Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

542
Banjo Lovers Online


 All Forums
 Playing the Banjo
 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Digital Library of Appalachia


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/76040

Page: 1  2  

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

Page: 1  2  

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


Frode
Oslo, Norway

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


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

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

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

Any ideas?



Regards,
Rimstick


Uncle Dave Macon makes me laugh !!

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


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

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


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

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


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


Hi

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

Thanks in Advance

Danny

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

I think this is going to become my next obsession

Banjonically yours

Joe

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

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

SteveK - Posted - 02/20/2007:  10:02:27


If you want people to be able to click your link and get the page, remove the period at the end.

wormpicker - Posted - 02/20/2007:  10:25:23


Judy, congratulations on setting up your music class! The recordings sound great. I recorded our Tucson Old Time Music Circle last month, and hope to do it again this Friday night. My recorder isn't quite as fancy as yours, but it seems to do a pretty nice job. I used an Olympus DS-20 digital recorder. It records in wma files (high sampling-rate stereo sound) and has a built-in stereo mic. If I were to buy a similar recorder today I would probably pick the newer DS-30 or DS-40, which appear to have even better recording specs (although it's not clear to me whether these two are compatible with downloading to a Mac, while the DS-20 is). I convert my wma files to mp3s in iTunes. You can listen to last month's tunes by going to this page and then clicking on the link to the music circle: http://pricklypearmusic.net/

Paul


Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

stringbeaner - Posted - 02/20/2007:  10:48:53


HMmmmm! Worked fine for me! Hi, BJ..............Not bad. At least this way I can hear what I missed last week.

banjobutte

banjo_brad - Posted - 02/20/2007:  14:15:57


And, I'm hoping Paul brings his recorder this week, too. I haven't had a chance to get one myself, yet ($$$, time, etc.).
I do record myself directly into my computer quite a bit, and have most of my stuff posted online available through either link in my signature.

Brad

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

mcallise - Posted - 02/21/2007:  08:07:56


I recorded myself for a long time on a digital eight track recorder with a big phantom-powered condensor mic and the whole works. Recording "June Apple" on that was like powering up the Enterprise for a trip to the grocery store.

A few weeks ago, I bought an Edirol R-09 and now many of my friends are buying them too. It is VERY easy to use, extremely small, and records in WAV or MP3 and transfers files to my computer in nothing flat. The recording quality is good, although it does go right through the batteries. I can easily hook it up to my monitor speakers and use the AB repeat button to play passages over and over until I can nail them. Try learning "Joke on the Puppy" without that!



Uncle Mac - Jug Music Rules!

Tackhead - Posted - 02/21/2007:  08:13:12


quote:
Originally posted by mcallise

<snip>
A few weeks ago, I bought an Edirol R-09 and now many of my friends are buying them too. It is VERY easy to use, extremely small, and records in WAV or MP3 and transfers files to my computer in nothing flat. The recording quality is good, although it does go right through the batteries. I can easily hook it up to my monitor speakers and use the AB repeat button to play passages over and over until I can nail them. Try learning "Joke on the Puppy" without that!
Uncle Mac - Jug Music Rules!


What a timely posting I'm thinking of buying one of these gizmos. A couple of questions, if you don't mind. Do you use the internal mike or something else? How much time do you get out of the batteries? Where did you buy it? Thanks.

~John


John Flynn
Tallahassee, FL

tonehead - Posted - 02/21/2007:  08:29:16


That Edirol product looks sweet. Is there anything remotely similar out there in the $200 range?


Be significant.

wormpicker - Posted - 02/21/2007:  08:58:58


In the $200-and-under range, take a look at the Olympus recorders, like the models I mentioned above:

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_s...ecorders.asp

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

mcallise - Posted - 02/21/2007:  09:41:29


I got mine for about $250 from Ebay. I use the internal mics, which are quite good. Battery time seems to be about 4 hours continuous recording, but the unit comes with an AC adaptor that I could probably use more often than I do. I haven't tried using external mics - the unit will only send about 3.5v to power smaller condensors - you'd need a phantom power box to juice up a good condensor. But I don't see where you'd really need it.

Uncle Mac - Jug Music Rules!

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

Clawdan - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:34:00


I profess the no strap approach. Actually, I find more preasure from USING the strap as it pulls on your shoulder putting preasure on your neck and making it harder to play. If you rest the pot on your leg and the neck out parallel to the ground, it almost balances removing the need for the strap.

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

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:34:47


I start complete beginners (ie people who havent' played any fretted instruments) with what amounts to flamenco guitar position until they have figured out how to curl thier fingers over the fingerboard. Sometimes this involves using a banjo strap.

If you can hold the banjo in place (pot low, neck elevated) without a strap there is no reason to use one. If you have trouble keeping the neck from moving, then a strap really comes in handy.

If you later want to play standing you should use a strap and practice playing while standing, or you will find yourself learning how to do it in public -- not a whole lot of fun.


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

bschorfhaar - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:46:39


all of the aboves.

andyrubin - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:56:22


I actually DO use a strap while playing seated, as I think it provides a sense of stability. I must confess, though, that the strap can be a problem when, usually in public gigs, I need to switch instruments quickly (banjo to mandolin) - the derned thing'll knock your cap off if you're not careful...

-Andy

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

JS Coffman - Posted - 01/11/2007:  18:01:17


I used a strap for about 9 months until I had the good forture to have a lesson with ClawDan when he passed through Kansas City last fall. He conviinced me to give it up and I'm glad I did. It really is more comfortable playing without the pressure at my neck and shoulder. Thanks Dan!

I did find that my Lone Star with fewer hooks than the Ramsey wants to slide a little on my leg though. Solution: bought some of that rubber mesh they make for putting in the bottom of drawers and cut a piece about 5x8 inches. I just lay that on top of my leg and the banjo doesn't go anywhere. I can play the Lee without the mesh but it's a little more effort to keep it balanced when it starts to slide.

Joel

chip arnold - Posted - 01/11/2007:  18:37:06


Playing a heavy banjo I find a strap helps me. I rest the weight of the banjo on my thighs for a while and then when that gets uncomfortable I'll sit up a little straighter, which takes the slack out of the strap and puts the weight on my upper body for a while. So I guess I'm using it to support some of the weight not to position or stabelise the banjo.
My new tackhead is almost weightless and I don't use a strap with it.

Play with a plan
Chip

brokenstrings - Posted - 01/11/2007:  18:38:57


No.

Jessy

Frailaway, ladies, frailaway!

Mike T - Posted - 01/11/2007:  18:45:33


I go strapless for the mere fact that I'm too lazy to loop the dang thing over my head every time I sit down.

KE - Posted - 01/11/2007:  21:26:43


Strap. I use vintage straps from Sully. My playing improved when I started using a strap, and as a bonus I can play while wandering around. If the strap is adjusted correctly the banjo sits square in my lap, very little direct weight on the shoulders, and the neck is held stable in whatever position you set it. I find it matters a great deal to have the strap adjusted to the perfect length, and attached to the banjo at the optimal points (it depends on which banjo and the weight of the neck.)

wormpicker - Posted - 01/11/2007:  23:17:54


I use a strap and rest the banjo pot between my legs. Dan showed me his method of holding the banjo on his right thigh when I met him at The Folk Shop on his way into Tucson, but it doesn't really work for me. The brackets cut into my thigh (living in southern Arizona, I almost always wear shorts), and they also push right into the bottoms of my ribs, which is really uncomfortable for me. Resting the banjo between my legs, the top of the pot rests against my belly, which is (sigh) adequately padded.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

brokenstrings - Posted - 01/12/2007:  02:09:28


It's a relief to find that this thread is not about ladies' underwear.

Jessy

Frailaway, ladies, frailaway!

eickmewg - Posted - 01/12/2007:  06:31:27


Dan's "strapless" advice worked for me. At a workshop in Nashville, he had everybody take off the straps and reposition the banjo as he has described above. This change allowed me to finally play over the scoop comfortably. The pot is on my right thigh and tucked under my arm. The neck is just a little off horizontal. This advice actually saved me money as I was going to invest in a nice strap for the new Romero, which I now no longer need. I have a nice Dogwood Designs strap I had on the Lee that I may now try to sell, so I may actually profit from Dan's advice in more ways than one.

Bill

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

Arcadian - Posted - 01/12/2007:  06:50:39


I took Dan's workshop, and found him enthusiastic about not using a strap. However, he did not convince my body to give my strap up. It doesn't hurt my neck or shoulder, and the banjo is secure whether I sit or stand.

None of the positions recommended by touted tutors are bad. I just think if you listen to your body it will tell you if you should wear a strap or not. Thank heavens this is a Clawhammer Forum; otherwise somebody would be insisting we are supposed to wear our straps over our right shoulder only (like Earl)

Strap design and position make a difference, too. I bought a cradle strap by accident (it wasn't advertised as such), and was surprised to find how much more solid the banjo felt.




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

piperdoc - Posted - 01/12/2007:  07:32:59


strapless.
i know in the music world we tend to promote playing every instrument in a particular position, the same way every time. this is not always healthy in my view. unless you are a very relaxed player, you never know when some repetitive stress injury will make you put down the instrument for a while.
without a strap, you will probably make subtle changes in posture according to the subconcious messages of your body, and thus stay more relaxed.
i am sure others vehemently disagree, but that is the view that works for me. if i were to use a strap, i would do it part time only.
meir

canerods - Posted - 01/12/2007:  09:55:48


The Banjo Hang Out is a really cool place. Where else could a beginner ask a question and get so many helpful and well thought out answers from so many experienced and respected musicians? Thanks for all input, you folks are great!!

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

wormpicker - Posted - 01/12/2007:  17:30:45


quote:
Originally posted by canerods

Where else could a beginner ask a question and get so many helpful and well thought out answers from so many experienced and respected musicians?



Well, I hope you haven't made the egregious mistake to include me in that category!

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

piperdoc - Posted - 01/13/2007:  11:42:20


or me.

i must admit, in the interest of full disclosure, that i do feel left out when folks talk about straps on the "products and shopping" forum. its a whole caterogy of cool accesory that i can't relate to. that in itself may be reason to use one.


Edited by - piperdoc on 01/13/2007 11:45:24

bnjomn - Posted - 01/13/2007:  12:14:35


I second JS Coffman's use of a piece of rubber mesh. I've been using one for several years and find it holds the banjo securely, leaving my hands free to play.

Cheers,

Len

"A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well."

G. K. Chesterton

teddy111 - Posted - 01/13/2007:  14:34:25


I think that playing a banjo with a strap on it offer more stability... and if (as I do) you play sometimes gigs with a fiddler and a guitar player in pubs or caf-concerts... you just want to quit your sit and move around... specialy if they are some pretty girls in the place !

Take a look at my site : http://homeusers.brutele.be/goodtimerollers/

Tom Banjo - Posted - 01/13/2007:  21:14:26


When I first started, I couldn't hardly play without a strap. Recently, I was getting aggravated while trying to do some recording because the strap I have swivels at the ends and would make a creaking noise at the slightest movement, which would pick up in the recording. So I took it off, and found out that it's much easier to play without one now than it used to be. I'm not sure if it's an increased arm strength or just general familiarity with the instrument and the style, but I'm really glad to not need it anymore.
So my vote is for strapless.

_________________________
www.myspace.com/crt4au

Stev187 - Posted - 01/22/2007:  19:07:56


Both. This is an interesting thread for me, because I learned to play the banjo standing up. As a string bass player, I nearly always stood up (3rd set maybe I used a stool from time to time when things got relaxed). Also, for years of playing electric bass I used a strap.

I don't have a gig on the banjo now, so I mostly let the strap dangle. The main reason for this is that it's easier to put the banjo down to go grab the phone or break up a quarrel between the kids. If I'm strapped up, I usually take the banjo with me on the way to the emergency, and this has resulted in collisons with door jambs and other objects (depending on how distracting the emergency is). This thread made me put the strap on and sit down to play for a while. I don't notice too much difference playing wise, except I felt the urge to stand up and walk around.

Speaking of straps...

When I was playing regularly about 10 years ago, THE clawhammer banjo strap to have was a very simple one made by Mountain Leatherworks. I love mine, and it is permanently affixed to my Reiter. But I went to look for it recently and came up dry.

I decided to go to the local leather supply place and get the materials to make my own. I've never done any leather work, but the strap is really simple. "How hard could it be?" I thought.

Usually when I ask myself that question I get in way over my head. Not this time. $35 worth of leather, a hole punch, a stanley knife, and some Chicago screws + 15 minutes of work produced this very nice EXACT replica of my favorite strap. This one is black, and the leather is even nicer--so I believe this one is better.



So, if you want to try to make your own strap, go ahead! It's easy. I like this design because the little leather loopy things go right on the rim hooks--nothing to scratch your banjo. This is an "always on" design, though.

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


Edited by - Stev187 on 01/22/2007 19:24:35

stringbeaner - Posted - 01/22/2007:  19:32:40


For about the first 10-15 years I played with a trio and various put-together ensembles and stood up most of the time. I found, when I played sitting down, that the banjo sat lower down (on my thigh) and I had to change my hand and arm positions some. I still usually play with a strap on sitting or standing.

banjobutte

Dave Vinci - Posted - 01/23/2007:  09:23:19


I play both with and without the strap... I find it kind of depends on the chair I'm sitting on... for instance, if I'm sitting on a sofa/couch I don't really need a strap but sitting on a straight back chair I feel much better using it. Sitting in my recliner chair watching TV and picking... I don't use a strap either... but sitting at the computer with a banjo on my lap I use the strap so I don't have to put the banjo down to type. Goofy, huh?

curtiseller - Posted - 01/23/2007:  10:10:38


I always stand while performing and therefore always use a strap. When I play sitting it's usually while I'm writing a new tune. I don't use a strap then because I have to continually take the banjo on and off to reach for my notebook. It's just more convenient to go strapless when seated.

Curtis Eller's American Circus
www.curtiseller.com


Edited by - curtiseller on 01/23/2007 11:38:18

BConk - Posted - 01/23/2007:  11:18:23


quote:
Originally posted by curtiseller

I always stand while performing



Oh yeah? That's not what I've heard






Brian
http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists...4644&alid=-1

FretlessFury - Posted - 01/23/2007:  11:23:14


I use a strap while standing up, and none while sitting.

I will say that while I was first learning a strap was essential. It kept me from supporting the weight of the neck with my left hand which really freed me up.

Tom Collins

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

Red hot old time music.

Couchie - Posted - 01/23/2007:  12:31:40


Strap while standing, sometimes while sitting.

Don.

O=='=#

Stev187 - Posted - 01/23/2007:  16:39:11


Oh yeah! Now there's a photo!

I'd like to see you do THAT without a strap, Curtis!

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

curtiseller - Posted - 02/01/2007:  12:05:36


When I'm upside down I ALWAYS use a strap

Curtis Eller's American Circus
www.curtiseller.com

jasperr - Posted - 02/01/2007:  12:20:38


My banjos have straps, but rarely get used. I'm usually settin' when palyin'.

Jim

Galante_K4 - Posted - 02/01/2007:  13:25:26


I got into the habit of using a strap when I played cello in my high school's marching band.
(Thanks Woody.)

Seriously, I always use a strap. I find it frees up my left hand to move over the neck more easily. Also, I spend about half my practice time standing.

"Admitting to yourself that you have BAS is the first step in recovery."


Edited by - Galante_K4 on 02/01/2007 13:28:11

Kole - Posted - 02/01/2007:  17:50:13


Gotta have one. Sitting or standing.

Flesher Tarantella
Cedar Mountain Banjos

banjopogo - Posted - 02/02/2007:  02:18:47


I use a strap-
I think it helps keep my banjo position consistent,
whether I'm standing or sitting,
and I feel that's important, especially for accurate drop thumbing.

Last night it dawned on me that the tailpiece mounting bracket
probably isn't a good place to attach the strap-
I realized it pulls on the tailpiece and throws the banjo out of tune.
A regular bracket is a better place.


Michael

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

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

Bill - Posted - 02/02/2007:  17:50:11


Son, never stand up when you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down.

(Hence, no strap needed at my house.)

Bill
http://home.comcast.net/~ny3m

vega long neck - Posted - 02/20/2007:  21:41:49


Frankly, while sitting the strap does not seem to matter to me. I usually have the pot on my right thigh but sort of towards the left, occasionally I notice it's supported by both thighs. Lately I have been wearing the strap when seated but only because it puts it somewhere predictable and keeps it from getting in the way. With the strap adjusted for playing standing it doesn' t actually support anything while I'm sitting.
I really don't think it matters. What ever is comfortable

Scott

mcallise - Posted - 02/21/2007:  08:02:24


I do both. I started out using a big honking $60 padded leather bluegrass banjo strap, which gouged my pots and made me feel like a Staples employee. It had to be either "ON" or "OFF" and there was no way to just "let it dangle."

Two or three years ago at Mt. Airy I bought a small, cheap, very lightweight leather strap, and that made all the difference.

Mostly, I play unstrapped while sitting, but if my left arm is getting tired or I'm about to play a more difficult piece, having the strap add some extra support under the neck helps me stay focused on the finger board.

Uncle Mac - Jug Music Rules!

TMarshall1 - Posted - 02/21/2007:  09:36:49


I found that by adjusting my strap to suit me while sitting, it makes it much easier to practice sitting or standing because the instrument is always in exactly the same place.

t

"...if ya got time to breathe, ya got time for music..."
Briscoe Darling - Apr.29,1963

skiptomylou - Posted - 02/23/2007:  05:35:50


has anyone tried those 'cradle' straps? They look like braces when they are on and they are supposed to distribute the weight of the banjo evenly on both sides of your body.

I've been practising playing standing up lately and using my guitar strap temporarily to see how it is. I'm getting a lot of strain on my left shoulder so wondered if I should buy one of those 'cradle' ones I've seen advertised on the internet.

Anyone any advice?

I've got a mountain of dreams to climb

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

LPinAZ - Posted - 02/22/2007:  12:16:08


I play flat-pick guitar and clawhammer banjo. For starters I would recommend that you learn the backup chords to whatever tunes you're going to play together. Then some form or variation of a simple "bum-ditty" pattern should work to back up the guitar. What ever technique you use to back up your vocals should also work to back up another instrument. You can also play the melody together once in a while which is especially nice if one or both of you can maintain chordal backup while also playing the melody ( Carter-style guitar for example).

Les
Peoria, Arizona


Edited by - LPinAZ on 02/22/2007 12:20:35

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/22/2007:  15:56:34


Besides going to a more chordal approach for you banjo playing to accomadate the guitarist you might also see about getting him listening to some Riley Puckett records - especially those with the Skillet Lickers - and get him involved with playing for fiddlers.
Puckett played a bass run to chord style that goes beautifully with old time music. It is not the famous Carter scratch which is better for vocalists but a much more active bass run style that really kept the skillet Lickers moving forward.

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

Richard - Posted - 02/23/2007:  07:18:36


I find that with a flatpicker, the chords definitely do come in handy - back up with drop thumbing, strumming, chops, etc. with the occasional bit of the meloy thrown in. Also, try octave or harmony parts as well, just to mix it up a bit.

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

dbrooks - Posted - 02/23/2007:  08:29:01


Thanks for the suggestions. I suspect that part of the answer will be that I need to do less for backup than I think I need to do. Just a little something to provide rhythm and chordal support. My friend is a Doc Watson devotee and plays very much in Doc's style. While his guitar has sufficient volume, it is a bit softer than other lead instruments. Backing off and giving the guitar plenty of space will probably work.

He also found that he needed to think more about chording behind my playing. In fact, Steve Kaufman advises people coming to his summer camp (which my friend plans to do) to practice both lead and backup so that they will be ready to play with others.

OWCB, I'd love to get a fiddler involved at some point, though if I had a fiddler to play with, I might not have hooked up with my guitar-playing friend.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

David

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

black flag - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:04:50


Buell Kazee's style utilized 1st-string pull-offs to achieve approximately the same rhythmic effect as drop-thumbing. I haven't heard his playing for many years, but I think he always used a straight G tuning and I know he played a Gibson RB-3 trapdoor.

Chris

uncledaveh - Posted - 02/19/2007:  09:00:13


I was at a festival in Kentucky in the early 70's and met Buell Kazee. He offered to let me play his RB-3 trapdoor, and I did not turn down the opportunity. While I know this doesn't answer your question, thank you for recalling this memory to mind.

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."

Henke - Posted - 02/20/2007:  14:32:40


Buell kazee is my favorite clawhammer player!
The way I have understanded B. Kazees clawhammering is that it a just as you say a great amount of drop thumbing...and as Black flag says, t 1string pull-off.
i have his folkwas record where he retunes a couple of time. double c, g, gmodal, and also the triplle c.

this maybe dont helps out alot.


Take it easy, and if it´s easy take it!

black flag - Posted - 02/21/2007:  10:40:04


There is a video available that includes performances by Buell Kazee. I haven't seen it, but I think it would help clear up the mystery of just what he was doing. My ears tell me that he relied on 1st-string pull-offs for rhythmic effect and that there is little or no drop-thumb going on. If someone views the video and sees otherwise, I'd like to know, because I worked quite hard 45 years ago at trying to duplicate his style. I'm listening to him right now on the great boxed set, "Kentucky Mountain Music", and it's obvious that he used a number of different tunings, so I was mistaken with that call.

http://www.yazoorecords.com/516.htm

http://www.yazoorecords.com/2200.htm

banjoralph - Posted - 02/22/2007:  18:06:34


This thread prompted me to get some of Buell Kazee's recordings out of the cabinet and re-enjoy them. I Googled his name and discovered that he is apparently alive, a member of My Space and 100 years old. I Iimmediately joined MYSPACE in order to send him an email thanking him for all the musical pleasure he has given usl I am now listening to one of his recorded interviews on Folkways and enjoying hearing an accent like my parents who grew up about 50 miles north of Lexinton Ky.

ndlxs - Posted - 02/22/2007:  19:50:02


No chance it is the same guy, Kazee died in 1976. Maybe a fan?

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

ndlxs - Posted - 02/22/2007:  19:51:33


The myspace site specifically says "this is a Buell Kazee fan website"...

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

banjoralph - Posted - 02/22/2007:  21:03:05


85 and first mistake- that's not too bad.! Sorry for the mislead

LEUllman - Posted - 02/22/2007:  23:28:29


Anyone have an mp3 or posted soundfile I can listen to?

"Ring, ring the banjo, I love that good old song."

fictioneer - Posted - 02/23/2007:  00:24:12


Two tracks here (http://www.juneberry78s.com/otmsamp...ampat53.html); downloads are about 800K each. www.archive.org has a couple of additional mp3s, and there is some Real Audio at www.honkingduck.com, including Kazee's nice version of "Roving Cowboy."

janolov - Posted - 02/23/2007:  03:14:49


I have downloaded an album Buell kazee Sings And Plays from emusic.com (you must sign a subscription, but there is a possibilty for initial free downloads). It contains 18 tracks and contains some interviews and comments from BK.

Janolov

ndlxs - Posted - 02/23/2007:  11:38:52


This is probably the Folkways album you are speaking of; there is a LOT of talking on that album. (I still have my vinyl copy). I read somewhere that Kazee was upset that it was released; some "collector" came by with a tape recorder and Kazee obliged him, not realizing the tape was going to be made into an album.

I don't think the definitive Kazee CD is available as of yet; his recordings from the 20s and 30s are available on various CDs, but no one has pulled them all together. What a shame!

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

ndlxs - Posted - 02/23/2007:  11:39:50


Banjoralph,
I hope to someday be 85 and still be playing the banjo too! You are my model.
(35 years to go though).
Andy Alexis

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

black flag - Posted - 02/23/2007:  14:28:10


According to Rich Nevins, Buell Kazee recorded 52 songs, not including the Folkways lp cited by Andy. Seven of these can be heard on Yazoo's 7-cd set, "Kentucky Mountain Music", not to be confused with the 2-cd set from the same label, "The Music of Kentucky". The second is a great set but doesn't include anything by Kazee.

Chris

banjoralph - Posted - 02/23/2007:  17:35:19


Thanks, Andy, for easing an old guy's self-induced embarassment !

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

frailin - Posted - 02/20/2007:  22:09:46


Good for you, roneil76! This is great!

If you feel you've got something to bring to the banjo party in making a new instrument, then by all means, BRING IT!! I know I'm not the only one here interested in your thoughts, impressions and creativity. That's one of the really nice things about this community (BHO).

So... get goin'! Let's see what you've got in mind! And lucky you for having the inspiration and drive to make something happen!





"Gospel. The most powerful music in this world... and the next."


www.banjohangout.org/my/frailin
www.frailin.com
www.myspace.com/frailin
www.myspace.com/eelpouts
www.myspace.com/singletonstreet

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/20/2007:  22:20:09


Ryan--I assume you are aware that Mike Kemnitzer has been making Nugget mandolins for more than 30 years now. I hope that your use of the name for your instruments does not cause a conflict over trademark rights.

Bill

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  23:43:24


Thak you guys for the replies.

Frailin... Thank you for the kind words.

Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Yopparai - Posted - 02/21/2007:  00:18:56


Good luck to ya!

See, I would never make it. In order to be truthful, MY ad would have to say things like, "Made from the finest wood scraps and PVC available in my garage..."

I am looking forward to seeing, and hearing, what you create!

roneil76 - Posted - 02/21/2007:  17:57:53


nice yopparai,

Thank you all for the worm reception . i must admit i felt nervouse to post an "AD". But What I was hoping was that some people might be interested in my product. Not for a sale but for some interest in my work, and some of you are. If you dont mind I would like to post maybe the final pictures once I have one complete. And of course you could visit my site any time to see what I've been up to. I'd love to hear both goods and bads about my work. Anyway, just glad to here some of you "eggin me on"

Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

frailin - Posted - 02/21/2007:  18:03:17


Consider us "family and friends." Besides, if you succeed, we benefit as well!

Show us your stuff!

"Gospel. The most powerful music in this world... and the next."


www.banjohangout.org/my/frailin
www.frailin.com
www.myspace.com/frailin
www.myspace.com/eelpouts
www.myspace.com/singletonstreet

J-Walk - Posted - 02/21/2007:  19:23:22


You might want to consider getting a better camera, roneil76. Those cell phone photos really don't show much.

roneil76 - Posted - 02/21/2007:  23:36:44


yeah camera is # 1 on my wishlist.

Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

roneil76 - Posted - 02/22/2007:  23:43:01


For those who are interested I have posted some of my older work on my website. take a look for funs sake the items pictured on the NHI homepage are not for salebut they show some of my original work. please take a look if you feel inclined to do so. The pictures are taken on my cell phone so they are not that great but they do show my work some what.

Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

black flag - Posted - 02/23/2007:  00:37:53


The Nugget name is already spoken for and has been for beaucoup years and you'll just make things complicated for yourself trying to appropriate it. Mike Kemnitzer is one of the greatest of contemporary luthiers--no knock on you or your instruments, but the name is not a good choice.

Chris

roneil76 - Posted - 02/23/2007:  10:58:15


I would like to thank Bill rogers and Black flag for thier imput. I had no Idea this name was used. I am very attached to the name nugget and have been fighting in my head for reasons to keep it. Nugget is my wifes nick name given to her maybe date 2 of ours. I've been saying "Nugget handcrafted instruments" is different than "Nugget mandolins". and other thoughts of why it should be fine. Truth is the name is taken and Nugget already builds a great instrument. So, I like to look at that as mission accomplished. I have officialy given up on trying to twist the name to my benifit. "not easy as you might think" But I am keeping NHI and changing the "N" to stand for "Nectar" not nearly as sentimental as Nugget but I will always know what "NHI" stands for. And some of you from early on here may remember too. "Nectar" comes from the fact that my company logo is a hummingbird flying through a sunset. I do like it . Can't say right now that I love it but I will try to let it grow on me. Thanks agian for the information.

Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

roneil76 - Posted - 02/24/2007:  19:39:43


Hey all,
The new name is starting to grow on me. The wife likes it better actualy. Says it fits the banjos better. So, I guess "Nectar Hancrafted Instruments"(NHI) it is. Yeah, I Iike It

Lovin' Life !

Nectar Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

LEUllman - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:49:12


Tim Jumper's Banjo Player's Songbook would be a good starting point.

"Ring, ring the banjo, I love that good old song."

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  01:01:59


Is that a book of song tabs only or does it briefly describe playing styles like the Seeger book?

Bill

flatfoot - Posted - 02/19/2007:  01:21:56


.

I just the "Singing with the Banjo" video by Cathy Fink and it looks very good. Google for Homespun tapes.

.

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.

Limax - Posted - 02/19/2007:  08:04:03


quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Is that a book of song tabs only or does it briefly describe playing styles like the Seeger book?


It's a book of song tabs. I have the same book and it has a lot of great tunes in it. If I recall correctly, it has some introductory text for some of the songs. One of the coolest things I found though is that it's dedicated to Stan Rogers. (Okay, the songs are great too)

A salted slug gathers no moss.

Rich B. - Posted - 02/19/2007:  08:42:34


David Holt's first clawhammer video would be a great start. Then a beginner would be ready to leap into the Tim Jumper book. At least it worked for me.

Rich B.

LEUllman - Posted - 02/19/2007:  21:14:30


The Jumper book does have an introduction with some clawhammer basics, chord charts, and the like, but mostly it's 200 tabs with lyrics. Good solid repertorie for a beginner, too - familiar folk songs, Stephen Foster hits, gospel favorties, and the like, plus a nice batch of jam and fiddle-tune fodder. Well worth the money, IMHO.

"Ring, ring the banjo, I love that good old song."

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:21:42


Phase I:

When I first picked up the banjo, I bought the Ken Perlman 6 CD instruction book, Clawhammer Banjo from Basic Frailing to Melodic Style. I worked with that book for a year and listened to the tunes over and over again until I could produce them in my head. Memorizing the tunes is very important to playing them (at least for me). I progressed fairly well, but there were things about my playing that I didn't like. Mainly, I felt my drop-thumbing was wrong and I couldn't seem to get anyone to show me what I was diong wrong, although I knew I was doing something wrong.

Phase II:

What really helped me (and I assure you everyone is different) is obtaining Dan Levenson's book, Clawhammer Banjo from Scratch, A Guide for the Claw-less, along with the DVD.

At first I thought the book looked too simple for my level, as I had been playing a little over a year, but when I actually tried doing what Dan instructed, things began to click and I became a better player.

The book has very simple tunes in D and after mastering the simple tunes, the same ones are presented in a more complex way, still in D.

I also took Dan's workshop and encourage anyone who is able to participate in one of these, to just do it. You will become a better player.

Phase III:

Playing with other clawhammer players in a group is a great incentive to learn and enjoy the music. I organized a clawhammer group in our city (Albuquerque). We meet weekly. Sometimes several appear and other times, we get a large group. There is always something to learn from others. I've noticed not everyone is actively participating all the time, but they are watching and learning.

Phase IV:

Playing in a group with a variety of instruments. I am taking a great course at our local university on Appalachian Music. We get to play along with the instructors, and everyone is playing better. We watch and we listen and we learn. I find I don't need the tab at all as I can pick out the tunes fairly well. I still like looking at the tab for ideas and embellishments.



BRASMAN - Posted - 02/20/2007:  13:41:22


quote:
Originally posted by LEUllman

Tim Jumper's Banjo Player's Songbook would be a good starting point.

"Ring, ring the banjo, I love that good old song."



I agree (as a rank beginner) LOL. This book just came in the mail last week and it has been great. I am about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way through Dans book and two DVDs (which I highly recomend) but I am already learning Give me that Old Time Religion out of the Banjo Players Song Book and it has me working on a couple things in the same song that Dans book had me doing seperate. It is one of the best investments I have made along with Dans stuff. What I like about Dans is you start from literaly zilch on the banjo so for someone like me it was perfect.

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

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:00:30


Well, I guess the answer to my original question is mostly "No." There seems nothing besides the Seeger book that covers things other than clawhammer, bluegrass and traditional fingerpicking. My thanks to all for your thoughts.

Bill

scawa - Posted - 02/21/2007:  09:27:11


I'm going to recomment the How and Tao site.

http://howandtao.com/

The FREE on-line videos that Pat Costello has produced are DESIGNED for those that want to accompany others or themselves singing. And his Outlaws and Scalawags song book

http://howandtao.com/books/singalon...ngalong.html

Has the tabs for tons of songs to sing with. He even has a series of Videos on frailing the blues which are designed to show that the banjo was the orgional Blues Instrument

stringbeaner - Posted - 02/21/2007:  11:48:00


I think for even a relative beginner there is no better take off point than Pete's how to play the 5-string banjo book. He touches (heavily enough to get you started) on many styles of playing. Within a pretty short time you will be hearing what players on record (CDs, DVDs, etc, etc.) are doing. When I got my copy in about 1956, it came with an LP from folkways and I'm sure there is something like that nowadays.

I highly recommend the Seeger book, especially if you want to learn to accompany your singing!

banjobutte

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/24/2007:  09:38:03


quote:
Originally posted by scawa

I'm going to recomment the How and Tao site.

http://howandtao.com/

The FREE on-line videos that Pat Costello has produced are DESIGNED for those that want to accompany others or themselves singing. And his Outlaws and Scalawags song book

http://howandtao.com/books/singalon...ngalong.html

Has the tabs for tons of songs to sing with. He even has a series of Videos on frailing the blues which are designed to show that the banjo was the orgional Blues Instrument



id half to agree "HOW and TAO" vids and book are FRRE ONLIE..
so theres no reasion not to look it up..... FREE IS FREE.......
spend that money you woulda spent on books on something good, like the BEER youll need for that first jam night after you learn all thoes songs for free.......

go to http://howandtao.com/ & HAVE FUN LEARNIN

Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

ajbadger - Posted - 02/24/2007:  18:22:21


quote:
Originally posted by scawa

I'm going to recomment the How and Tao site.

http://howandtao.com/

The FREE on-line videos that Pat Costello has produced are DESIGNED for those that want to accompany others or themselves singing. And his Outlaws and Scalawags song book

http://howandtao.com/books/singalon...ngalong.html

Has the tabs for tons of songs to sing with. He even has a series of Videos on frailing the blues which are designed to show that the banjo was the orgional Blues Instrument



I have to echo this as well. Although the materials are on the site, I also bought the book. It gives some good advice on playing by ear in a jam.

Sincerely,

AJ

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

brokenstrings - Posted - 02/24/2007:  19:57:36


I like Pete's book, but it's not ideal for the absolute beginner--though for a long time, it was the ONLY book, and quite a few people taught themselves banjo from it.

Jessy

Frailaway, ladies, frailaway!

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

Cathy Fink - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:30:06


Howdy from Cathy Fink. I signed up last year, but don't have much time to monitor the site. David Holt encouraged me to catch up! Glad I did. Hi everyone. I probably don't even know how to post & comment, but I'll give it a try.
Cathy

arnie - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:40:34


All Right! Fancy seeing you here! I just popped in the other day myself.
Arnie

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

vrteach - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:52:19


Wow, we are glad to have you folks here. Welcome to the hangout, Cathy. I'll probably be seeing you at Midwest Banjo Camp.


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/

delle - Posted - 02/09/2007:  02:37:55


All the best from Germany.
I love your DVD "Singing with the Banjo" and sometime I gonna figure out how to play Wild Rose of the Mountain.

r/Delle

pastorharry - Posted - 02/09/2007:  03:50:07


Welcome ,Cathy and Arnie!!! God bless, PH (Banjo Hangout ;home of "legendary" newbies ).

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

Emiel - Posted - 02/09/2007:  04:29:56


quote:
Originally posted by pastorharry

Welcome ,Cathy and Arnie!!! God bless, PH (Banjo Hangout ;home of "legendary" newbies ).

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




At least they're called "Forum Newbie" and not "Banjo Newbie".

Emiel



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

skiptomylou - Posted - 02/09/2007:  05:07:46


Hi Cathy,

Am just learning and your DVD Singing With The Banjo has helped me a lot.

all the very best

I've got a mountain of dreams to climb

jasperr - Posted - 02/09/2007:  06:55:09


Welcome Cathy. The fella you see playing fiddle at left, Jamie, is my cousin and I think you know him from Clifftop. I been listening to "haiku" for seems like 20 years, and I never get tired of it.

Jim

KE - Posted - 02/09/2007:  09:06:04


Welcome! I just popped into your bio and noticed the plans for two banjo compilation/collaboration CD's -- they sound terrific. Please keep us posted about those?

dbrooks - Posted - 02/09/2007:  09:08:10


Welcome, Cathy. The Hangout just keeps getting better. I look forward to reading your comments about making music.

David

Galante_K4 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  09:25:38


Hi Cathy:
I'm really enjoying your "Singing with the Banjo" DVD and have picked up some really useful information/techniques!
Thanks,
Robert

"Admitting to yourself that you have BAS is the first step in recovery."

LeeBanjos - Posted - 02/09/2007:  09:40:02


Cathy,

Welcome to the BHO. You're a valuable addition.

Chuck

Chuck Lee Banjo Company
Ovilla, Texas
http://WWW.LeeBanjos.com
972-617-5576 Shop Phone

tonehead - Posted - 02/09/2007:  10:06:53


Welcome and howdy! Your "Banjo Haiku" is a favorite of mine. What a wonderful combination of energy,timing, tone and taste.


Be significant.

frailin - Posted - 02/09/2007:  10:16:45


Lucky us!!

Welcome!!

"Gospel. The most powerful music in this world... and the next."


www.banjohangout.org/my/frailin
www.frailin.com
www.myspace.com/frailin
www.myspace.com/eelpouts
www.myspace.com/singletonstreet

chip arnold - Posted - 02/09/2007:  10:22:54


Hi Cathy, Lots of good folks popping up on here lately. Glad you're one of them!

Play with a plan
Chip

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/09/2007:  10:59:14


Welcome to the Banjo Hangout!

Your DVD was the first banjo dvd I bought. Still learning how to sing and play.

In Santa Cruz, California for a visit at the moment, and went to Bob Carlin's and Dan Levenson's concert last night. Going to their banjo workshop tomorrow. Another concert tomorrow. It s always nice meeting the folks in person who post here.

Maybe I'll get to that banjo camp and meet you one of these days.

Judy

Clawdan - Posted - 02/09/2007:  11:02:23


Well we missed ya! Glad you are here.

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

raybob - Posted - 02/09/2007:  11:51:55


Hi Cathy. Welcome to the Hangout. I just got Adam Hurt's Inspire cd and played it for the first time last night. "Nice job" to Adam, you, and everyone that was involved with the project.

Ray

http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists...4951&alid=-1

FretlessFury - Posted - 02/09/2007:  11:58:13


Welcome, welcome, welcome!

I'm a big fan of your music. Glad you're here!

Tom Collins

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

Red hot old time music.

gailg64 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:30:46


Hi Kathy! Welcome! Good to have you here!
Gail

PeterJ - Posted - 02/09/2007:  16:46:10


Hi, Cathy -- glad you're here. I'm a 3-finger player, but always loved (and hope to learn) old-time styles, and your playing has always been inspiring. (Besides, my daughter loves when you play at Mosby Woods ES!)

Peter

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze3bgzt/
"Play the song, not the notes."


Edited by - PeterJ on 02/09/2007 16:46:57

scawa - Posted - 02/09/2007:  16:52:28


Howdy.

Just saw you at the Hank show in Harrisonburg. You and Marcie were fantastic. We've been friends of Robin and Linda for a while and got to meet yiou an Marcie a couple of years ago for the first time there. We've been fans ever since.

I just started playing Clawhammer banjo last Novembe after playing guitar for 40+ yearsr. After working hard to get the bum-ditty down, I picked up your DVD. Having a blast working on the stuff you show there. Thanks for joining the group and thanks for the great instructional DVD.

Oh BTW... I loved the way you did So Lonesome I Could cry....


Stephen McConnell

Boredom is a personal defect
-- Lamar Stephens

brokenstrings - Posted - 02/09/2007:  19:08:15


Welcome!

Jessy

Frailaway, ladies, frailaway!

jbalch - Posted - 02/09/2007:  23:50:31


Hello Kathy:

Welcome back! We're glad you're here!



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

Daniel D. Tedder - Posted - 02/10/2007:  15:00:49


Howdy Cathy!

Stev187 - Posted - 02/10/2007:  23:52:40


Big time welcome! I love your playing!

Steve
Flint, MI

flatfoot - Posted - 02/11/2007:  00:27:14


.

Hi Cathy!

I am planning on being a volunteer at the Music Camp at Grass Valley this year, and I just found out that you are scheduled to be there. Hope I get to learn a thing or two!

- Douglas Wolfe
Sacramento -

Lewis! Do you hear a Banjo? Paddle Faster!

Mr. Bill - Posted - 02/11/2007:  03:06:12


Welcome Cahty! Your work on the Harris Songs of Freedom CD, and the Song of the Underground Railroad in particular, is wonderful. I'm a folk music programmer on community radio and always enjoy opportunities to use your music. And thanks for good lessons at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop. You and Marci were great additions. Glad you are here on the forum!

banjoman.com - Posted - 02/11/2007:  20:07:20


Cathy...great to have you here.


David

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

Brown44012 - Posted - 02/12/2007:  08:29:49


Hi Cathy,

I love your Banjo Haiku tape. I met you many years ago at one of the festivals in Ohio (Kent State Folk festival I think). You were teaching a banjo workshop. Since I arrived early, you asked me to play something for you. Being a novice, I was thinking "yikes" but you were so nice and you put me at ease as I struggled through it. I look forward to your posts and benefitting from your talent as a banjo player and years of experience as a performer.

Wellcome,

Sam

ndlxs - Posted - 02/12/2007:  09:49:44


My kids, all three of them, wore out at least one copy of "Grandma slid down the mountain". I think I can still recite every word to every song by heart.

The beauty of the recording though is that I never got sick of hearing it over and over again, as kids do with recordings.

I don't think I have a copy of it anymore, but I loved your version of "I'm So Lonesome I could cry", extremely tasteful, hits the mark well.

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

J M - Posted - 02/12/2007:  13:25:24


Welcome to the BHO. I saw your cohorts Mr. Hurt and Company yesterday in Birmingham, all excelent musicians.

dboegen - Posted - 02/15/2007:  04:54:18


Welcome, and cheers from Belgium !!!



Uncle Dave

banjoman.com - Posted - 02/17/2007:  18:27:36


Cathy, I am srarting a new topic on great songs for the banjo, I'd really like your thoughts.


David

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

twelvefret - Posted - 02/17/2007:  19:22:18


Welcome. This is a good site to become a frequent visitor. Have you checked out the new Recording Kings? Just kidding!!!



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"

Jim Yates - Posted - 02/23/2007:  14:15:22


Glad to see you here Cathy. I have your autograph, along with Don Reno, Ray MacLain, Vic Mullen, Al Munde, Dennis Lepage... on an old banjo head. Unlike you, I don't have Earl though.

inniepie - Posted - 02/23/2007:  20:55:40


Hello!!!!!!!!!
My 9 year old is going to be SO Jealous that I am talking to Cathy Fink!!!! Love your stuff, including the kid stuff!
I like to remind my now 9 year old about the tune "Daddy Threw the TV out the Window...."

"I don't claim to know that tune"
Charlie Acuff


Edited by - inniepie on 02/23/2007 21:03:02

inniepie - Posted - 02/23/2007:  21:03:57


Ps Love to remind my (now 9 year old) daughter about the tune Daddy Threw the TV Out the Window :^)

"I don't claim to know that tune"
Charlie Acuff

leon - Posted - 02/24/2007:  21:41:43


Hey. As a beginner I'm sure glad I came across Haiku. Enough inspiration here to keep me going for life! Great stuff.

Leon


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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

Cathy Fink - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:30:06


Howdy from Cathy Fink. I signed up last year, but don't have much time to monitor the site. David Holt encouraged me to catch up! Glad I did. Hi everyone. I probably don't even know how to post & comment, but I'll give it a try.
Cathy

vrteach - Posted - 02/16/2007:  23:40:23


Well, I'm getting interested in 3-finger picking again. It never has made sense to me. I have the two Art Rosenbaum books (from which I learned 2-finger). I also have the Mike Seeger tapes, although I've not given them a complete viewing.

What else is available? Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?

I'm probably going to Midwest Banjo camp in the hopes that Seeger or Buehling might cover something. Would the early sections of the bluegrass novice section be useful? Or would they just laugh at my 2 1/2 pound nylagut-strung bicentennial?


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/16/2007 23:57:35

ramblin - Posted - 02/17/2007:  12:44:36


Hi Erich - There's got to be something on the Mike Seeger videos that you could start with - maybe something that is a basic song accompaniment and relies on bass lines and arpeggiated chords in low bass tuning. I only dabble in it, but that stuff can go a long way when accompanying your own singing or playing with other instruments. Working it up to a level of comfort that would allow me to improvise a three-finger setting for a fiddle tune would take years more work & dedication than I've put into it. I don't think there's any book or video that could really show you that. A little exposure to Scruggs-style picking probably couldn't hurt... certainly hasn't hurt Mike Seeger any... Walt Koken can play a bit of Scruggs style and o-t three finger in addition to clawhammer, too.

The thing about o-t 3 finger picking is that there's no one way to do it - everybody's got their own take on it. Once it gets its hooks in you, though, there's no backing out!

frankie

--
http://donegone.net


Edited by - ramblin on 02/17/2007 12:46:19

chip arnold - Posted - 02/17/2007:  13:14:18


Pete Peterson is a masterful OT 3-finger picker. He did a workshop article on Charlie Poole style for OT Herald in one of last years issues. http://www.oldtimeherald.org/
Everyone needs a subscription to the Old Tiime Herald! You can get a copy of that edition mailed to you.

Rosenbaum's first (out of print but findable on Ebay) Old Time Mountain Banjo has tabs for OT 3-finger.

Blake Bamford is a member here and he has a tab book available which features OT finger styles. http://www.banjohangout.org/myhango....asp?id=2666


Play with a plan
Chip

Don Borchelt - Posted - 02/25/2007:  08:37:03


vrteach asked "Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?"

I think there is a deeper question that lies behind this inquiry, actually, though perhaps Erich did not intend there to be. Fundamentally, bluegrass banjo pickers use the three finger roll differently than the old-time three finger stylists we generally talk about. In most old time three finger picking, the roll, whether forward, backward, or reverse, is used principally as an arpeggio, filling in the measure after the main note has been picked. It tends to be a fairly straightforward, demonstrative approach. Bluegrass pickers make a more complex use of the roll, typically imbedding additional melody notes within the roll, so that the classic arpeggio effect often becomes lost in what sounds like a denser, more complicated patterned approach. It's a little bit like the difference between the basic frailing stroke, and melodic drop thumb. The hand moves in the same general direction, but... Anyway, the deeper question I was talking about is whether or not an old-time three finger picker can adopt the more complex bluegrass approach to the roll, with all of its expanded versatility, and still be playing old-time music? In my view, to answer no to that question is the same as saying that melodic drop thumb cannot be used by an old-time picker, because it is not authentic. I realize of course, that some do say that very thing.

I think that there can be no doubt that it was the commercialization of bluegrass music starting in the mid-fifties, or perhaps early sixties, that led to the cataclysmic breach with traditional appalachian country music. The emphasis on the individual performance, the break, as opposed to the more communal old-timey approach, the gradual increase in the importance of "hot lick" virtuoisity and ad hoc improvisation, and just the overall cranked up Mastertone and F5 volume levels of bluegrass, lead to the point where a bluegrass banjo picker is about as welcome today at an old-time jam as Hugh Hefner would be at a N.O.W. meeting.

But I have long argued that you can adopt the techniques used in bluegrass, without adopting the broader musical approach. The latter clearly clashes with old-time music, the former need not, if adapted properly. The micro technical issue is completely separate from the macro more organizational one. But like the melodic clawhammer picker, you may not always be accepted as authentic. Probably even moreso. So are there "any BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time?" Well, as I see it, it depends on how thick-skinned you are.

- Don Borchelt






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

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


Edited by - Don Borchelt on 02/25/2007 09:39:44

gailg64 - Posted - 02/25/2007:  09:32:46


Yes, you said a mouthful! It's not what you play so much as how you play it.

There are banjo players who are technically "bluegrass" players who play with a wonderful old-time sensibility: Ronnie Poe who plays with the Free State Ramblers, Bobby Patterson who played & recorded with Kyle Creed, and more recently PT Grover with Foghorn. Several of the younger west coast old-time bands have 3-finger pickers who have retrofitted 3-finger rolls to old-time band use. Tom Sauber & his son Pat both use 3-finger banjo with a very old-time accent. They use the same patterns but in a way that blends with the band & generally steer clear of signature bluegrass (ie. Scruggs) ornaments.

Some banjo players on recordings from the 20s-early 30s used 3-finger rolls that sound similar to those used in bluegrass --- Homer Davenport, Mack Woolbright, Dave Macon. Early on, they didn't use picks (though Jack Reedy did) and spinkled in a variety of rolls that connected the melody notes. Without picks, they also could switch off to either uke strumming techniques or break into down-stroke (Dave Macon).

So, I would think that some basic bluegrass lessons could be helpful as long as you listen to a lot of recordings of the old pickers. A forward roll is forward roll, after all! G

quote:
Originally posted by Don Borchelt

vrteach asked "Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?"

I think there is a deeper question that lies behind this inquiry, actually, though perhaps Erich did not intend there to be. Fundamentally, bluegrass banjo pickers use the three finger roll differently than the old-time three finger stylists we generally talk about. In most old time three finger picking, the roll, whether forward, backward, or reverse, is used principally as an arpeggio, filling in the measure after the main note has been picked. It tends to be a fairly straightforward, demonstrative approach. Bluegrass pickers make a more complex use of the roll, typically imbedding additional melody notes within the roll, so that the classic arpeggio effect often becomes lost in what sounds like a denser, more complicated patterned approach. It's a little bit like the difference between the basic frailing stroke, and melodic drop thumb. The hand moves in the same general direction, but... Anyway, the deeper question I was talking about is whether or not an old-time three finger picker can adopt the more complex bluegrass approach to the roll, with all of its expanded versatility, and still be playing old-time music? In my view, to answer no to that question is the same as saying that melodic drop thumb cannot be used by an old-time picker, because it is not authentic. I realize of course, that some do say that very thing.

I think that there can be no doubt that it was the commercialization of bluegrass music starting in the mid-fifties, or perhaps early sixties, that led to the cataclysmic breach with traditional appalachian country music. The emphasis on the individual performance, the break, as opposed to the more communal old-timey approach, the gradual increase in the importance of "hot lick" virtuoisity and ad hoc improvisation, and just the overall cranked up Mastertone and F5 volume levels of bluegrass, lead to the point where a bluegrass banjo picker is about as welcome today at an old-time jam as Hugh Hefner would be at a N.O.W. meeting.

But I have long argued that you can adopt the techniques used in bluegrass, without adopting the broader musical approach. The latter clearly clashes with old-time music, the former need not, if adapted properly. The micro technical issue is completely separate from the macro more organizational one. But like the melodic banjo picker, you may not always be accepted as authentic. Probably even moreso. So are there "any BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time?" Well, as I see it, it depends on how thick-skinned you are.

- Don Borchelt






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

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




vrteach - Posted - 02/25/2007:  09:40:11


Good morning! Thanks Don, for that thoughtful response, and it actuallly does get to a basic question that I had--a question that partially stems from what I have learned about "stroke" playing. I think that if a bluegrass player (with nill frailing expererience) suddenly got interested in minstrel stroke style, they would NOT be real well served to get one of the standard beginning tutorials on frailing. The focus on "bum-ditty," or even "bum-a-ditty," will hinder getting that more free-form and often complicated syncapated rhythm that makes up the interesting part of the older music form. As an experienced drop-thumb frailer, I have to pay close attention to keep from having my modern influences drift in (unless I want them to). On the other hand, it seems to me that my efforts in that direction have helped make my standard CH playing more interesting than before as odd-ball playing patterns from 19th-century tutorials make appearances.

So, I wondered if the emphasis on learning roll patterns that shows up in BG tutorials (on the web, I've never bought one) would be a hinderance or a help. I know that there is no definite answer; as Don says "depends on how thick-skinned you are" (or stubborn), and Frankie points out that there is no one way that is right. By the way Chip, thanks for the pointers--I didn't know of Peterson, and had forgotten about bamfords posting about his tune collection.

Last year when I went to Midwest Banjo Camp, my plan was to attend some of the novice bluegrass track. I ended up not doing so because there were just too many good workshops on the OT side that I couldn't miss. I did attend one session with Dan Gellert that was titled "Chord-Based Finger Style Banjo". I was expecting something like classic playing, not being familiar with Gellert at that time. He demonstrated using 3-finger picking using the standard-c tuning. And his paper handout was, guess what, the forward-roll in tablature. But, being Dan Gellert, he brings to it a ragged rhythm that really stood out from the smooth stream that seems to be the goal for beginning BG players. He also demonstrated it as a non-melodic second-banjo backup to someone playing first-banjo as clawhammer.

Ah well, it just all about figuring out how to coax the sound that you want from your two hands and the instrument. There is a sound (or two or five) out there that I want, and I don't think I can get them from down-picking. I hope to have fun seeking out the method, or just listening to other people who CAN do it.


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/25/2007 09:47:46

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

Cathy Fink - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:30:06


Howdy from Cathy Fink. I signed up last year, but don't have much time to monitor the site. David Holt encouraged me to catch up! Glad I did. Hi everyone. I probably don't even know how to post & comment, but I'll give it a try.
Cathy

vrteach - Posted - 02/16/2007:  23:40:23


Well, I'm getting interested in 3-finger picking again. It never has made sense to me. I have the two Art Rosenbaum books (from which I learned 2-finger). I also have the Mike Seeger tapes, although I've not given them a complete viewing.

What else is available? Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?

I'm probably going to Midwest Banjo camp in the hopes that Seeger or Buehling might cover something. Would the early sections of the bluegrass novice section be useful? Or would they just laugh at my 2 1/2 pound nylagut-strung bicentennial?


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/16/2007 23:57:35

wormpicker - Posted - 02/24/2007:  22:53:04


I just got home from a fun-packed, musical, productive, and (most of all) inspiring clawhammer workshop led by our very own Dan "Clawdan" Levenson. We had a great group of twelve enthusiastic banjo bangers, including one brand new convert from the bluegrass side of the tracks. I know I came home with tons of new things to work on, and I think everyone else did too. Thanks a million to Dan and Jennifer Levenson and Hugh DeLong and his wife for offering their beautiful house and hospitality. Of course, I couldn't walk out without two new CDs of Dan's (Light of the Moon and Traveling Home), which I'm listening to as I write this). It was also great to finally meet in person lots of BHO friends that I've made in the past six months and revisit with some of the locals. My only complaint: Dan told me I HAD to change the way I hold my banjo if I want to become a real clawhammer player, and now I have to start all over!! (Just kidding Dan--play nice.)

I've posted some photos of the festivities in my photo album.

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin


Edited by - wormpicker on 02/24/2007 23:37:29

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/25/2007:  00:23:14


Yes, Paul, you have to change the way you hold the instrument if you want to get the drop-thumbing to come easily.

Since I repositioned my banjo while playing, I have been able to concentrate on the left hand and let the right hand do its thing.

Dan has a workshop coming up in Las Cruces, NM the weekend of March 17th.

For those of you in the El Paso-Las Cruces vicinity, don't miss the workshop - it will be a great way to spend a day and you'll not only have fun, you'll become a better player. Who knows - I might even make it to "Cruces" that weekend.



Clawdan - Posted - 02/25/2007:  10:35:24


Thanks much to all who attended and to Hugh for opening his home. It was a great day and I too was so glad to meet yall in person!

And Thanks Paul for the great photos and for making it such a Hangout event!

See ya down the road.

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


Edited by - Clawdan on 02/25/2007 10:38:47

wormpicker - Posted - 02/25/2007:  10:43:27


quote:
Originally posted by BANJOJUDY

Yes, Paul, you have to change the way you hold the instrument if you want to get the drop-thumbing to come easily.


Ok, I'd better set the record straight before my my ribbing remark about Dan gets perpetuated! Dan took lots of time showing us all kinds of very specific items about how to hold our bodies and banjos, but he made a point to stress that there is no right or wrong way to play (unless it hurts or interferes with your music). He just said that someone always walks out of one of these workshops saying "Dan told me I have to..." So I thought I'd provide the service for this one.

But I am going to work on the posture changes he showed me--even if I seemed like a bit of a heckler during his demonstration.

By the way, one of the questions I submitted for Dan at the start of the workshop was, "How can I break away from tab?" Well, I seem to have figured out the best way to do that--I left my Buzzard Banjo and Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch Books at Hugh's house, clear across town from mine.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

J-Walk - Posted - 02/25/2007:  11:18:31


Yep, it was a fun and very productive day. The experience of the attendees ranged from 3 weeks to about 2 years, and I was wondering how Dan would be able to pull off a workshop with such a varied bunch. But he did it, and I think everyone left with lots of new knowledge and plenty of stuff to work on.

Watching Dan play up close is a real eye-opener. It seems impossible that he can get so much music out of a banjo with so little right-hand movement. I really enjoyed seeing and hearing all of his banjo (he brought about 10, I think). Dan also spent about 10 minutes and gave my Old Time Wonder a much-needed setup. It plays and sounds much better now. That was certainly not something I expected to get out of the workshop.

I also picked up a few CDs: "Barenaked Banjo" (solo) and "Eat at Joes" (stringband). Both are excellent.

Now I'm really tempted to travel to Ohio in July and spend three at the Hippie-Billie Homestead.

Faelan - Posted - 02/25/2007:  11:52:01


I had a great time and came out with a tone of great knowledge as well. I will definitely go to one of his workshops again if the chance ever comes my way.

Thank you Dan and thanks to Hugh also for opening his home to us. It was nice to meet everyone!

__________________________
Faelan
Banjon00b
Gold Tone CC-50

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

Cathy Fink - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:30:06


Howdy from Cathy Fink. I signed up last year, but don't have much time to monitor the site. David Holt encouraged me to catch up! Glad I did. Hi everyone. I probably don't even know how to post & comment, but I'll give it a try.
Cathy

vrteach - Posted - 02/16/2007:  23:40:23


Well, I'm getting interested in 3-finger picking again. It never has made sense to me. I have the two Art Rosenbaum books (from which I learned 2-finger). I also have the Mike Seeger tapes, although I've not given them a complete viewing.

What else is available? Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?

I'm probably going to Midwest Banjo camp in the hopes that Seeger or Buehling might cover something. Would the early sections of the bluegrass novice section be useful? Or would they just laugh at my 2 1/2 pound nylagut-strung bicentennial?


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/16/2007 23:57:35

wormpicker - Posted - 02/24/2007:  22:53:04


I just got home from a fun-packed, musical, productive, and (most of all) inspiring clawhammer workshop led by our very own Dan "Clawdan" Levenson. We had a great group of twelve enthusiastic banjo bangers, including one brand new convert from the bluegrass side of the tracks. I know I came home with tons of new things to work on, and I think everyone else did too. Thanks a million to Dan and Jennifer Levenson and Hugh DeLong and his wife for offering their beautiful house and hospitality. Of course, I couldn't walk out without two new CDs of Dan's (Light of the Moon and Traveling Home), which I'm listening to as I write this). It was also great to finally meet in person lots of BHO friends that I've made in the past six months and revisit with some of the locals. My only complaint: Dan told me I HAD to change the way I hold my banjo if I want to become a real clawhammer player, and now I have to start all over!! (Just kidding Dan--play nice.)

I've posted some photos of the festivities in my photo album.

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin


Edited by - wormpicker on 02/24/2007 23:37:29

RWPark - Posted - 02/24/2007:  10:59:03



After a years wait, I finally got my Cloverlick custom. Is this how you make a barre chord?



RW

Galante_K4 - Posted - 02/24/2007:  11:05:47


Well, yes that's one way ... but its not the preferred method!
Hope you get back to normal fast so you can really enjoy that lovely new banjo!

"Admitting to yourself that you have BAS is the first step in recovery."

chip arnold - Posted - 02/24/2007:  12:09:14


That looks like your living room to me. A bar would be more likely to have.......well, a bar!

Play with a plan
Chip

RWPark - Posted - 02/24/2007:  14:44:03


I tried going to a bar. I didn't get any sympathy there either.

RW

roneil76 - Posted - 02/24/2007:  20:10:53


nice


Lovin' Life !

Nectar Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Yopparai - Posted - 02/24/2007:  21:25:29


Gonna try a little slide blues, eh?

Nice banjo!

RWPark - Posted - 02/25/2007:  14:02:24


Thanks...I can't wait to play it. Hmmm...slide banjo, Maybe I could glue a bottle neck to the cast.

RW

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

Cathy Fink - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:30:06


Howdy from Cathy Fink. I signed up last year, but don't have much time to monitor the site. David Holt encouraged me to catch up! Glad I did. Hi everyone. I probably don't even know how to post & comment, but I'll give it a try.
Cathy

vrteach - Posted - 02/16/2007:  23:40:23


Well, I'm getting interested in 3-finger picking again. It never has made sense to me. I have the two Art Rosenbaum books (from which I learned 2-finger). I also have the Mike Seeger tapes, although I've not given them a complete viewing.

What else is available? Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?

I'm probably going to Midwest Banjo camp in the hopes that Seeger or Buehling might cover something. Would the early sections of the bluegrass novice section be useful? Or would they just laugh at my 2 1/2 pound nylagut-strung bicentennial?


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/16/2007 23:57:35

wormpicker - Posted - 02/24/2007:  22:53:04


I just got home from a fun-packed, musical, productive, and (most of all) inspiring clawhammer workshop led by our very own Dan "Clawdan" Levenson. We had a great group of twelve enthusiastic banjo bangers, including one brand new convert from the bluegrass side of the tracks. I know I came home with tons of new things to work on, and I think everyone else did too. Thanks a million to Dan and Jennifer Levenson and Hugh DeLong and his wife for offering their beautiful house and hospitality. Of course, I couldn't walk out without two new CDs of Dan's (Light of the Moon and Traveling Home), which I'm listening to as I write this). It was also great to finally meet in person lots of BHO friends that I've made in the past six months and revisit with some of the locals. My only complaint: Dan told me I HAD to change the way I hold my banjo if I want to become a real clawhammer player, and now I have to start all over!! (Just kidding Dan--play nice.)

I've posted some photos of the festivities in my photo album.

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin


Edited by - wormpicker on 02/24/2007 23:37:29

RWPark - Posted - 02/24/2007:  10:59:03



After a years wait, I finally got my Cloverlick custom. Is this how you make a barre chord?



RW

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/25/2007:  18:06:09


HAPPY BIRTHDAY RALPH.............................

Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys
plus Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands
Sunday, February 25, 2007
timeless purity from the soul of bluegrass
@ St. John's Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue, Berkley, Ca.
Door 7:30 P.M., Music 8:00 P.M.
http://www.thefreight.org/2007/0702..._070225.html

It's always a treat to see Ralph Stanley perform live, especially since the film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and the subsequent Down From the Mountain tour swept him to Grammy award-winning stardom. Those who saw the movie will recall the goosebumps raised by this superb musician's bone-chilling a cappella rendition of "Oh Death" -- no one can sing like Dr. Ralph, with his voice that seems to distill all the world's sorrows and carry them straight to your soul.

Born in 1927 near the rugged Virginia-Tennessee border, Ralph and his brother Carter became ground-breaking pioneers who helped re-shape the Anglo-Celtic ballads and fiddle tunes of southeast Appalachia into a bold new string band music now known as bluegrass. Following Carter's death in 1966, Ralph shifted the band's emphasis to an older, sparer mountain style, placing his own stamp on the music with his haunting voice and banjo playing. His music is a uniquely American form: sometimes rough-hewn, sometimes satin-smooth, it is always filled with powerful, raw emotion that seems to have poured straight out of the rocks and runs of his native Virginia mountains.

In six decades of performing, Ralph has set a standard for accomplishment and integrity unequaled in any category of music. He has toured throughout the world, earned dozens of honors (most recently the Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress, the 2002 Grammys for Best Country Male Vocalist Performance and Album of the Year, and the 2004 opening of the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center in Clintwood, Virginia), and recorded more than 200 albums, including his recent self-named solo album from DMZ/Columbia.

Ralph's band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, includes his son, guitarist Ralph Stanley ll and his grandson, Nathan Stanley on mandolin, along with lead guitarist James Alan Shelton, Steve Sparkman on banjo, Dewey Brown on fiddle, and Jack Cooke on string bass.

But wait: there's more! Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands kick off each show with a set spotlighting their great energy and artistry. A big fan of Ralph ever since she saw him perform when she was a student at Berkeley High, Laurie's collaborations with the bluegrass legend include the famed Masters of the Banjo tour and album of the 1990s, and Ralph's inclusion of Laurie on his critically acclaimed Clinch Mountain Country album of more recent vintage. Laurie is looking forward to sharing the stage with him in her hometown tonight. A key figure in bluegrass, traditional and folk music circles, Laurie's songwriting, fiddling and crystal-clear singing have brought her national recognition, a Grammy, and two International Bluegrass Music Association Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year.




Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

wormpicker - Posted - 02/25/2007:  21:48:44


This was just about the most music-filled weekend I've ever had as a clawhammer banjo player! Yesterday was Dan Levenson's all-day clawhammer workshop, which I wrote about yesterday. Friday night was our second monthly Tucson Old-Time Music Circle. Only our second gathering, it looks like we've already achieved critical mass. I don't know the official count, but I'd guess we had at least 30 musicians, many of them bringing along two or three instruments! We had probably a dozen banjo players (several of them were in town for Dan's workshop the next morning), about half a dozen fiddles, half dozen guitars, a mandolin or two, and several other assorted instrumentalists, including a wonderful hammered dulcimer player! I'm not sure whether the crowds descended because they found out that Dan and Jennifer Levenson would be there, or the word has just permeated through the local old-time community. We even had some guests come up from the Sierra Vista based Arthritis Brothers Oldtime String Band, and at least one return fiddler who came down all the way from Phoenix. I posted some pictures of all the fun in my photo album.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

jojo25 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:17:12


Can you all help me compile a good list of OT fiddle tunes in C, please?
I know some folks don't go to C much, if at all, but I also know that there are many good tunes in this key

sources, recordings, etc would be helpful too
I'll take whatever I can get

my first night at my first Clifftop I jammed with two fiddlers and we stayed in C for about 5 hours!!...and it was a blast!...but they are all in a fog in my memory now

Here's my humble start:

Billy in the Low Ground
Hell Broke Loose in Georgia

thanks in advance for all your help

Banjonically yours

Joe

gailg64 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:34:05


This topic came up on a list-serv and somewhere out there,on a jam website, I believe, there's an unbelievably long list of C tunes. Anyone out there have a better memory than mine?
g

rinemb - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:53:39


I had some song list questions earlier and at a BHO'er suggestion I checked out the Hetzler's Fakebook. It has tune lists for each key. Just google hetzlers fakebook to find it. Brad

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

vrteach - Posted - 02/09/2007:  16:39:24


Our own OldWoodchuckb brought this up here and elsewhere a while back. Here is a link to the responses he got on the Sugar in the Gourd forums

http://forum.sugarinthegourd.com/vi...ic.php?t=381




Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/

mom of 10 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  16:43:34


I play swanee river in C. I also play a real slow Shenandoah followed by a more up beat Dixie in C. (don't quite have that Dixie memorized yet. For some reason it just won't burn into my memory.)
Melanie

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

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/09/2007:  17:16:08


There are a lot, but most jams ralrly gravitate there. Here are a few

Altamont

Billy In The Low Ground
Charleston #1- #2 & #3
Cotton Patch Rag
Cranberry Rock
Flatfooted Henry
Fourteen Days In Georgia
Hell Broke Loose In Georgia
Honeysuckle
Horseshoe Bend
Indian War Whoop
Japanese Breakdown
Mississippi Breakdown
Old Joe
Paddy Won't You Drink Some Good Old Cider
Parkersburg Landing
Pikes Peak
Rocky Pallet
Sixteen Days In Georgia
Sullivan's Hollow
Texas Gals
That's My Rabbit My Dog Caught It


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

banjothumper5 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  18:52:05


Stone`s Rag. Seems rags work good in C.

Allen

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/09/2007:  19:28:16


Banjothumper
Rags work good in C on just about evey instrument - So naturally, I tend to play them in G - except for fiddle tune rags.

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

jojo25 - Posted - 02/12/2007:  10:15:50


much obliged everyone!!

Banjonically yours

Joe

Keith E - Posted - 02/12/2007:  11:48:58


I can't tune to C without playing Monkey in the Dogcart & the L&N Rag.

jojo25 - Posted - 02/12/2007:  15:44:34


here's what I pulled off of Sugar in the Gourd

Gilda Roy - John Salyer
Dunbar - Ed Haley
Tie Hacker #1 - Nile Wilson
Root Hog or Die - Manco Snead
Little Princess' Footsteps - Newton County Hillbillies
Stumptown Stomp - Eck Robertson
Cherokee Polka - Ed Haley
Catlettsburg - Ed Haley
Denver Belle - Kenny Baker/JP Fraley
Wes Muir's Tune - Nile Wilson


Charleston (Rayna Gellert and Bruce Molsky (two separate recordings))
New five cent's (Dan Gellert)
Saturday night breakdown can't remember my source for this
Wagoner one-step (Rayna Gellert)
Sandy Level can't remember my source for this
Old rock road can't remember my source for this
Down in little Egypt Foghorn String Band

The Fun's All Over - Willamson Brothers
Old Joe - Sid Harkreader
New Money - Doc Roberts
Rattlesnake Bit The Baby - Kenny Baker
Bumblebee In A Jug - Kenny Baker
Grey Eagle
Bibb County Hoedown - John Dilleshaw
Honeysuckle - Camp Creek Boys
Hell Up Coal Holler - Ed Haley
Indian Ate The Woodchuck - John Salyer
Hell Broke Loose In Georgia - Lowe Stokes

Old Joe (High: C / Low: Am)
Old Melinda (Melindy)
Rocky Pallet

Alabama Trot
Altamont
Arkansas Two Step
Ashland Breakdown
Beaver Valley Breakdown
Bibb County Hoe Down
Bill Driver
Billy In The Low Ground
Birdie
Captain George Has Your Money Come
Catlettsburg
Charleston #1
Charleston #2
Charleston #3
Chickens Don't Roost Too High
Clover Bottom
Cotton Patch Rag
Cranberry Rock
Creek Nation
Cumberland Blues
Darker The Night The Better I See
Denver Belle
Devil On A Stump
Dixie
Dry Gin Rag
Dunbar
Eli Green's Cakewalk
Farewell Trion
Fat Meat and Dumplins
Fiddler's Drunk And The Fun's All Over
Flatfooted Henry
Ford One Step
Forty Miles From Georgetown Without Any Whiskey
Fourteen Days In Georgia
Gallop to Georgia Breakdown
Get Off Your Money
Gilderoy
Green Back Dollar Bill (Dr. Humphrey Bates And Tommy Jarrell)
Grey Eagle
Happy Jack
Hell Broke Loose In Georgia
Honeysuckle
Horseshoe Bend
Iberia Breakdown
Indian Ate The Woodchuck(Salyer)
Indian Eat the Woodpecker
Indian War Whoop
Japanese Breakdown
Jump Fingers
Katydid
Last Days In Georgia
Leake County Blues (Leake County Revelers)
Little Black Mustache
Little Princess's Footsteps
Little Rose
Lonesome Blues
Look Out Blues
Lost Girl In C (Mcnew)
Louisiana Hornpipe
Maysville
Mississippi Breakdown
Mississippi Echoes
Monkey In A Dogcart
New Money
None Of Your Business
Oklahoma Run
Old Joe
Old Melinda
Old Mose
Old Mother McCarthy
Old Reunion
Old Seth
Paddy Won't You Drink Some Good Old Cider
Padgett
Parkersburg Landing
Pikes Peak
Rattlesnake Bit The Baby
Rio Grande
Rocky Palace
Rocky Pallet
Root Hog Or Die
Sally Ann
Searcy County Rag
Shelving Rock (Henry Reed)
Sixteen Days In Georgia
Sleepy Lou
Smokey Row
Soap In The Washpan
Spider Bit the Baby
Staggering Blues
Sullivan's Hollow
Taylor's Quickstep
Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase
Terrell Texas Blues
Texas Fair
Texas Gals
That's My Rabbit My Dog Caught It
Threshin' Tune
TieHacker
Tom Wagner
Unnamed Altamont, Waggoner Like Tune (Bruce Greene Goes To C Bluff Country
2000)
Wagoner
Wagoner One Step
Wes Muir's Tune
Why Do A Preacher Lie A Chicken So
Why Don't You Shovel Like I Used To


that oughta keep me busy for a spell!!

thanks again all

Banjonically yours

Joe

Crump - Posted - 02/12/2007:  16:02:33


Joe, that's quite a compilation. Couple of familiar tunes good to start with, Soldier's Joy and Arkansas Traveler.

Jim Crumpley

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/12/2007:  16:47:33


Uhh...Soldiers Joy & Arkansas Traveleler are normally D tunes.

Bill

Clawhammer Clint - Posted - 02/12/2007:  18:34:05


Two of my favorite c tunes are Dixie, and Billy in the Lowground

C.C.

BAZ - Posted - 02/12/2007:  18:58:06


How 'bout Mississippi Sawyer and Boastman

chip arnold - Posted - 02/12/2007:  19:57:31


How 'bout Mississippi Sawyer and Boastman............

M. Sawyer is a D tune.

Waiting for the Boatman (gospel) I play in D

Boatman Dance is in A

Play with a plan
Chip

Crump - Posted - 02/13/2007:  13:49:29


Bill, guess I should have said C tuning, capoed two frets. I play it a lot without the capo as do several others I know. I am aware that a fiddler would want the capo.


Jim Crumpley

jojo25 - Posted - 02/14/2007:  17:02:12


just to be clear...I'm looking for tunes that a fiddler would typically play in the key of C...not tunes us banjar players COULD play in C...as in double D tuning without a capo

Banjonically yours

Joe

Edna Earl - Posted - 02/24/2007:  13:51:55


This discussion thread brings up a question I have. I'd like a tunes list that indicates the typical key(s) for playing that tune. An earlier topic was the Banjo Newsletter "Top 100 banjo tunes" list which has been posted on this site and which I started working on as soon as I got my copy of the newsletter. But I want to learn a tune in the key in which it's most likely to be played in jam sessions. It's surely disappointing to work up a tune in D and then to find out that everyone plays it in C.

Bill Rogers' response to one reply to this thread was "Soldiers Joy & Arkansas Traveleler are normally D tunes." That's exactly the kind of thing I'd like to know.

fishheadsaid - Posted - 02/24/2007:  20:48:19


Hetzler's fakebook is a great site for fiddle tunes, (midi format), organized by key for Old Time and by meter for Celtic.


http://www.hetzlersfakebook.com/

tarheel - Posted - 02/25/2007:  22:33:30


Back Up and Push
Old Waggoner
East Tennesse Blues
Stone's Rag
Chicken
Mexicalli Rose
Jack of Diamonds
Hoof It
Pike's Peak
Here's some I usually hear and play in C.

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

Cathy Fink - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:30:06


Howdy from Cathy Fink. I signed up last year, but don't have much time to monitor the site. David Holt encouraged me to catch up! Glad I did. Hi everyone. I probably don't even know how to post & comment, but I'll give it a try.
Cathy

vrteach - Posted - 02/16/2007:  23:40:23


Well, I'm getting interested in 3-finger picking again. It never has made sense to me. I have the two Art Rosenbaum books (from which I learned 2-finger). I also have the Mike Seeger tapes, although I've not given them a complete viewing.

What else is available? Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?

I'm probably going to Midwest Banjo camp in the hopes that Seeger or Buehling might cover something. Would the early sections of the bluegrass novice section be useful? Or would they just laugh at my 2 1/2 pound nylagut-strung bicentennial?


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/16/2007 23:57:35

wormpicker - Posted - 02/24/2007:  22:53:04


I just got home from a fun-packed, musical, productive, and (most of all) inspiring clawhammer workshop led by our very own Dan "Clawdan" Levenson. We had a great group of twelve enthusiastic banjo bangers, including one brand new convert from the bluegrass side of the tracks. I know I came home with tons of new things to work on, and I think everyone else did too. Thanks a million to Dan and Jennifer Levenson and Hugh DeLong and his wife for offering their beautiful house and hospitality. Of course, I couldn't walk out without two new CDs of Dan's (Light of the Moon and Traveling Home), which I'm listening to as I write this). It was also great to finally meet in person lots of BHO friends that I've made in the past six months and revisit with some of the locals. My only complaint: Dan told me I HAD to change the way I hold my banjo if I want to become a real clawhammer player, and now I have to start all over!! (Just kidding Dan--play nice.)

I've posted some photos of the festivities in my photo album.

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin


Edited by - wormpicker on 02/24/2007 23:37:29

RWPark - Posted - 02/24/2007:  10:59:03



After a years wait, I finally got my Cloverlick custom. Is this how you make a barre chord?



RW

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/25/2007:  18:06:09


HAPPY BIRTHDAY RALPH.............................

Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys
plus Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands
Sunday, February 25, 2007
timeless purity from the soul of bluegrass
@ St. John's Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue, Berkley, Ca.
Door 7:30 P.M., Music 8:00 P.M.
http://www.thefreight.org/2007/0702..._070225.html

It's always a treat to see Ralph Stanley perform live, especially since the film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and the subsequent Down From the Mountain tour swept him to Grammy award-winning stardom. Those who saw the movie will recall the goosebumps raised by this superb musician's bone-chilling a cappella rendition of "Oh Death" -- no one can sing like Dr. Ralph, with his voice that seems to distill all the world's sorrows and carry them straight to your soul.

Born in 1927 near the rugged Virginia-Tennessee border, Ralph and his brother Carter became ground-breaking pioneers who helped re-shape the Anglo-Celtic ballads and fiddle tunes of southeast Appalachia into a bold new string band music now known as bluegrass. Following Carter's death in 1966, Ralph shifted the band's emphasis to an older, sparer mountain style, placing his own stamp on the music with his haunting voice and banjo playing. His music is a uniquely American form: sometimes rough-hewn, sometimes satin-smooth, it is always filled with powerful, raw emotion that seems to have poured straight out of the rocks and runs of his native Virginia mountains.

In six decades of performing, Ralph has set a standard for accomplishment and integrity unequaled in any category of music. He has toured throughout the world, earned dozens of honors (most recently the Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress, the 2002 Grammys for Best Country Male Vocalist Performance and Album of the Year, and the 2004 opening of the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center in Clintwood, Virginia), and recorded more than 200 albums, including his recent self-named solo album from DMZ/Columbia.

Ralph's band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, includes his son, guitarist Ralph Stanley ll and his grandson, Nathan Stanley on mandolin, along with lead guitarist James Alan Shelton, Steve Sparkman on banjo, Dewey Brown on fiddle, and Jack Cooke on string bass.

But wait: there's more! Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands kick off each show with a set spotlighting their great energy and artistry. A big fan of Ralph ever since she saw him perform when she was a student at Berkeley High, Laurie's collaborations with the bluegrass legend include the famed Masters of the Banjo tour and album of the 1990s, and Ralph's inclusion of Laurie on his critically acclaimed Clinch Mountain Country album of more recent vintage. Laurie is looking forward to sharing the stage with him in her hometown tonight. A key figure in bluegrass, traditional and folk music circles, Laurie's songwriting, fiddling and crystal-clear singing have brought her national recognition, a Grammy, and two International Bluegrass Music Association Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year.




Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

wormpicker - Posted - 02/25/2007:  21:48:44


This was just about the most music-filled weekend I've ever had as a clawhammer banjo player! Yesterday was Dan Levenson's all-day clawhammer workshop, which I wrote about yesterday. Friday night was our second monthly Tucson Old-Time Music Circle. Only our second gathering, it looks like we've already achieved critical mass. I don't know the official count, but I'd guess we had at least 30 musicians, many of them bringing along two or three instruments! We had probably a dozen banjo players (several of them were in town for Dan's workshop the next morning), about half a dozen fiddles, half dozen guitars, a mandolin or two, and several other assorted instrumentalists, including a wonderful hammered dulcimer player! I'm not sure whether the crowds descended because they found out that Dan and Jennifer Levenson would be there, or the word has just permeated through the local old-time community. We even had some guests come up from the Sierra Vista based Arthritis Brothers Oldtime String Band, and at least one return fiddler who came down all the way from Phoenix. I posted some pictures of all the fun in my photo album.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

jojo25 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:17:12


Can you all help me compile a good list of OT fiddle tunes in C, please?
I know some folks don't go to C much, if at all, but I also know that there are many good tunes in this key

sources, recordings, etc would be helpful too
I'll take whatever I can get

my first night at my first Clifftop I jammed with two fiddlers and we stayed in C for about 5 hours!!...and it was a blast!...but they are all in a fog in my memory now

Here's my humble start:

Billy in the Low Ground
Hell Broke Loose in Georgia

thanks in advance for all your help

Banjonically yours

Joe

Mud Bug - Posted - 02/15/2007:  16:23:25


Allright, so I no that obviously an open back banjo does not have a resonator, but does it generally have a tone ring? Is there anything else that you find to be true of a good openback that you would not find on a "bluegras style banjo?

vrteach - Posted - 02/15/2007:  16:39:24


I think you find a much wider variety among "good" openback banjos. Craig has put together a nice continuum of banjo voices, almost all non-resonator.

http://www.frailin.com/Advice.html


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/

ZEPP - Posted - 02/15/2007:  17:06:43


You can also hear the same tune played on 20-some different open backs representing all kinds of tone rings and pot sizes at http://zeppmusic.com/MP3/index.html#10

In fact, I added a video of this same stupid tune to my YouTube page just last week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAf0JoHxfQg

Cheers,
ZEPP


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

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 02/15/2007:  17:53:19


It is in the field of resonator banjos where most differences have been eliminated. These days ther are Stellings, Gibsons and Gibson Knock-Offs - all of which sound exactly like the Gibson - Only Better! if you care to believe the hype.
Open backs run the gamut from wood only pots to instruments with tone rings more complex than Gibson uses, and everything in between. THere are even reproductions (and probably original designs) being made in the styles of the early 19th century - before banjos were factory made. There are fretted, partially fretted, and fretless styles, pots anywhere from roughly 10 3/4s to 13 inches in diameter, anywhere from 3 to 6 inches deep with scale lenghts from 24 inches to 27 (not counting specialty instruments).
It's a veratible feast out there for openback players.

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

frailin - Posted - 02/15/2007:  19:07:52


oldwoodchuckb is absolutely right! If you like ice cream varieties, you've come to the right store!

Although there have been many experiments with (open-back) tone rings over the 1850-1930 time frame, 5 stand out as 'pivotal'.

* Wood
* Dobson donut
* Rolled Brass
* Electric/Whyte Laydie
* Tubaphone

Each has its own character. Depending upon manufacturer, materials, banjo set up (i.e. head, head tension, bridge) all can also be tweaked as well.

You've got years of experimental listening and playing ahead of you. You'd better get going!

"Gospel. The most powerful music in this world... and the next."


www.banjohangout.org/my/frailin
www.frailin.com
www.myspace.com/frailin
www.myspace.com/eelpouts
www.myspace.com/singletonstreet

R.D. Lunceford - Posted - 02/15/2007:  20:01:54


All subjective. My favorite banjo has no tone ring.
The sound runs the gamut from dull and thuddy to bright and metallic, with every sound in between,
and you'll find somebody that will like any of them.

A rolled brass ring is probably a good all around choice. Things like head material, string gauge/type make big differences.
You can get just about any banjo to sound any way.

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

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/16/2007:  00:00:14


I'd add to the top tone rings the various iterations of the B&D Silver Bell / Ome Silverspun family. Unmentioned so far have been the spunover pots--ubiquitous from about 1880 to world War I. So there's something for everyone. I have something like 7 or 8 openbacks. A couple are wood with no tone ring. A couple are Whyte Laydie clones. The others all differ from one another.

Bill

R.D. Lunceford - Posted - 02/16/2007:  05:02:04


A couple more features that are often found on open-back banjos these days are frailing-scoops (the last few frets next to the pot left off and the fingerboard undercut to facilitate playing over the fingerboard), and most modern-day makers offer a 12" diameter rim as well as the standard 11". Both features are contingent on your playing style.

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

jbalch - Posted - 02/16/2007:  06:44:14


Mud Bug:

You have already heard on this thread from from some of the most knowledgable and accomplished open-back banjo players anywhere. Their comments have been well-spoken and accurate.

I agree that Donald Zepp's website(and his store) are fantastic resources for anyone shoping for an openback banjo. I don't know of a more comprehensive collection of open-back banjo sounds anywhere. And on top of that, Donald is one of the best players you will ever hear. How can you beat that?

I also think that Craig Evan's banjo continium idea was a great one. Obviously, I had a hand in the recordings, so I'm biased. Nonetheless, the continium is effective as concise group of recordings which help illuminate the broad spectrum of open-back sounds. From the 14" oak-rimmed, gut-strung banjo by Geroge Wunderlich...to the Wildwood, block-rim banjo with a tubaphone tone ring...and a few well-chosen points in between...you can get an idea of what type sound appeals to you most. From there, you can fine-tune your preferences.

All that aside, I often recommend that is is hard to beat a "Whyte Laydie" (aka "electric") type tone ring as a great all-around open-back. When I'm asked for advice...I usually recommend starting there.



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


Edited by - jbalch on 02/16/2007 06:46:57

uncledelphi - Posted - 02/16/2007:  07:25:29


quote:
Originally posted by jbalch


All that aside, I often recommend that is is hard to beat a "Whyte Laydie" (aka "electric") type tone ring as a great all-around open-back. When I'm asked for advice...I usually recommend starting there.



Great advice, John. If I had to choose only one banjo (horror!) I would take a 1920s Vega Whyte Laydie, preferrably a #7.

Austin Rogers

ZEPP - Posted - 02/16/2007:  09:18:18


quote:
Originally posted by jbalch

I often recommend that is is hard to beat a "Whyte Laydie" (aka "electric") type tone ring as a great all-around open-back.


My all-time favorite, as well. It's the sound to which I keep going back, no matter how many wonderful banjos I play!

(And thanks for that great compliment, John--much appreciated!)
Cheers,
ZEPP



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

FretlessFury - Posted - 02/16/2007:  09:26:04


This thread has reminded me of the diversity of players' preferences out there. It really does run the gamut. One player can love the plunky sound of nylon strings on a wooden rim, while the player right next to them can enjoy the bell-tones of the tubaphone sound. They can coexist in the same jam, playing right next to each other and enjoying one another's music.

I've tended to get narrower in my preferences the more I play. I have certain sounds and configurations that I like, and I think I've been ignoring the incredible number of possibilities in the openback world. There is only one cure, but I think it's a medicine I can stomach: a new banjo!

Great thread!



Tom Collins

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

Red hot old time music.


Edited by - FretlessFury on 02/16/2007 09:27:50

Mud Bug - Posted - 02/16/2007:  13:28:47


Thanks a lot for all your input. The continium is really cool! I think I liked the one with the donut ring and the gourd banjo the best. I kind of have this idea of eventually playing mostly blues stuff on the banjo and I think the sound of the gourd banjo would be a really interesting thing to be able to play around with. I will have to find one of these white ladies to play it sounds like a lot of people love them. All of your advice has been great and I have learned a lot more about open back banjos.

ballbanjos - Posted - 02/16/2007:  13:41:53


So much of clawhammer tone comes from the player's hands too. I'm one of the few old time players around that really doesn't like the Whyte Laydie/Electric sound--when it's me playing the banjo, that is. It can sound great with someone else playing it. My playing just doesn't work out well on them. I prefer Bacons or big Tubaphones for my playing.

Seems like certain players get almost the same tone out of any banjo they pick up. The angle that the nails come down on the strings, where along the strings a player plays, how hard the player plays--all of these things make a bigger difference in tone than the tone ring or other physical parts of the banjo in my opinion.

OK, there is definitely a difference between different open back banjos' tones. But these same differences will probably sound different in the hands of different players. (apparently I like the word "different" today...)

Just my .02

Dave

R.D. Lunceford - Posted - 02/16/2007:  20:26:26


Although we are talking in generalities here (as we should be), certain tunes can sound better on certain banjos.

Though I have become enamored of the low gut-string fretless sound, recently playing some modal stuff on a really ringy steel string really made me realize how well it was suited to it.

Like so many say- justification for owning a whole arsenal of banjos!!!

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

Jim Yates - Posted - 02/26/2007:  15:28:57


I've been using a rolled brass ring for the last 30 years and I'm quite happy with it. I bought a hollow 1/4" macrame hoop from a craft store. They only came in 10" and 12" diameters, so I bought a 12" and got a machinest friend to downsize it for me. I also have a simple brass ring on one banjo that I bought from a fellow who called his company Minalco. I told him the size of my pot and he made me the ring. I don't know if he's still in the business.
I don't like the sound of a Gibson type banjo for clawhammer.

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

Cathy Fink - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:30:06


Howdy from Cathy Fink. I signed up last year, but don't have much time to monitor the site. David Holt encouraged me to catch up! Glad I did. Hi everyone. I probably don't even know how to post & comment, but I'll give it a try.
Cathy

vrteach - Posted - 02/16/2007:  23:40:23


Well, I'm getting interested in 3-finger picking again. It never has made sense to me. I have the two Art Rosenbaum books (from which I learned 2-finger). I also have the Mike Seeger tapes, although I've not given them a complete viewing.

What else is available? Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?

I'm probably going to Midwest Banjo camp in the hopes that Seeger or Buehling might cover something. Would the early sections of the bluegrass novice section be useful? Or would they just laugh at my 2 1/2 pound nylagut-strung bicentennial?


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/16/2007 23:57:35

wormpicker - Posted - 02/24/2007:  22:53:04


I just got home from a fun-packed, musical, productive, and (most of all) inspiring clawhammer workshop led by our very own Dan "Clawdan" Levenson. We had a great group of twelve enthusiastic banjo bangers, including one brand new convert from the bluegrass side of the tracks. I know I came home with tons of new things to work on, and I think everyone else did too. Thanks a million to Dan and Jennifer Levenson and Hugh DeLong and his wife for offering their beautiful house and hospitality. Of course, I couldn't walk out without two new CDs of Dan's (Light of the Moon and Traveling Home), which I'm listening to as I write this). It was also great to finally meet in person lots of BHO friends that I've made in the past six months and revisit with some of the locals. My only complaint: Dan told me I HAD to change the way I hold my banjo if I want to become a real clawhammer player, and now I have to start all over!! (Just kidding Dan--play nice.)

I've posted some photos of the festivities in my photo album.

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin


Edited by - wormpicker on 02/24/2007 23:37:29

RWPark - Posted - 02/24/2007:  10:59:03



After a years wait, I finally got my Cloverlick custom. Is this how you make a barre chord?



RW

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/25/2007:  18:06:09


HAPPY BIRTHDAY RALPH.............................

Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys
plus Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands
Sunday, February 25, 2007
timeless purity from the soul of bluegrass
@ St. John's Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue, Berkley, Ca.
Door 7:30 P.M., Music 8:00 P.M.
http://www.thefreight.org/2007/0702..._070225.html

It's always a treat to see Ralph Stanley perform live, especially since the film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and the subsequent Down From the Mountain tour swept him to Grammy award-winning stardom. Those who saw the movie will recall the goosebumps raised by this superb musician's bone-chilling a cappella rendition of "Oh Death" -- no one can sing like Dr. Ralph, with his voice that seems to distill all the world's sorrows and carry them straight to your soul.

Born in 1927 near the rugged Virginia-Tennessee border, Ralph and his brother Carter became ground-breaking pioneers who helped re-shape the Anglo-Celtic ballads and fiddle tunes of southeast Appalachia into a bold new string band music now known as bluegrass. Following Carter's death in 1966, Ralph shifted the band's emphasis to an older, sparer mountain style, placing his own stamp on the music with his haunting voice and banjo playing. His music is a uniquely American form: sometimes rough-hewn, sometimes satin-smooth, it is always filled with powerful, raw emotion that seems to have poured straight out of the rocks and runs of his native Virginia mountains.

In six decades of performing, Ralph has set a standard for accomplishment and integrity unequaled in any category of music. He has toured throughout the world, earned dozens of honors (most recently the Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress, the 2002 Grammys for Best Country Male Vocalist Performance and Album of the Year, and the 2004 opening of the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center in Clintwood, Virginia), and recorded more than 200 albums, including his recent self-named solo album from DMZ/Columbia.

Ralph's band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, includes his son, guitarist Ralph Stanley ll and his grandson, Nathan Stanley on mandolin, along with lead guitarist James Alan Shelton, Steve Sparkman on banjo, Dewey Brown on fiddle, and Jack Cooke on string bass.

But wait: there's more! Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands kick off each show with a set spotlighting their great energy and artistry. A big fan of Ralph ever since she saw him perform when she was a student at Berkeley High, Laurie's collaborations with the bluegrass legend include the famed Masters of the Banjo tour and album of the 1990s, and Ralph's inclusion of Laurie on his critically acclaimed Clinch Mountain Country album of more recent vintage. Laurie is looking forward to sharing the stage with him in her hometown tonight. A key figure in bluegrass, traditional and folk music circles, Laurie's songwriting, fiddling and crystal-clear singing have brought her national recognition, a Grammy, and two International Bluegrass Music Association Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year.




Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

wormpicker - Posted - 02/25/2007:  21:48:44


This was just about the most music-filled weekend I've ever had as a clawhammer banjo player! Yesterday was Dan Levenson's all-day clawhammer workshop, which I wrote about yesterday. Friday night was our second monthly Tucson Old-Time Music Circle. Only our second gathering, it looks like we've already achieved critical mass. I don't know the official count, but I'd guess we had at least 30 musicians, many of them bringing along two or three instruments! We had probably a dozen banjo players (several of them were in town for Dan's workshop the next morning), about half a dozen fiddles, half dozen guitars, a mandolin or two, and several other assorted instrumentalists, including a wonderful hammered dulcimer player! I'm not sure whether the crowds descended because they found out that Dan and Jennifer Levenson would be there, or the word has just permeated through the local old-time community. We even had some guests come up from the Sierra Vista based Arthritis Brothers Oldtime String Band, and at least one return fiddler who came down all the way from Phoenix. I posted some pictures of all the fun in my photo album.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

jojo25 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:17:12


Can you all help me compile a good list of OT fiddle tunes in C, please?
I know some folks don't go to C much, if at all, but I also know that there are many good tunes in this key

sources, recordings, etc would be helpful too
I'll take whatever I can get

my first night at my first Clifftop I jammed with two fiddlers and we stayed in C for about 5 hours!!...and it was a blast!...but they are all in a fog in my memory now

Here's my humble start:

Billy in the Low Ground
Hell Broke Loose in Georgia

thanks in advance for all your help

Banjonically yours

Joe

Mud Bug - Posted - 02/15/2007:  16:23:25


Allright, so I no that obviously an open back banjo does not have a resonator, but does it generally have a tone ring? Is there anything else that you find to be true of a good openback that you would not find on a "bluegras style banjo?

rinemb - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:04:55


Please visit my topic under "Off-topic" where I am wanting opinions on instruments preferred, acceptable, and not permitted at a regular "old-time" jam we are starting up. I am finding this a difficult section to explain in the handout I am drafting for a non-old-time region. Thanks, Brad

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

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:56:12


Hey Brad,
Add a link to your OT post. It'll save us all time.

Bill

rinemb - Posted - 02/14/2007:  20:00:58


http://www.banjohangout.org/forum/t...PIC_ID=75024

Link to Off-topic discussion. Brad

Hey Bill, I got it to work. Thanks for making me learn something new today!

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


Edited by - rinemb on 02/14/2007 20:02:42

rinemb - Posted - 02/27/2007:  17:15:45


Since many more posts have been added to the topic in the above link, I decided to give this topic a bump. Please see the above link if you are interested in the discussion of OT jam guidelines, etc. Brad

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

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

Cathy Fink - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:30:06


Howdy from Cathy Fink. I signed up last year, but don't have much time to monitor the site. David Holt encouraged me to catch up! Glad I did. Hi everyone. I probably don't even know how to post & comment, but I'll give it a try.
Cathy

vrteach - Posted - 02/16/2007:  23:40:23


Well, I'm getting interested in 3-finger picking again. It never has made sense to me. I have the two Art Rosenbaum books (from which I learned 2-finger). I also have the Mike Seeger tapes, although I've not given them a complete viewing.

What else is available? Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?

I'm probably going to Midwest Banjo camp in the hopes that Seeger or Buehling might cover something. Would the early sections of the bluegrass novice section be useful? Or would they just laugh at my 2 1/2 pound nylagut-strung bicentennial?


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/16/2007 23:57:35

wormpicker - Posted - 02/24/2007:  22:53:04


I just got home from a fun-packed, musical, productive, and (most of all) inspiring clawhammer workshop led by our very own Dan "Clawdan" Levenson. We had a great group of twelve enthusiastic banjo bangers, including one brand new convert from the bluegrass side of the tracks. I know I came home with tons of new things to work on, and I think everyone else did too. Thanks a million to Dan and Jennifer Levenson and Hugh DeLong and his wife for offering their beautiful house and hospitality. Of course, I couldn't walk out without two new CDs of Dan's (Light of the Moon and Traveling Home), which I'm listening to as I write this). It was also great to finally meet in person lots of BHO friends that I've made in the past six months and revisit with some of the locals. My only complaint: Dan told me I HAD to change the way I hold my banjo if I want to become a real clawhammer player, and now I have to start all over!! (Just kidding Dan--play nice.)

I've posted some photos of the festivities in my photo album.

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin


Edited by - wormpicker on 02/24/2007 23:37:29

RWPark - Posted - 02/24/2007:  10:59:03



After a years wait, I finally got my Cloverlick custom. Is this how you make a barre chord?



RW

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/25/2007:  18:06:09


HAPPY BIRTHDAY RALPH.............................

Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys
plus Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands
Sunday, February 25, 2007
timeless purity from the soul of bluegrass
@ St. John's Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue, Berkley, Ca.
Door 7:30 P.M., Music 8:00 P.M.
http://www.thefreight.org/2007/0702..._070225.html

It's always a treat to see Ralph Stanley perform live, especially since the film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and the subsequent Down From the Mountain tour swept him to Grammy award-winning stardom. Those who saw the movie will recall the goosebumps raised by this superb musician's bone-chilling a cappella rendition of "Oh Death" -- no one can sing like Dr. Ralph, with his voice that seems to distill all the world's sorrows and carry them straight to your soul.

Born in 1927 near the rugged Virginia-Tennessee border, Ralph and his brother Carter became ground-breaking pioneers who helped re-shape the Anglo-Celtic ballads and fiddle tunes of southeast Appalachia into a bold new string band music now known as bluegrass. Following Carter's death in 1966, Ralph shifted the band's emphasis to an older, sparer mountain style, placing his own stamp on the music with his haunting voice and banjo playing. His music is a uniquely American form: sometimes rough-hewn, sometimes satin-smooth, it is always filled with powerful, raw emotion that seems to have poured straight out of the rocks and runs of his native Virginia mountains.

In six decades of performing, Ralph has set a standard for accomplishment and integrity unequaled in any category of music. He has toured throughout the world, earned dozens of honors (most recently the Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress, the 2002 Grammys for Best Country Male Vocalist Performance and Album of the Year, and the 2004 opening of the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center in Clintwood, Virginia), and recorded more than 200 albums, including his recent self-named solo album from DMZ/Columbia.

Ralph's band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, includes his son, guitarist Ralph Stanley ll and his grandson, Nathan Stanley on mandolin, along with lead guitarist James Alan Shelton, Steve Sparkman on banjo, Dewey Brown on fiddle, and Jack Cooke on string bass.

But wait: there's more! Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands kick off each show with a set spotlighting their great energy and artistry. A big fan of Ralph ever since she saw him perform when she was a student at Berkeley High, Laurie's collaborations with the bluegrass legend include the famed Masters of the Banjo tour and album of the 1990s, and Ralph's inclusion of Laurie on his critically acclaimed Clinch Mountain Country album of more recent vintage. Laurie is looking forward to sharing the stage with him in her hometown tonight. A key figure in bluegrass, traditional and folk music circles, Laurie's songwriting, fiddling and crystal-clear singing have brought her national recognition, a Grammy, and two International Bluegrass Music Association Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year.




Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

wormpicker - Posted - 02/25/2007:  21:48:44


This was just about the most music-filled weekend I've ever had as a clawhammer banjo player! Yesterday was Dan Levenson's all-day clawhammer workshop, which I wrote about yesterday. Friday night was our second monthly Tucson Old-Time Music Circle. Only our second gathering, it looks like we've already achieved critical mass. I don't know the official count, but I'd guess we had at least 30 musicians, many of them bringing along two or three instruments! We had probably a dozen banjo players (several of them were in town for Dan's workshop the next morning), about half a dozen fiddles, half dozen guitars, a mandolin or two, and several other assorted instrumentalists, including a wonderful hammered dulcimer player! I'm not sure whether the crowds descended because they found out that Dan and Jennifer Levenson would be there, or the word has just permeated through the local old-time community. We even had some guests come up from the Sierra Vista based Arthritis Brothers Oldtime String Band, and at least one return fiddler who came down all the way from Phoenix. I posted some pictures of all the fun in my photo album.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

jojo25 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:17:12


Can you all help me compile a good list of OT fiddle tunes in C, please?
I know some folks don't go to C much, if at all, but I also know that there are many good tunes in this key

sources, recordings, etc would be helpful too
I'll take whatever I can get

my first night at my first Clifftop I jammed with two fiddlers and we stayed in C for about 5 hours!!...and it was a blast!...but they are all in a fog in my memory now

Here's my humble start:

Billy in the Low Ground
Hell Broke Loose in Georgia

thanks in advance for all your help

Banjonically yours

Joe

Mud Bug - Posted - 02/15/2007:  16:23:25


Allright, so I no that obviously an open back banjo does not have a resonator, but does it generally have a tone ring? Is there anything else that you find to be true of a good openback that you would not find on a "bluegras style banjo?

rinemb - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:04:55


Please visit my topic under "Off-topic" where I am wanting opinions on instruments preferred, acceptable, and not permitted at a regular "old-time" jam we are starting up. I am finding this a difficult section to explain in the handout I am drafting for a non-old-time region. Thanks, Brad

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

RWPark - Posted - 02/27/2007:  13:13:43


This lady blows me away. Anyone know if that twangy banjo is a result of technique or tone ring?

http://www.aca-dla.org/Berea/image/381.mp3

Rich

I prefer to resonate internally.


Edited by - RWPark on 02/27/2007 13:20:57

J-Walk - Posted - 02/27/2007:  14:19:33


I don't have an answer, but I do like that version!

There's a free MP3 download of her playing Devil's Dream at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...TNK?v=glance

And there's a nice photo of her here, which proves that she's outstanding in her field:

http://www.rounder.com/series/nat/k...ckyohio.html


J-Walk - Posted - 02/27/2007:  14:43:28


Actually, that Devil's Dream Amazon download isn't her. It's mislabeled. The MP3 tag lists John Harrod & Mark Wilson.

Glenn - Posted - 02/27/2007:  15:33:47


Mark Wilson and John Harrod were the recorders of that cd. See the rounder site:
http://www.rounder.com/index.php?id...alog_id=5852

Apparently, it is Blanch Coldiron.

Glenn Patterson
www.myspace.com/glennfiddles
www.myspace.com/littlebrownjugcanada


Edited by - Glenn on 02/27/2007 15:37:39

J-Walk - Posted - 02/27/2007:  16:21:23


Thanks, Glenn. That looks like a fine album!

RWPark - Posted - 02/27/2007:  19:28:25


Yep...might have to break down and buy that one.

Rich

I prefer to resonate internally.

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

Cathy Fink - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:30:06


Howdy from Cathy Fink. I signed up last year, but don't have much time to monitor the site. David Holt encouraged me to catch up! Glad I did. Hi everyone. I probably don't even know how to post & comment, but I'll give it a try.
Cathy

vrteach - Posted - 02/16/2007:  23:40:23


Well, I'm getting interested in 3-finger picking again. It never has made sense to me. I have the two Art Rosenbaum books (from which I learned 2-finger). I also have the Mike Seeger tapes, although I've not given them a complete viewing.

What else is available? Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?

I'm probably going to Midwest Banjo camp in the hopes that Seeger or Buehling might cover something. Would the early sections of the bluegrass novice section be useful? Or would they just laugh at my 2 1/2 pound nylagut-strung bicentennial?


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/16/2007 23:57:35

wormpicker - Posted - 02/24/2007:  22:53:04


I just got home from a fun-packed, musical, productive, and (most of all) inspiring clawhammer workshop led by our very own Dan "Clawdan" Levenson. We had a great group of twelve enthusiastic banjo bangers, including one brand new convert from the bluegrass side of the tracks. I know I came home with tons of new things to work on, and I think everyone else did too. Thanks a million to Dan and Jennifer Levenson and Hugh DeLong and his wife for offering their beautiful house and hospitality. Of course, I couldn't walk out without two new CDs of Dan's (Light of the Moon and Traveling Home), which I'm listening to as I write this). It was also great to finally meet in person lots of BHO friends that I've made in the past six months and revisit with some of the locals. My only complaint: Dan told me I HAD to change the way I hold my banjo if I want to become a real clawhammer player, and now I have to start all over!! (Just kidding Dan--play nice.)

I've posted some photos of the festivities in my photo album.

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin


Edited by - wormpicker on 02/24/2007 23:37:29

RWPark - Posted - 02/24/2007:  10:59:03



After a years wait, I finally got my Cloverlick custom. Is this how you make a barre chord?



RW

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/25/2007:  18:06:09


HAPPY BIRTHDAY RALPH.............................

Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys
plus Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands
Sunday, February 25, 2007
timeless purity from the soul of bluegrass
@ St. John's Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue, Berkley, Ca.
Door 7:30 P.M., Music 8:00 P.M.
http://www.thefreight.org/2007/0702..._070225.html

It's always a treat to see Ralph Stanley perform live, especially since the film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and the subsequent Down From the Mountain tour swept him to Grammy award-winning stardom. Those who saw the movie will recall the goosebumps raised by this superb musician's bone-chilling a cappella rendition of "Oh Death" -- no one can sing like Dr. Ralph, with his voice that seems to distill all the world's sorrows and carry them straight to your soul.

Born in 1927 near the rugged Virginia-Tennessee border, Ralph and his brother Carter became ground-breaking pioneers who helped re-shape the Anglo-Celtic ballads and fiddle tunes of southeast Appalachia into a bold new string band music now known as bluegrass. Following Carter's death in 1966, Ralph shifted the band's emphasis to an older, sparer mountain style, placing his own stamp on the music with his haunting voice and banjo playing. His music is a uniquely American form: sometimes rough-hewn, sometimes satin-smooth, it is always filled with powerful, raw emotion that seems to have poured straight out of the rocks and runs of his native Virginia mountains.

In six decades of performing, Ralph has set a standard for accomplishment and integrity unequaled in any category of music. He has toured throughout the world, earned dozens of honors (most recently the Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress, the 2002 Grammys for Best Country Male Vocalist Performance and Album of the Year, and the 2004 opening of the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center in Clintwood, Virginia), and recorded more than 200 albums, including his recent self-named solo album from DMZ/Columbia.

Ralph's band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, includes his son, guitarist Ralph Stanley ll and his grandson, Nathan Stanley on mandolin, along with lead guitarist James Alan Shelton, Steve Sparkman on banjo, Dewey Brown on fiddle, and Jack Cooke on string bass.

But wait: there's more! Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands kick off each show with a set spotlighting their great energy and artistry. A big fan of Ralph ever since she saw him perform when she was a student at Berkeley High, Laurie's collaborations with the bluegrass legend include the famed Masters of the Banjo tour and album of the 1990s, and Ralph's inclusion of Laurie on his critically acclaimed Clinch Mountain Country album of more recent vintage. Laurie is looking forward to sharing the stage with him in her hometown tonight. A key figure in bluegrass, traditional and folk music circles, Laurie's songwriting, fiddling and crystal-clear singing have brought her national recognition, a Grammy, and two International Bluegrass Music Association Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year.




Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

wormpicker - Posted - 02/25/2007:  21:48:44


This was just about the most music-filled weekend I've ever had as a clawhammer banjo player! Yesterday was Dan Levenson's all-day clawhammer workshop, which I wrote about yesterday. Friday night was our second monthly Tucson Old-Time Music Circle. Only our second gathering, it looks like we've already achieved critical mass. I don't know the official count, but I'd guess we had at least 30 musicians, many of them bringing along two or three instruments! We had probably a dozen banjo players (several of them were in town for Dan's workshop the next morning), about half a dozen fiddles, half dozen guitars, a mandolin or two, and several other assorted instrumentalists, including a wonderful hammered dulcimer player! I'm not sure whether the crowds descended because they found out that Dan and Jennifer Levenson would be there, or the word has just permeated through the local old-time community. We even had some guests come up from the Sierra Vista based Arthritis Brothers Oldtime String Band, and at least one return fiddler who came down all the way from Phoenix. I posted some pictures of all the fun in my photo album.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

jojo25 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:17:12


Can you all help me compile a good list of OT fiddle tunes in C, please?
I know some folks don't go to C much, if at all, but I also know that there are many good tunes in this key

sources, recordings, etc would be helpful too
I'll take whatever I can get

my first night at my first Clifftop I jammed with two fiddlers and we stayed in C for about 5 hours!!...and it was a blast!...but they are all in a fog in my memory now

Here's my humble start:

Billy in the Low Ground
Hell Broke Loose in Georgia

thanks in advance for all your help

Banjonically yours

Joe

Mud Bug - Posted - 02/15/2007:  16:23:25


Allright, so I no that obviously an open back banjo does not have a resonator, but does it generally have a tone ring? Is there anything else that you find to be true of a good openback that you would not find on a "bluegras style banjo?

rinemb - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:04:55


Please visit my topic under "Off-topic" where I am wanting opinions on instruments preferred, acceptable, and not permitted at a regular "old-time" jam we are starting up. I am finding this a difficult section to explain in the handout I am drafting for a non-old-time region. Thanks, Brad

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

RWPark - Posted - 02/27/2007:  13:13:43


This lady blows me away. Anyone know if that twangy banjo is a result of technique or tone ring?

http://www.aca-dla.org/Berea/image/381.mp3

Rich

I prefer to resonate internally.


Edited by - RWPark on 02/27/2007 13:20:57

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/23/2007:  09:08:03


i started on this twanger 3 weeks ago or so with the 3 finger style....
taught my self Cripple Creek........

3 days ago i watched a Frailing vid onlie and it clicled and i was doing it ......
now im stuck on frailin and havent put the picks back on....

MY POINT ..... i did a vid recording, as a trial to see if i can do it on my comp, and get it online.... i did it for my Sister and her kids.. but as im new and need the craTeeeeekin id like to put it up so people can see....

regardles if its any good, or that its 6 in the morning done just to see if the vid works, id still like having people watch me so i can get over the OMG people are watching me thing.....lol

so for a giggle or two click my link...........
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV5SKyLjoqg



Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

Faelan - Posted - 02/23/2007:  10:53:48


Hey,

Keep at it. From one newb to another, take this with a shaker of salt but, it looks to me like you got the basic strum down, just need to keep practicing!

Check out Dan Levenson's book "Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch", it's got a lot of great information and by the time you're done with the book you'll know 12 great old time tunes.

__________________________
Faelan
Banjon00b
Gold Tone CC-50


Edited by - Faelan on 02/23/2007 10:54:55

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/23/2007:  11:12:41


thank you, thank you.......
i got that strum from - Frailing Banjo Lesson One by Patrick Costello
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo0cy0REMY8&NR

after watching the 2, 30 min vids he made, i was doing "skip to my lou"
where i tryed that in the 3 pics style and i wanst even close....not to mention i wasnt even going to try to sing it then......lol
that guy just taught me some good history, music, frailing, and singing and playing...in about 2 days........ the absalute bacis, to then build on top of that..... ie the idea behind music......
and no i cant carry a tune and still have time holding a beat.......
.lol ADD with OCD......lol
he does BLUES ON THE BANJO also.... i was slidin along with him and having a blast.........
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Dobro33H

im just starting to read the book he did, its is free online
The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo
by Patrick Costello
http://howandtao.com/books/banjo-tao/tao.html

ill look up that book you mentioned too.
home sick so my playing even sounds worse today...lol
again thaks for the boost and tip........


Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

Yopparai - Posted - 02/23/2007:  12:02:08


Yep. Gotta lot of respect for the Costellos and their philosophy on teaching people to play music. The audio was a bit out of synch so I am just gonna ask. Are you striking the strings downward, with the back of your fingernail, or picking the strings upward? Up-picking is a perfectly legitimate style of playing the banjo, but its not a bad idea to make sure you know you are up-picking rather than thinking you are frailing only to find out later your not.

Of course, if you are striking downward and its just me that is confused, please disregard that last comment.

Either way, you are on your way! Grab hold and enjoy the ride!

I played Scrugg's style for decades, but when I learned frailing/CH style, the banjo really opened up for me. I think you are in for some fun.

Faelan - Posted - 02/23/2007:  12:06:07


Check these out also...

http://www.zeppmusic.com/Clearhead/

http://www.bluesageband.com/Tabs.html

__________________________
Faelan
Banjon00b
Gold Tone CC-50

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/23/2007:  12:13:48


Yes,
ALL DOWN STROKE
Middle Finger and thumb only
and the thumb is roling off, not plucking......- no up stroke at all.......
.
i actualy never thought it could be done years back.... as mush as ive seen it i didnt get it till i saw Patricks vid...
him and Dear Old Dad Do Good.....

the vid is what i spent a few days trying to get right... lol took longer to get the vid then it did to learn to strum...lol
that was the best i could get so far... it was worse.. lol looked like i was playing at light speed......... was so funny looking.....
ill try to get it on a steady keel... my playing and the vid sinc .........



Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/23/2007:  12:20:15


quote:
Originally posted by Faelan

Check these out also...

http://www.zeppmusic.com/Clearhead/

http://www.bluesageband.com/Tabs.html

__________________________
Faelan
Banjon00b
Gold Tone CC-50



i already have Mike Iverson page bookmarked and have been looking at it....
if seen ZEP on here and his page/ store.. ty for that link tho. i was trying the dbl thum just cuz it sounded good and i tryed the drop thumb after reading a DT post.... i was getting it to, closes the webbing to match the picks and the thumb rolls off the one i USALY want....lol....

like i said just a few days on the CH and im liking it alot more.... its FUN-er......



Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

Faelan - Posted - 02/23/2007:  12:20:41


The How and Tao videos if I remember correctly tell you to strum with movement from the elbow.

Another method you might want to try is movement from the wrist with a hybrid waving/knocking motion. This is what allows me to pluck or not pluck with my thumb when resetting for the next brush or melody string.

__________________________
Faelan
Banjon00b
Gold Tone CC-50

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/23/2007:  12:28:14


i think im kind doing that as a natural thing the H & T mtehod says onle the forarm rocks and the hand tilts in or out... the forarm rocking helps me ge my hand set for another string and for me helps keep a beat... but i knotice that after messing around for a while my hand moves the way it wants to......

its good to know the basics but im kinda " if it feels good then do it"........
So then the steve martin vid i have on here , is him doing that wave/ knocking ??????





Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

Faelan - Posted - 02/23/2007:  12:34:13


Double post - disregard this one.

__________________________
Faelan
Banjon00b
Gold Tone CC-50


Edited by - Faelan on 02/23/2007 12:36:40

Faelan - Posted - 02/23/2007:  12:36:02


quote:
but i knotice that after messing around for a while my hand moves the way it wants to......

I am a firm believer in the "theres no one way - play what feels and sounds right for you" philosophy when it comes to playing instruments.

Well in that Steve Martin video his motion looks to be coming from the wrist but I'm not sure thats 100% clawhammer, looks like a mix between that and some finger picking. Anyone more experienced should set this one straight I think.

I had no idea Steve Martin was a banjo player. I liked it.

__________________________
Faelan
Banjon00b
Gold Tone CC-50


Edited by - Faelan on 02/23/2007 12:41:27

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/23/2007:  13:13:35


hes one of the best banjo players...... hes in a band now called
MEN WITH BANJO THAT KNOW HOW TO USE THEM.........

the song and vid you watched by Steve Martin is what got me loving the Banjo when i 8 or 9 ..... one of his older comedy albums is mostly his playing........

im off to get a old time tail peice for the lil twanger im going to build.....
with a stick, scews and nuts... a little pot, short neck, open back, for the truck....lol


Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

Yopparai - Posted - 02/23/2007:  14:01:34


Here is a link to WildJimbo (Jim Pankey) playing on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdOr-OfyXNU

I love watching his right hand. When my right hand grows up, it wants to be like that.

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/23/2007:  14:50:47


quote:
Originally posted by Yopparai

Here is a link to WildJimbo (Jim Pankey) playing on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdOr-OfyXNU

I love watching his right hand. When my right hand grows up, it wants to be like that.



Now that was awsome...
thats the sound im looking for....... i already looked up the rig hes on...what a beauty that is........... someday.. ill make one....lol


Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

Yopparai - Posted - 02/23/2007:  15:13:05


He is a member here, as well as the big dog over at the banjo lounge.

Bone - Posted - 02/25/2007:  18:34:50


Nice start 2wheeled!

I've only been playing for about 6 months now. I play (almost) every day. My wife says she's now a "banjo widow."

I started with the Costellos' stuff. Very grateful to them for letting me figure out that playing the banjo is doable! (You also can't beat the price!)

My wife got me Ken Perlman's "Clawhammer Style Banjo" with the two accompanying DVDs. Great stuff. Each song gets progressively harder. The DVDs show closeups of his right and left hands. He plays each song normal speed, then slow. I watch it over and over again. I love it. I highly recommend the whole package.

I had a '71 FLH and a '77 Sporty 'til I had babies and then they had to go!

Pete

"Nigh dan-jo, dah-ee" - My young daughter.

nancydrum - Posted - 02/26/2007:  10:38:38


[quote]Originally posted by 2Wheeled5Stringer

thank you, thank you.......
i got that strum from - Frailing Banjo Lesson One by Patrick Costello
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo0cy0REMY8&NR

Thanks so much for posting that link - I watched the first video, with banjo in hand, and for the first time, really felt that I was "getting" the strum. I have been trying to figure it out for a few weeks, and was starting to get a bit discouraged. My problem was, I was trying to fret, and do the strum - and fretting was taking all of my brainpower, so I wasn't getting any smoothness on the strum.

I like the way this guy teaches - no stress - I'm one happy frailer (in training )

Nancy D

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/26/2007:  11:19:14


Your Very Welcome... and its what Patrick would want to hear.....
Teach Music To everyone.......

thats the way i felt.....
i was picking, (im better now), but i couldnt do a song that sounded like a song let alone sing to it......
But then i was doing it in watching his first vid and now a week later ive been making up lil songs, playing to/with stuff/kinda.... but im getting it....

I too couldnt do a fretng and pic or strum.... i did read early on tho that some say just use your right hand.... all the time... i just held my left at the neck and moved up and down... no fretting.. even that at first messed me up.....but the right hand came in and now its doing things on its own..... IT WAS A GREAT WAY TO PRACTICE..... I STILL DO IT.......
so now im working on my cording and adding some speed and as that came i started dubble thumming a bit i guess,. and some improvising, yet getting back in to the strum, so it actualy kinda sounds cool.... im lovin it...
its so much fun......

now im strummin 3 or 4 cords with little thinking, playing a tune or 2.. or at least its sounding like somthing and yes iv been singing a lil bit....... lol

i did grab Dan Levenson's book "Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch" (which is recamendend all over this site)...at the shop Saturday, havent even looked at it yet...a busy sunday for me ....

the thing i want the most now is the John Hartford 2 DVD set i orded 3 weeks ago......... cant wait for that one....

but i have to say that im liking the Clawhammer more and more.,,,, but ill learn em both.... just like ill end up learnin the fiddle ill be makin in the next few weeks...lol



Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

bhmember - Posted - 02/28/2007:  14:33:35


2Wheeled5Stringer,

Thanks for this good topic. I've learned some important things and the Utube instruction is great!


wannabe

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

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

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 02/20/2007:  09:08:41


I think it is really helpful to record the music when you play in a group. This way you get to hear it again and again and those new tunes become embedded in your brain (eventually, depending on the brain.)

I used to use an IPOD to do the recordings and then transfer them to my computer, but my IPOD bit the dust, and I decided to purchase another product (for a lot less money).

I now use the SANSA E280 (8 gigs of storage in flash drive format), and it has a built in microphone as well as an FM radio tuner, movie/video viewer, and of course lots of space for mp3 files.

The one downside is that the recordings, although easy to make - simply push a button the side and it starts recording - are in wave format and I like to convert them to mp3 when I store them on the computer. The files in wave format and are quite large, so I use Adobe's Audition to convert them to mp3.

You can listen to what our Appalachian Music class is doing (at least the past two weeks) by clicking here:

http://www.siliconheights.com/appalachianmusic

Considering the way the recording is done, I like the quality.

Anyone else recording themselves and the music? I am sure the majority of BHO members are, so why not share your experiences (the good and the bad) and help all of us learn the ins and outs of recording ourselves and others.


Edited by - BANJOJUDY on 02/20/2007 10:13:36

canerods - Posted - 01/11/2007:  17:26:14


Maybe this question will dovetail with Janolav's "How do you hold the banjo" thread.

When playing seated, do you use a strap?

I know there are many good reasons to use a strap and I've heard many instructors recommend using a strap for the obvious: (1) takes pressure off the left hand for easier fingering. (2) keeps your prize banjo from crashing to the floor. etc. etc.

I've tried using a strap, but find it awkward and somewhat annoying. I find it much more enjoyable to play without one. Since I've only been playing a few months, would you think I'd develop some bad habits or future problems by not using one? Just curious what you all think?

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." Mark Twain

dbrooks - Posted - 02/22/2007:  11:14:30


Last night I jammed for a couple of hours with a friend who plays flatpick and fingerstyle guitar. He's an accomplished guitarist, though considers himself new to flatpicking. We found 15-20 tunes that we both knew and had a good time playing.

I found, though, that I was clueless on the best way to back up his playing. We didn't play too much simultaneously but tended to trade breaks as a way to listen to one another. I realized that I haven't thought much about this particluar playing need. I have played mostly with fiddles in the contra dance band or solo or to accompany my singing. I tried playing some chords and a little drop-thumb patterns, but I didn't like what I was doing much. I also found that there were several tunes I play but don't really know the chord patterns.

I plan now to listen to some more recordings that might provide examples fo clawhammer backup. I am hopeful that he and I will continue to get together. I'd appreciate suggestions from all of you.

David

Reverend Mediocre - Posted - 02/18/2007:  23:51:09


I'm particularly fond of the style of Buell Kazee. Being a relatively new clawhammer player I have difficulties hearing the intricacies of his playing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does what he does. My only guess is a very liberal amount of drop thumbing. Is anyone familiar with his style? Tunings? Etcetera?

roneil76 - Posted - 02/20/2007:  17:08:55


Hi, everyone. I've been an active member now for a while. I dont post really often but I do read everyday. I just wanted to use this post today for my own good. See, I started a company building Handcrafted Instruments and I wanted to get my name out there. I know its a bit pushy but I realy enjoy this site for many reasons and I figure its a great place to make myself known. This is the only time I will mention my company here "unprompted". If you get a chance please visit my new web site www.nhi-3treefarms.com. I have some pics of the work i've been doing and I plan to post many more pics as I go. Also, there is a little bio on the home page. Besure to visit the NHI site. Take a look around. Hopefully you will all be hearing the name Nugget Handcrafted Instruments in your travels in a few years. But, for now I'm the only one talking about it. I am proud of my work and I'm Hopefull many musicians will be too as time rolls on.

NHI- "Somethin' to pick on"




Lovin' Life !

Nugget Handcrafted Instruments (NHI)
"Somethin' to pick on"
Visit my web site @
www.nhi-3treefarms.com

Bill Rogers - Posted - 02/19/2007:  00:11:44


A friend who plays mandolin (for Irish tunes) and is a very fine
singer, wants to learn banjo to accompany his singing. I can get him rolling on playing, particularly clawhammer, which he does want to learn, but I'm not a singer and haven't tried much except
clawhammer & bluegrass since my beginning year or two. Since his interest is singing, I have the Pete Seeger book in mind, for its introduction to many ways to play. Peggy's book is out of print as far as I know. Do members know of any other books to learn ways to accompany a variety of folk songs--as opposed to just learning bluegrass or the various old-time instrumental styles? Tnx.

Bill


Bill

Cathy Fink - Posted - 02/08/2007:  23:30:06


Howdy from Cathy Fink. I signed up last year, but don't have much time to monitor the site. David Holt encouraged me to catch up! Glad I did. Hi everyone. I probably don't even know how to post & comment, but I'll give it a try.
Cathy

vrteach - Posted - 02/16/2007:  23:40:23


Well, I'm getting interested in 3-finger picking again. It never has made sense to me. I have the two Art Rosenbaum books (from which I learned 2-finger). I also have the Mike Seeger tapes, although I've not given them a complete viewing.

What else is available? Are any of the BG tutorials of any use to someone who wants to play old-time and wants to expand from CH?

I'm probably going to Midwest Banjo camp in the hopes that Seeger or Buehling might cover something. Would the early sections of the bluegrass novice section be useful? Or would they just laugh at my 2 1/2 pound nylagut-strung bicentennial?


Erich
-------
http://vrteach.freepgs.com/banjo/


Edited by - vrteach on 02/16/2007 23:57:35

wormpicker - Posted - 02/24/2007:  22:53:04


I just got home from a fun-packed, musical, productive, and (most of all) inspiring clawhammer workshop led by our very own Dan "Clawdan" Levenson. We had a great group of twelve enthusiastic banjo bangers, including one brand new convert from the bluegrass side of the tracks. I know I came home with tons of new things to work on, and I think everyone else did too. Thanks a million to Dan and Jennifer Levenson and Hugh DeLong and his wife for offering their beautiful house and hospitality. Of course, I couldn't walk out without two new CDs of Dan's (Light of the Moon and Traveling Home), which I'm listening to as I write this). It was also great to finally meet in person lots of BHO friends that I've made in the past six months and revisit with some of the locals. My only complaint: Dan told me I HAD to change the way I hold my banjo if I want to become a real clawhammer player, and now I have to start all over!! (Just kidding Dan--play nice.)

I've posted some photos of the festivities in my photo album.

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin


Edited by - wormpicker on 02/24/2007 23:37:29

RWPark - Posted - 02/24/2007:  10:59:03



After a years wait, I finally got my Cloverlick custom. Is this how you make a barre chord?



RW

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/25/2007:  18:06:09


HAPPY BIRTHDAY RALPH.............................

Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys
plus Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands
Sunday, February 25, 2007
timeless purity from the soul of bluegrass
@ St. John's Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue, Berkley, Ca.
Door 7:30 P.M., Music 8:00 P.M.
http://www.thefreight.org/2007/0702..._070225.html

It's always a treat to see Ralph Stanley perform live, especially since the film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and the subsequent Down From the Mountain tour swept him to Grammy award-winning stardom. Those who saw the movie will recall the goosebumps raised by this superb musician's bone-chilling a cappella rendition of "Oh Death" -- no one can sing like Dr. Ralph, with his voice that seems to distill all the world's sorrows and carry them straight to your soul.

Born in 1927 near the rugged Virginia-Tennessee border, Ralph and his brother Carter became ground-breaking pioneers who helped re-shape the Anglo-Celtic ballads and fiddle tunes of southeast Appalachia into a bold new string band music now known as bluegrass. Following Carter's death in 1966, Ralph shifted the band's emphasis to an older, sparer mountain style, placing his own stamp on the music with his haunting voice and banjo playing. His music is a uniquely American form: sometimes rough-hewn, sometimes satin-smooth, it is always filled with powerful, raw emotion that seems to have poured straight out of the rocks and runs of his native Virginia mountains.

In six decades of performing, Ralph has set a standard for accomplishment and integrity unequaled in any category of music. He has toured throughout the world, earned dozens of honors (most recently the Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress, the 2002 Grammys for Best Country Male Vocalist Performance and Album of the Year, and the 2004 opening of the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center in Clintwood, Virginia), and recorded more than 200 albums, including his recent self-named solo album from DMZ/Columbia.

Ralph's band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, includes his son, guitarist Ralph Stanley ll and his grandson, Nathan Stanley on mandolin, along with lead guitarist James Alan Shelton, Steve Sparkman on banjo, Dewey Brown on fiddle, and Jack Cooke on string bass.

But wait: there's more! Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands kick off each show with a set spotlighting their great energy and artistry. A big fan of Ralph ever since she saw him perform when she was a student at Berkeley High, Laurie's collaborations with the bluegrass legend include the famed Masters of the Banjo tour and album of the 1990s, and Ralph's inclusion of Laurie on his critically acclaimed Clinch Mountain Country album of more recent vintage. Laurie is looking forward to sharing the stage with him in her hometown tonight. A key figure in bluegrass, traditional and folk music circles, Laurie's songwriting, fiddling and crystal-clear singing have brought her national recognition, a Grammy, and two International Bluegrass Music Association Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year.




Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

wormpicker - Posted - 02/25/2007:  21:48:44


This was just about the most music-filled weekend I've ever had as a clawhammer banjo player! Yesterday was Dan Levenson's all-day clawhammer workshop, which I wrote about yesterday. Friday night was our second monthly Tucson Old-Time Music Circle. Only our second gathering, it looks like we've already achieved critical mass. I don't know the official count, but I'd guess we had at least 30 musicians, many of them bringing along two or three instruments! We had probably a dozen banjo players (several of them were in town for Dan's workshop the next morning), about half a dozen fiddles, half dozen guitars, a mandolin or two, and several other assorted instrumentalists, including a wonderful hammered dulcimer player! I'm not sure whether the crowds descended because they found out that Dan and Jennifer Levenson would be there, or the word has just permeated through the local old-time community. We even had some guests come up from the Sierra Vista based Arthritis Brothers Oldtime String Band, and at least one return fiddler who came down all the way from Phoenix. I posted some pictures of all the fun in my photo album.

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

jojo25 - Posted - 02/09/2007:  15:17:12


Can you all help me compile a good list of OT fiddle tunes in C, please?
I know some folks don't go to C much, if at all, but I also know that there are many good tunes in this key

sources, recordings, etc would be helpful too
I'll take whatever I can get

my first night at my first Clifftop I jammed with two fiddlers and we stayed in C for about 5 hours!!...and it was a blast!...but they are all in a fog in my memory now

Here's my humble start:

Billy in the Low Ground
Hell Broke Loose in Georgia

thanks in advance for all your help

Banjonically yours

Joe

Mud Bug - Posted - 02/15/2007:  16:23:25


Allright, so I no that obviously an open back banjo does not have a resonator, but does it generally have a tone ring? Is there anything else that you find to be true of a good openback that you would not find on a "bluegras style banjo?

rinemb - Posted - 02/14/2007:  16:04:55


Please visit my topic under "Off-topic" where I am wanting opinions on instruments preferred, acceptable, and not permitted at a regular "old-time" jam we are starting up. I am finding this a difficult section to explain in the handout I am drafting for a non-old-time region. Thanks, Brad

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

RWPark - Posted - 02/27/2007:  13:13:43


This lady blows me away. Anyone know if that twangy banjo is a result of technique or tone ring?

http://www.aca-dla.org/Berea/image/381.mp3

Rich

I prefer to resonate internally.


Edited by - RWPark on 02/27/2007 13:20:57

2Wheeled5Stringer - Posted - 02/23/2007:  09:08:03


i started on this twanger 3 weeks ago or so with the 3 finger style....
taught my self Cripple Creek........

3 days ago i watched a Frailing vid onlie and it clicled and i was doing it ......
now im stuck on frailin and havent put the picks back on....

MY POINT ..... i did a vid recording, as a trial to see if i can do it on my comp, and get it online.... i did it for my Sister and her kids.. but as im new and need the craTeeeeekin id like to put it up so people can see....

regardles if its any good, or that its 6 in the morning done just to see if the vid works, id still like having people watch me so i can get over the OMG people are watching me thing.....lol

so for a giggle or two click my link...........
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV5SKyLjoqg



Guitar School Drop Out..."Kudnt Handle 6 Strings, 4 wid a spair is Funner"

" WHAT THE HELL ARE THOES SQUIGGLY LINES............???? "

"YOU CANT PLAY A SAD SONG ON THE BANJO"
Steve Martin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP6xd0aITFM

this is how i wanta play.... in the trees, on the river, in the summer.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahpiVjL8Y

Bolannta - Posted - 02/25/2007:  08:21:56


Hope this isn't a repost and that this is in the correct area.

Over 1500 historic digital recordings of Clawhammer and Old Time banjo playing online.
http://www.aca-dla.org/cgi-bin/quer...SOBOX1=banjo

Kole - Posted - 02/25/2007:  08:40:55


I havent seen this site before. Thanks for the post.

Flesher Tarantella
Cedar Mountain Banjos

janolov - Posted - 02/25/2007:  08:44:57


It is a repost, but this treasure is worth to mention again.

Janolov

chip arnold - Posted - 02/25/2007:  09:49:10


J. Roy Stalcup who's music, picture and interview are on the site was one of my first 2-finger banjo picking friends. He lived over the N.C. line just a few miles from me and we spent a lot of time picking in the 70's. He called his style "filppin" the banjo.

Play with a plan
Chip

gailg64 - Posted - 02/25/2007:  11:00:04


This should be in everyone's bookmark folder--all kinds of wonderful snippets & photos are here & what great fun to hear all the different banjo styles! I notice that Denny Sloan also played in some kind of maybe 2-finger style.
Gal

!

quote:
Originally posted by chip arnold

J. Roy Stalcup who's music, picture and interview are on the site was one of my first 2-finger banjo picking friends. He lived over the N.C. line just a few miles from me and we spent a lot of time picking in the 70's. He called his style "filppin" the banjo.

Play with a plan
Chip



wormpicker - Posted - 02/25/2007:  11:07:55


Yeah, it is a fantastic resource. Here's the link to the music start page: http://www.aca-dla.org/dlamusic/dlamusic.html

Here are a few other great old-time music resource links that have been posted here recently:

http://www.juneberry78s.com/otmsampler/index.html (and for a broader collection: http://www.juneberry78s.com/sounds/index.htm )
http://www.1001tunes.com/LINKS.htm
http://www.thespps.org/
http://www.tapers.org/public/

Paul

Obsession is a great substitute for talent. -Steve Martin

banjoholic - Posted - 02/25/2007:  11:14:33


What a phenomenal site! I love the internet.

tonehead - Posted - 02/25/2007:  13:50:25


Thanks much for posting it!

Be significant.

TMarshall1 - Posted - 02/25/2007:  16:31:45


That's good stuff Bolannta! Thanx

Tony

"...if ya got time to breathe, ya got time for music..."
Briscoe Darling - Apr.29,1963

Yopparai - Posted - 02/25/2007:  17:39:31


Bolannta, that site can not be posted (or reposted) too many times.

Wormpicker, You had a couple there I hadn't seen. Thanks!

Galante_K4 - Posted - 02/25/2007:  18:13:28


Thanks Bolannta! I hadn't know about this site. Terrific. Just spent an hour or so listening!

"Admitting to yourself that you have BAS is the first step in recovery."

gailg64 - Posted - 02/25/2007:  18:43:22


Still discovering more goodies from the Digital Library of Appalachia. Wow, there's lots of terrific banjo fingerpicking! Here's WL Gregory with fiddler Clyde Davenport. Sounds like o-t 3-finger to me, but it's hard to tell for sure.
http://www.aca-dla.org/Berea/image/2346.mp3

quote:
Originally posted by chip arnold

J. Roy Stalcup who's music, picture and interview are on the site was one of my first 2-finger banjo picking friends. He lived over the N.C. line just a few miles from me and we spent a lot of time picking in the 70's. He called his style "filppin" the banjo.

Play with a plan
Chip



BuzardRoost - Posted - 02/28/2007:  15:06:33


What a treasure.
Thanks for posting this.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.15625