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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: what style is this?

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Logger - Posted - 07/18/2007:  22:41:33

I found this on youtube and wondered what style it is and where would I find tab for it?

It ain't no disgrace to be poor, but it's just so darned unhandy.

savzac - Posted - 07/18/2007:  23:00:06

Looks like what I have heard Dave Macon and some of the ole timey players used to do before Earl added the 3rd finger?

Just guessing because I'm a noob.

Sounded great by the way!

Edited by - savzac on 07/18/2007 23:01:27

rendesvous1840 - Posted - 07/18/2007:  23:19:53

To the right of the video, click on more for info on the style. There's not a lot there, but it's 2 finger thumb lead style. The index finger mostly plays drone notes on the 1st string. The thumb alternates between melody notes on the inner strings and sometimes plays drones on the 5th string. The right hand pattern is mostly TITITITI. Maybe contact Chip Arnold, I think he knows more about this style than I do.
By the way, Uncle Dave used an early 3 finger style. Earl didn't add the third finger, he changed the way the notes are syncopated.

"A master banjo player isn't the person who can pick the most notes. It's the person who can touch the most hearts." Patrick Costello

Edited by - rendesvous1840 on 07/18/2007 23:21:43

savzac - Posted - 07/18/2007:  23:38:24

Thanks rendesvous1840!

I didn't know Uncle Dave used three, I have listened to him but I don't think I have seen any pictures or anything about how many fingers he was throwing at it.
Some of the recordings I have seems that he alternates between using picks and not using them, right?

Emiel - Posted - 07/19/2007:  04:39:43

I don't think Uncle Dave used picks. On some recordings he changes between three-finger picking and clawhammer. Three-finger picking is probably as old as the banjo. Notable are also the 19th and early 20th century styles of classic banjo, also three-finger picking.


Jayme Stone - Posted - 07/19/2007:  10:47:15

This is an old-time two-finger style and I beieve the song itself comes from a banjoist named Dee Hicks. Two-finger style is not traditionally played with picks, but can be done that way.

Mike Seeger recorded / revived it on his album Southern Banjo Sounds and teaches it on his Homespun DVD series by the same name. This, for me, is one of the most important and incredible banjo albums ever released. A must for anyone interested in the diverse history of banjo music.



chip arnold - Posted - 07/19/2007:  11:36:50

Yup, 3-finger banjo was around long before Earl. In fact, Earl was influenced and inspired by other 3-finger pickers himself. He did change the approach and develop what we now think of as "Scruggs style".

There are several OT 2-finger styles out there too. The guy in your link plays a thumb lead style in a pretty, melodic way. You can search you tube for Roscoe Holcomb to hear a real master of a more rythm based thumb lead style. There are and were many others.

OT index finger lead 2-finger was also widely played at one time. Will Keys of Gray, Tn. was my hero. You can visit his website and listen to a little of his picking there. My Hangout homepage has some sound files of my 2-finger playing also. There has been renewed interest in OT finger styles recently. The OT 3-finger styles are still played as well. Pete Peterson who is a member here is terrific in the style. Charlie Poole was one of the earlier OT 3-finger pickers and became wildly popular way back when.

Play with a plan

MODS.....Thjis subject should be in OT styles forum.

Edited by - chip arnold on 07/19/2007 11:45:12

twelvefret - Posted - 07/19/2007:  19:59:47

Here is something in my two fingerstyle. I use the thumb for lead and more or less drone with the idex and sometimes middle. Between melody notes I will catch the 5th string.

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

gailg64 - Posted - 07/20/2007:  15:23:19

This is some very fine & clean thumb lead 2-finger indeed. Also I see that the young man on youTube is using picks, which was actually pretty common (Roscoe Holcomb, Wade Mainer, Fisher Hendley & countless NC piedmont banjo pickers for example) This was an extremely important banjo style in the not too distant past. over much of the South.

The source of this particular tune these days is almost always Mike Seeger (and bless his heart for preserving interesting banjo styles such as this) He teaches it (AND has it tabbed out in the accompanying booklet) on his Homespun DVD on southern banjo styles.

If you're intrigued & want to hear & learn more stuff like this, Lost Gander was played by the wonderful Dee Hicks on a 2 record set on County. You might find it on eBay or Amazon.(I don't believe it has been reissued.) I have the Lps but haven't digitized them yet---this has inspired me to go back & listen some more!

Also, check out the the Troxell brothers, Lee & Morgan Sexton (JuneAppal) & Virgil Anderson for an earful of extremely fine banjo picking. And there's a new Springfed reissue of a 1970s recording of the incomparable Omer Forster, from Waverly, TN a "dedicated" 2 finger up-picker whose "Flowery Girls", "Union Grove" & "McEwen Drag" are some of the most sublime banjo music I've ever heard. Mr. Forster played with fiddler Houston Daniel, also of the Waverly - McEwen area just west of Nashville. Forster used to come to Union Grove & I believe he won the Fiddlers Grove banjo contest when my husband & I were there in 1976.

Here's a description of the County LP set on which you can hear Dee Hicks & other singing & playing from the TN-KY Cumberland mt. & plateau region:

Traditional Music from the Cumberland Plateau, Volumes 1 and 2. County Records CO786/787. LP. Two-volume anthology of ballads, fiddle, banjo, and square dance music from notable traditional musicians of the Tennessee-Kentucky state-line counties on the Cumberland Plateau. Volume one features performances from Clyde Troxell, The Rocky Toppers, Bessford Hicks, Clyde Davenport, Louie Jones, and Retta Spradlin; volume two has contributions from Clarence Ferrill, Virgil Anderson, John Sharp, and Dee Hicks. Both volumes include a 10-page booklet with extensive notes by Bobby Fulcher, photos, and maps.

For more music of the

Originally posted by Logger

I found this on youtube and wondered what style it is and where would I find tab for it?

It ain't no disgrace to be poor, but it's just so darned unhandy.

Jim Yates - Posted - 07/25/2007:  10:45:14

I like to play Hot Corn, Cold Corn on the fretless in a two finger, thumb lead style with no fingerpicks in open G tuning. Try it.

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