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Posted by Klondike Waldo on Saturday, March 7, 2009

Well, I've always wanted to play for two shows- Brigadoon, on bagpipes, and Mame on banjo. I got to play for a production of Brigadoon a year ago. As the piper, I was  ostensibly a member of the orchestra but  actually spent my time on stage with the actors. It was a lot of work for very little playing, but it was fun and Ireally enjoyed being among the cast for teh six performances.

Mame has quite a bit of banjo in the score, alternating with guitar. Luckily for me , most of the guitar parts, along with all the string section parts are going to covered by a synth player.  Some of the "banjo" parts are too low for 5-string, plectrum or tenor, so I suspect that the arranger was writing for guitar banjo, which makes sense as the banjoist also doubles on guitar.   I experimented with plectrum tuning and even tried working up my tenor banjo chops but at last decided to play the whole thing on 5 string, standard tuning, which I'm much more familiar with.    There are a couple of melodic licks here and there, some chord-melody and some tremolo runs which are critical, but there's also a whole lot of fast strummed chord changes in keys that any folk or bluegrass banjo player would find unusual, I think.  If nothing else, I'm getting a lot more familiar with chords up the neck. We've had two rehearsals so far, but next week is production week, so we'll rehearse every night up to the actual performances on Friday and two Saturday. After this I don't need to play any more shows unless they need a middle -aged tenor in the cast.

1 comment on “MAME”

kathy315 Says:
Monday, March 9, 2009 @2:07:33 PM

Bob,sounds like you're keeping very busy! I love the new picture!

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