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Banjo versus TV week 87: Halloween party jam

Posted by jrjenks on Friday, November 6, 2009

A check-in on the Banjo versus TV project — J.R.'s ongoing plan to spend more time on his banjo than on TV. This post covers 10/25/2009 through 10/31/2009.

Banjo 549 hrs, TV 487 hours

I went to a Halloween costume party and was asked to "bring your music stuff." I interpreted that pretty broadly, so I brought two banjos, two guitars, a gutbucket and a washboard. The costumers jammed for hours.

Weeping Angel and Viking #4

(Pictured: Weeping Angel and a Viking. I wore my tool costume.)

Things I learned at this week's banjo lesson:

  • I showed off my skill at Cripple Creek and the variations I'd come up with. But David pointed out a problem with my variations. I'd changed the song from...
    A Part

    B Part
    A Part

    B Part
    See how I kept it in D for the whole fourth measure of both parts? I liked the sound of that because it held the tension until the second repeat of the sequence. But David pointed out that it would sound awkward when playing with other people.

    He suggested that I might keep my variation, but that I'd have to walk people through it and let them know that this is a non-standard Cripple Creek. (Maybe I'll call it Cripple Creed.)

    As an example of a variation on Cripple Creek, David played Susie Monick's Wicked Witch Breakdown from the album "Melting Pots".

  • We worked on my solo for Bay Rum Blues, which I'll be playing on November 14th for Chicago's Second Annual Battle of the Jug Bands.

    Basically, since the song is a VI-II-V-I number in A, I'll be capoing at the second fret and playing a two-measure lick for each of the four keys:


    E (VI)

    B (II)


    D (V)

    G (I)

    David notes that I can use these VI-II-V-I tricks on Salty Dog, Rag Mama and other ragtime songs.
  • I'll also be playing Sun Brimmer's Blues at the battle. For this, I'll be walking (skipping?) along the jazz pentatonic:

    Toss in a little string bending and I'm good to go.


Also in the last week:

  • My iPhone is getting kinda full of songs. Mostly banjo stuff.

  • The redhead wants me to learn I'm Movin' On, which was famously performed by Ray Charles...

    ...but was originally by Hank Snow.

  • I rented The Fairly OddParents in Fairy Idol from NetFlix. But even though it has a running gag about the banjo...

    Nooooo! doesn't really have enough banjo to satisfy the Banjo versus TV project rules...

    There's no pictures in it. it just counts as TV time.


Cross-posted at J.R. Jenks' blog

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