Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

405
Banjo Lovers Online


Discussion Forum

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!

 All Forums
 Playing the Banjo
 Playing Advice: All Other Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: "Sawmill" term origin


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/79629

CageyK - Posted - 04/08/2007:  22:45:58


Howdy,

Got an itch to understand why the term "sawmill" is used for G modal tuning (gDGCD). Couldn't find anything about this question in a "sawmill" search on BHO or in my various banjo books.

Anybody know?

Thanks.

Cagey

beegee - Posted - 04/09/2007:  00:51:37


Maybe because you can play a C chord with one finger, which might be important for a sawmill worker who might be missing a digit or two?

_________________________________________
usus promptos facit

Grifton NC

Bill Rogers - Posted - 04/09/2007:  01:59:26


I've also seen it called "lassy-makin" tuning.... Who knows?

Bill

sugarinthegourd - Posted - 04/09/2007:  08:57:04


quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

I've also seen it called "lassy-makin" tuning.... Who knows?

Bill



Clarence Ashley called either the tuning or the tune ("The Cuckoo") that in John Cohen's short film "The High Lonesome Sound." "Lassy" = molasses of course.

http://sugarinthegourd.com
http://www.myspace.com/sugarinthegourd

ndlxs - Posted - 04/09/2007:  09:08:55


Perhaps there is a tune called Sawmill out there?

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

chip arnold - Posted - 04/09/2007:  10:26:32


My first 2-finger friend called it Frankie & Jonny tuning and used it for G & F tunes. I sawmilled for several years and I don't know of anything about sawmilling that would make sense as a reason to name a tuning. I'll bet Andy is right but then I never heard of a tune named sawmill either!

Play with a plan
Chip

sugarinthegourd - Posted - 04/09/2007:  11:30:56


As a sawmill blade slices through a log it makes a loud whine. When it gets to the end of the log and finally clears it, the whine rises in pitch. Maybe someone thought the rising pitches in this open sus4 chord sounded like the sound of the sawmill blade.

http://sugarinthegourd.com
http://www.myspace.com/sugarinthegourd

banjo_brad - Posted - 04/09/2007:  18:45:42


I always wondered why "Mississippi Sawyer" wasn't in Sawmill tuning?

Brad

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

Bill Rogers - Posted - 04/09/2007:  20:49:48


Because a "sawyer" is a log that floats just under the surfact to rip the hull of a carelessly guided boat. Doesn't refer to someone working in a sawmill.

Bill

chip arnold - Posted - 04/09/2007:  21:04:54


But it plays fine (in D) out of A sawmill ;-) just stay off the 4th string!

Play with a plan
Chip

banjo_brad - Posted - 04/09/2007:  23:40:33


Bill -
that's the third definition, I found:

"sawyer." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 09 Apr. 2007. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sawyer>.

n.

1. One that is employed in sawing wood.
2. Any of several long-horned beetles of the genus Monochamus having larvae that bore large holes in living or dead wood.
3. See snag. See Regional Note at preacher.


So, I guess it depends on where you are.


Chip-

I'll have to give it a try there, thanks.

Brad



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


Edited by - banjo_brad on 04/09/2007 23:41:37

janolov - Posted - 04/10/2007:  05:47:42


I just make to add some more confusion:
1. I have seen fiddlers calling GDGD (and AEAE) for sawmill tuning. This may indicate that it is referring to a tune, not to the indvividual notes in the tuning or the sound of the tuning.
2. I heard Ralph Stanley call the double C tuning (gCGCD) for sawmill tuning ( I think it was on a DVD from HomespuneVideos made by Mike Seeger).

Janolov

fretless - Posted - 04/12/2007:  13:34:09


quote:
Originally posted by banjo_brad

Bill -
that's the third definition, I found:

"sawyer." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 09 Apr. 2007. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sawyer>.

n.
.... 3. See snag. See Regional Note at preacher.

Brad



I've heard Mississippi Sawyer called "Snag on a Log".

Marianne

banjo_brad - Posted - 04/12/2007:  15:32:28


Marianne-

Thanks for that little bit of information - I hadn't run across that name before.

Brad

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

chip arnold - Posted - 04/12/2007:  15:35:38


Will Keys called it Cat in a Pear Tree! It's listed that way on his cd. He said whoever he learned it from called it that but I don't remember who it was.

Play with a plan
Chip

banjo_brad - Posted - 04/12/2007:  19:26:20


Fascinating! So maybe they called a Mississippi Sawyer to cut down the tree to get the cat, and the log fell in the river and became a snag? (or Preacher, or a sawyer log?)

Brad

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

chip arnold - Posted - 04/13/2007:  10:18:41


Question is....what happened to the cat? Is he floating around in the Gulf of Mexico on that sawyer?

Play with a plan
Chip

fretless - Posted - 04/13/2007:  12:41:00


quote:


I've heard Mississippi Sawyer called "Snag on a Log".



I just looked through a few CDs to see if I could find the Snag on Log title. I couldn't find that one, but John Morgan Salyer calls it "Fish on a Snag" and Niles Wilson has a different tune called "Mississippi Snag."

Marianne

banjo_brad - Posted - 04/13/2007:  13:46:56


" Question is....what happened to the cat?"

It's now on a Tennesse Farm.

Brad

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

ronpres2 - Posted - 04/14/2007:  17:30:58


[quote]Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Because a "sawyer" is a log that floats just under the surfact to rip the hull of a carelessly guided boat. Doesn't refer to someone working in a sawmill.

Bill
[/quote

Not to start any thing, but yes, "sawyer" in sawmill terms is the name of the operater who runs the little car that the log rides on while it is being cut. At least on the "old" sawmills. ron presley]

rkp

eat more possum !

chip arnold - Posted - 04/14/2007:  21:32:38


ronpres2 is right, the sawyer is the feller that runs the head saw. He decides what each log will saw out, runs the carriage and is the highest paid, most skilled man in the sawmill. On an old type mill (still plenty of them running) the first pieces off the log still have barky edges. The edger decides what width the board will make and runs it through the edger to square the edges. That was my job in the sawmill. If you're running small logs, the sawyer just rips them and the edger has to edge every board. Big logs the sawyer squares on the head saw and then rips boards which gives the edger a rest.
So Mississippi Sawyer makes perfect sense as a tune about a sawmiller.

Play with a plan
Chip

AD3AD3AD3 - Posted - 04/17/2007:  12:59:15


Fascinating discussion. I'm learning a lot from this one.

AD3

CageyK - Posted - 04/17/2007:  16:20:26


Howdy AD3,

In case you haven't stumbled on this thread, there's tons more there. The topic was reposted on the clawhammer advice forum, and just exploded. Neat stuff! Enjoy.

Cagey

http://www.banjohangout.org/forum/t...PIC_ID=80068

chip arnold - Posted - 04/17/2007:  16:25:53


Here's a BHO member whose a sawyer!
http://www.banjohangout.org/myhango....asp?id=2062

Play with a plan
Chip

gailg64 - Posted - 04/18/2007:  11:28:14


Tammy (Sawyer) is one too :-)
Gail

quote:
Originally posted by chip arnold

Here's a BHO member whose a sawyer!
http://www.banjohangout.org/myhango....asp?id=2062

Play with a plan
Chip



Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.078125