delux openback with a custom handcarved bone and wood bridge, and DA mediums strings with or without a thick wool sock. I like to alternate between high and low positions between the bridge and fingerboard. I use .025 Dunlop brass fingerpicks and one of those famous little blue thumb picks.

Wool and bone make for a nice tone('')

Twelvefret <><

"Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple." Pete Seeger

" I 'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park" from the movie, "Cars"

Emiel - Posted - 02/19/2007:  15:49:01


I consider myself an oldtime fingerpicker, because I never studied Scruggs rolls, do two- and three-fingerpicking and get inspired mostly by oldtime music. I also like to frail though, and – when fingerpicking – also sometimes try to sound bluegrassy too, maybe call call that semi-bluegrass.

Emiel


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

banjoholic - Posted - 02/19/2007:  15:57:11


quote:
Originally posted by Emiel

I consider myself an oldtime fingerpicker, because I never studied Scruggs rolls, do two- and three-fingerpicking and get inspired mostly by oldtime music. I also like to frail though, and – when fingerpicking – also sometimes try to sound bluegrassy too, maybe call call that semi-bluegrass.

Emiel


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




So what banjo do you play?

chasgrav - Posted - 02/19/2007:  16:02:40


I play about an equal mix of clawhammer and 2-finger oldtime banjo, and have preferred tone rings for both styles. I have had an electric (Whyte Layde) style, an Orpheum, and now a Tu-Ba-Phone. Each was different but equally nice. Best advice is always to attempt to try before you buy.

uncledaveh - Posted - 02/19/2007:  16:46:04


I mostly play clawhammer but I also pick 2 and 3 finger old-time styles (also some early bluegrass). My primary banjo is a '34 Gibson TB-11 conversion with a Huber flathead tonering. For years, I played these styles on a '30 Vega Whyte Laydie.

Hot dog!!

David "Uncle Dave" Holbrook
Rockdale Ridgerunners

"Now good people, we're going to play this next tune with more heterogeneous constapolicy, double flavor and unknown quality than usual."


Edited by - uncledaveh on 02/19/2007 16:46:43

pastorharry - Posted - 02/19/2007:  17:58:39


I primarily play a fairly new Reiter Galax model (WL tonering),it's an openback with a 5 star head, waverly tailpiece and medium strings. I find this banjo works very well for both clawhammer and finger style picking. Very sweet tone-fairly bright and clear but with plenty depth, Aloha and God bless, PH

Isaiah 38:20 -played on a Martin guitar, Reiter banjo, or McSpadden dulcimer


Edited by - pastorharry on 02/19/2007 19:48:48

ramblin - Posted - 02/19/2007:  18:11:27


Justify the acquisition of a new banjo? What does *that* mean, anyway? :-)

frankie


--
http://donegone.net

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/19/2007:  18:15:19


When I did up picking I usually found that the same banjos I clawhammered sounded good to me up picked. My favourites in those days were mostly late 19th early 20th century openbacks with metal strings - Supertone, SS Stewart, Buckbee, and my 1920s WL small pot with a 5 string non-reproduction neck. I had about a dozen such banjos in those days and even a Pollman mandoline-banjo with a 5 string neck on a mandola sized body.
I found fingerpicking harder to mic than clawhammer but once I went to a mic inside the banjo that issue was no longer of any importance. I did have to re-learn my dynamics of course.

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 - 02/19/2007:  19:13:41


For a 2 and 3 finger, I find I get great volume and tone on my large-pot tubaphone and I don't wear finger picks. I just got a gourd banjo yesterday, though, and boy does finger picking ever sound good on that thing!
Isaac

"There's more to think of than y'all's thought of, ain't it?"
-Paul Sutphin

banjoholic - Posted - 02/19/2007:  21:17:10


Isaac - I agree. I picked up a gourd not too long ago, and love the way it sounds fingerpicked.

Chip - I really enjoy the sound of Will's banjo. Seems to have a little more bite than one set-up for clawhammer, but a little less pinched and nasal than a bluegrasser (some of this is technique related, of course). I might also add that I hold you largely accountable for my recent diversion into old-time fingerpicking. It was after listening to your version of "Bob Taylor's March" (which is phenomenal, needless to say) from the OTH that I decided I had to learn some more fingerpicking tunes. I've since been listening to more of Will's stuff, which is wonderful. And while on the subject, what tunings did he most typically use. I know double C is one.

Thanks for all the replies so far. Keep em coming. There seems to be a lot more variety here in instrument choice than that other 3 finger forum.


Edited by - banjoholic on 02/19/2007 21:17:50

chip arnold - Posted - 02/19/2007:  22:07:26


Hi Josh, Thanks for the kind words. If you go to the Banjo Newsletter website http://banjonews.com/ and search the mp3 files for Wearing of the Green, Dead March, Sycamore Shoals & Midnight on the Water, you can hear me there. I wish we knew how to get music into the computer; we'd put some stuff on my Hangout page.
Will played more in double C capoed for D than anything else. He did often play D tunes without the capo because as his hearing failed he could hear C better. Fiddlers had to scramble to keep up! He also played in open D, G and A that I know of.

Play with a plan
Chip

ramblin - Posted - 02/19/2007:  22:36:56


To answer the original question, I don't think you need any particular type of banjo to fingerpick... it depends on what kind of voice you're after or what appeals to you. I've had a couple of Bart Reiter's banjos, a Deering John Hartford, an Orpheum, a Wildwood... my main playing banjos right now are an 1870s oak rim, gut-strung fretless and a 1920-something Maybell. Both sound good, and very different, when fingerpicked. I have a steel strung fretless (Slingerland rim w/o tonering, fretless neck of unknown etiology) that needs new tuners, and when it gets them, it'll get fingerpicked, too.

My banjo acquisitions are thoroughly unjustified.

frankie


--
http://donegone.net

Isaac Enloe - Posted - 02/20/2007:  00:22:44


quote:
Originally posted by ramblin

My banjo acquisitions are thoroughly unjustified.

http://donegone.net



Hear hear!

"There's more to think of than y'all's thought of, ain't it?"
-Paul Sutphin

Emiel - Posted - 02/20/2007:  03:14:37


quote:
Originally posted by banjoholic

quote:
Originally posted by Emiel

I consider myself an oldtime fingerpicker, because I never studied Scruggs rolls, do two- and three-fingerpicking and get inspired mostly by oldtime music. I also like to frail though, and – when fingerpicking – also sometimes try to sound bluegrassy too, maybe call call that semi-bluegrass.

Emiel


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




So what banjo do you play?





Deering Vega No. 2 Tubaphone openback, Iida Mastertone-flathead-ring shoe-brackets openback, Clifford Essex no-tonering openback, and Gibson ball-bearing resonator fit all styles (frailing, two-a and three-finger-picking with or w/o picks). My Prucha Student Mastertone-flathead-ring one-piece flange resonator banjo is not so nice for clawhammer, mostly for picking with fingerpicks on.

Emiel


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


Edited by - Emiel on 02/20/2007 03:15:23

banjoholic - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:04:28


quote:
Originally posted by ramblin

Justify the acquisition of a new banjo? What does *that* mean, anyway? :-)

frankie


--
http://donegone.net



It means I anticipate the bank wanting some sort of explanation as to why there's no mortgage payment this month.

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

Dave Vinci - Posted - 02/09/2007:  12:25:19


Hi All,

I frequently play banjo solo and in public. Basically, where I go, the banjo goes. I do some re-enacting and bring my fretless along where I play all pre-1840 stuff which most of the public should know but frequently doesn't. Needless to say I play the melody so hopefully folks will recognize the tunes. One thing I have noticed is that if I embelish the tune too much, folks can't tell what I'm playing... maybe, that's a skill thing on my part but I don't think so.... I was wondering if that is a common experience.

Dave Vinci

Alby - Posted - 02/16/2007:  15:33:42


Been playing Scruggs for a while , like to try clawhammer, Ive looked at few instruction sites and all say first part of the strum is a downward strike with index finger,this I find very difficult, I seem to be able to work it with an upward pluck , would this create problems later in more complex tunes.

ttmoe - Posted - 02/18/2007:  06:32:09


Just wanted to let you know there's a new Tom Paley album
out on the swedish label Gravitation. "Beware young ladies!", also
featuring Bert Deivert.

Since I also release music on this label I was lucky to get an
early cdr last year. It made me go out and buy a banjo and take
that definite step out of society.

Sorry if it looks like an ad. It's just my way to say I'm not really that sad
Little Sadie had to go.

get it here:
http://www.gravitation.nu/discofram...ction=disco3

or here

http://cdbaby.com/cd/tompaley
---------------------------------

www.thetallestmanonearth.com
www.myspace.com/thetallestmanonearth

Faelan - Posted - 02/11/2007:  17:17:49


I'm trying to learn the drop thumb technique.. it's kicking my butt.

Any tips

flatfoot - Posted - 02/17/2007:  11:54:42


.

I use a Seeger up-picking style when I accompany my singing. This works well for songs at 90 BPM or faster. When I sing slow songs, like some of the Carter Family ballads, my playing just runs out of steam. I can 't keep a beat going.

I have a couple of recordings where some real old-time guys play double-time and really drag out the long notes. I cant play that fast.

What do y'all do for slow songs? Is there a way to make CH or up-picking work? Or should I just get out a guitar?

.

I'm learning how to tune the strings
I'm learning how to frail
And how to sound like Earl Scruggs
The bluegrass holy grail.

rockbanjo - Posted - 02/17/2007:  14:57:18


Hi folks,?please have you any Ken Perlman 6 CD set Clawhammer Banjo by Homespun?
I have also this CD set but I just find that that I have 5 and 6 CD scratched.
I would like buy the complete older 6 CD Homespun set or trade, for any banjo instructioanl DVDs.
If you would like help me please contact me at:
rc.service@bluetone.cz
and I send you my CD and DVD list.
Many thanks in advance for help
Richard

banjoholic - Posted - 02/19/2007:  14:24:54


Would those of you who consider yourselves primarily old-time fingerpickers (3-finger, 2-finger, etc) mind sharing what banjo(s) you play? I've been doing more old-time fingerpicking lately, and am quite certain this justifies the acquisition of another banjo. This begins the research phase.

Davidprat - Posted - 02/13/2007:  07:59:55


Some people plays clawhammer with fingerpicks other people not,What do you prefer and why?

David Prat
www.davidprat.com
http://www.myspace.com/davidprat

hillbilly larry - Posted - 02/13/2007:  08:14:45


i use my middle finger nail.i have experimented with picks and i have found that it is hard for me to play if i cant feel the strings.to me the nails sound more natural.just my opinion.

"it aint what you got its what you put out" uncle dave macon

arnie - Posted - 02/13/2007:  08:55:15


I used my natural nail on my index for 30 years. Now that I'm over 50, may nail appears to be not as durable as when I was a young whippersnapper, and if I play alot it's almost gone. I've been experimenting with various picks and nail options. Everything I try gives my banjo a different tone and response. I find playing generally more difficult when using a pick. When I went in to record my 5 strings vol2, I had almost no nail, but I did the whole thing anyway without a pick. Chris Coole uses acrylic nails from the nail lady, and He's been playing that way since He started. He''s used to it, and gets a very clear, precise and awesome tone. I also like to feel the string when I hit it.

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

maxmax - Posted - 02/13/2007:  09:48:25


I'm lucky to have strong enough nails that I don't kneed a pick. Never liked picks, feel awkward and sound to much compared to my thumb. And I know they only take about two seconds to put on, but I still realy like the fact that I don't kneed anything but my banjo to play it (specialy while playing outdoors for some reason).

Clawnovice - Posted - 02/13/2007:  10:26:51


I have only played for about a year now. Nailene Super Glue works very well for me. I tried several until I found this one that has the right combination of hardness and toughness (some are too brittle). I coat my nail with several/many layers of it. Each is filed/sanded rough so the next one bonds well. Putting on many thin layers seems better. It makes the nail harder and the sound crisp. More layers seem to produce a cleaner/stronger sound. I like it. Let each layer dry thoroughly. My nail has grown out to the correct length for me and I file it down a little every second or third day. Every two or three weeks I add a layer or two as my nail grows out. It is hardly noticable since it is not much longer than the other nails and the same colour (unless you prefer red or pink).


tonehead - Posted - 02/13/2007:  10:39:00


I have experimented with using metal picks ( sort of upside down and backward from how they are worn for bluegrass picking) but went back to fingernail. It just sounded and felt better.



Be significant.

hillbilly larry - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:16:34


quote:
Originally posted by Clawnovice

I have only played for about a year now. Nailene Super Glue works very well for me. I tried several until I found this one that has the right combination of hardness and toughness (some are too brittle). I coat my nail with several/many layers of it. Each is filed/sanded rough so the next one bonds well. Putting on many thin layers seems better. It makes the nail harder and the sound crisp. More layers seem to produce a cleaner/stronger sound. I like it. Let each layer dry thoroughly. My nail has grown out to the correct length for me and I file it down a little every second or third day. Every two or three weeks I add a layer or two as my nail grows out. It is hardly noticable since it is not much longer than the other nails and the same colour (unless you prefer red or pink).




be careful not to keep superglue on your nail all the time or a real nasty fungus can occure between the glue and your nail.

"it aint what you got its what you put out" uncle dave macon

dbrooks - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:30:29


I've been trying a modified Acri pick as recommended by John Balch on my Bay State with Nylgut strings. It is feeling more natural the more I use it.

You can check John's web site for photos and instructions
http://johnbalchmusic.com/picks.html

David

BanjoBillyBoy - Posted - 02/13/2007:  15:43:40


Even though I retooled some standard picks to work for clawhammer, I almost never use them, only if both my index and middle fingernails are missing.
The picks are cumbersome for me for the first couple tunes, until I get used to them, but they don't really add any volume than the finger nail.
I remember in Pete Seegar's book he mentioned the idea of getting a acrylic nail glued on to the finger, but that always seemed a little on the extreme side.



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

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/13/2007:  19:34:18


I have a couple plastic finger picks cut down, shaped to my fingers, and filed smooth in my banjo case. They are there to prevent bloodshed. I've worn out nails on both the index and middle finger that badly in the past. It hasn't happened recently but I've gotten close a couple times and am now prepared.

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

portacard - Posted - 02/14/2007:  09:39:33


I have only been clawhammering for about two years having Scruggs and guitar fingerpicking background. I found that if I didn’t use picks, I couldn’t do many old licks and it was like starting over again. So with a little practice I found that I could do clawhammering licks with standard plastic fingerpicks used in the standard way (not backwards). This allows me to use a variety of styles, three-finger, two-finger and clawhammer, interchangeably within the same song. It took about a month of practice to get it down and it requires plastic picks, metal ones catch and pull off. I would be interested to know if anyone else is doing this.

Mike

teebee - Posted - 02/17/2007:  06:47:27


Can you provide a picture. I've tried plastic and metal in the regular down-pick and they always come off.

How do you strike the string without losing control of the pick?

happy to tinker

RCCOOK - Posted - 02/17/2007:  08:59:23


Since the 60's I used just plain fingernails. I have short nails and the strings hits above the nail and makes it sore after 3-4 hours. I use a plastic pick with the pick pointing to my knuckle and the finger wrap around the cuticle to protect it. When you near 60 your skin gets much thinner. This helps a lot when the thing doesn't get caught in the strings. I don't actually play with the pick, I have tried to play with a reversed pick and it works but doesn't feel right.........Rod

jbalch - Posted - 02/17/2007:  09:03:31


I really wish I could play well without picks...but I've never been able to get a clear sound with my bare, thin nails alone.

Ping-pong ball picks are my first choice on steel strings. I often use the brass ACRI (modified) on nylon or gut.



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

Faelan - Posted - 02/17/2007:  10:56:22


I use my index finger nail, havn't tried a pick yet but at this point I don't see any reason to try.

__________________________
Faelan
Banjon00b
Gold Tone CC-50

Richard - Posted - 02/19/2007:  07:34:13


quote:
Originally posted by oldwoodchuckb

I have a couple plastic finger picks cut down, shaped to my fingers, and filed smooth in my banjo case. They are there to prevent bloodshed. I've worn out nails on both the index and middle finger that badly in the past. It hasn't happened recently but I've gotten close a couple times and am now prepared.



i know the feeling - i wore away a nail at a long weekend festival last year and keep a modified plastic pick clipped on to one of the hooks. i don't actually use it much since it gives quite a muddy tone, but keep it just in case.

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/19/2007:  07:42:57


After playing non-stop for a few hours, even hardest nails are going to take a beating.

On Sunday, I tried a brass metal pick someone custom made for me. It wasn't hard to get used to, but I do not like the sound. It causes the strings to ping and ring and sound like a bluegrass instrument (in my opinion). Maybe the plastic picks don't make such a loud sound, but this brass model sure does.

I will keep it in the banjo case for an emergency to use if my nail totally goes south. For now, I will stick to the hard as nails routine. It works best for me, but everyone is different.

Limax - Posted - 02/19/2007:  08:00:41


My fingernails are kept short because of my work, so I've learned how to pick with a short nail. I found that fingerpicks don't work for me because I'm a tactile player. I need to be able to feel the string as I'm playing.

A salted slug gathers no moss.

BRASMAN - Posted - 02/20/2007:  13:47:03


I use modified brass and plastic picks depending on what sound I want. I cut my nails very short so that option is out for me. I have found the plastic one has a little moer old time sound and the brass has a little more crispness and volume. Just my opinion.

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

Copo - Posted - 02/20/2007:  14:12:30


I tried the finger for about two minutes and realised that it's just far too loud and overpowers the natural thumb strike. But i know someone else who prefers to use it, mainly because he's more used to the scruggs style picking.
You'll know what feels natural to you and that's the best way

Steve Donnelly - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:49:30


I tend to hit the strings above the nail sometimes so when I apply Scotch tape, I start about 1/4" above the nail and cut the extra sticking out over the end of the nail with nail clippers.
Sometimes I use two layers.

When using thin Dunlop picks, I put one or two layers of tape over these to soften the sound, but not three layers.

andyrubin - Posted - 02/20/2007:  19:17:06


A plastic Alaska pic on the middle finger is a great way to go, imo. Nice incisive tone that doesn't overwhelm the thumb.

Andy Rubin
The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band
www.freilachmakers.com

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