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Banjo Style and the Wade Ward "Code"

Posted by Brooklynbanjoboy on Saturday, September 6, 2014

An early September 2014 Banjo Hangout (BHO) thread on Wade Ward-style banjo playing generated a serious discussion of several things, particularly (A) elements of Ward’s playing approach and how to get closer to that style, and (B) the wisdom of allowing the banjo approaches of other players, including the Founding Fathers, to impact on one’s own development of a “style.” 

I’ve been party to the question about how to get at Ward’s style.  I just added a BHO Blog note to the mix.

See:  http://www.banjohangout.org/topic/289967/1

And an “expanded” version on my own blog:

HTTP://WWW/littlebearbanjohospital.com/2014/09/chasing-old-joe-clark-wade-ward-style.html

I’ve allowed the question of whether or not one should dabble in classic clawhammer approaches to the possible detriment of one’s own banjo style to unfold without offering a comment of my own. 

Until now.

Dan Levenson wrote in the BHO forum thread on Old Joe Clark:

BEGIN QUOTE:

So, Lew, using the books (mine and others), recordings and tunetorials all will help add to the development of your style, but "your" style won't really develop until you start just playing the notes and rhythms you feel and hear. When it does happen (and it always continues to develop) it will be a product of all you have listened to and played and will continue to change as you listen to and play more. When it does happen, you willl hear the influences of Wade as well as others since you are working on their pieces as your workshop for banjo. […] Perhaps we can say, "Style Happens".

END QUOTE.

I see and understand, and even agree with this.

But I’m not exactly talking about the emergence of style. 

I am talking about trying to break the Wade Ward code.  Real musicians concern themselves with shaping a style.  I’m just a guy with a banjo.

TO READ MORE ON THIS, PLEASE SEE MY LITTLE BEAR BANJO HOSPITAL BLOG:

http://www.littlebearbanjohospital.com/2014/09/banjo-style-and-wade-ward-approach-to.html

THANKS!

 

V/R,

 

Lew



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