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help for acquring Bela's style

Posted by Ricky Mier on Sunday, September 23, 2007

if anyone would like to give a brother advice on playing linearly with the banjo. Bela Fleck does it sooo easily. playing melodic rolls just throw me off completley from my mindless 16th note rolls. i am aimed at his jazz, even though i find his bluegrass twice as mind blowing.  if you see what im talking about give me a hollar back. i guess you could say i am aimed at his unlimited style. he plays it like a piano,  every note and chord you could hear a piano player playing, hes all over it the same, bass line melody and chords and all! from polka to classical, jazz to funk and bluegrass back to polka, what are some more in depth techniques? Some in depth right hand articulation? I was taught your left hand skill comes over time, but there has to be some way all his jazz chords incorporate the 5th, 1st and 4th (the same notes up high) string to make all those full diminished and augmented sharp and flat  9 chords purr like a banjo should purr. maybe its hours of practice, but if that is the case, there HAS to be some form of higher practice. please give me some higher education towards advanced banjo playing!


Thanks for reading everybody, and keep on picken'.

Ricky Mier

6 comments on “help for acquring Bela's style”

NMD Says:
Sunday, September 23, 2007 @10:12:06 PM

You should check out clknight on the BHO.  He plays Bela's music exceptionally well.

Don Borchelt Says:
Sunday, September 23, 2007 @10:20:07 PM

Rick, when I first heard Bela play, he was only a year or so older than you are now, playing with Jack Tottle here in Boston, in a band called Tasty Licks.  And he was all over the neck even then, just astonishing.

But I guess I am old fashioned, being a grey-haired guy, i still believe it is best to listen to Earl first, and get those steady rolls down, then after that move on to Bela and all of the linear work and dense chords.  But I guess most don't do that anymore, and I'll probably get a big argument from others around here having said it.   But that's still how I feel about it.  

I'm looking forward to hearing some of our music, when your ready. 

NMD Says:
Sunday, September 23, 2007 @10:31:01 PM

No argument from me.  Rick, listen to Don.  That's sage advice.

Stev187 Says:
Sunday, September 23, 2007 @10:53:57 PM

The keyword here is "listen."  The best banjo teacher I know always says, "listen, listen, and then listen some more."*

Best of luck.

*Mike Seeger

Don Borchelt Says:
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 @6:55:29 AM

My comment has a typographical error.  It was meant to say "hear some of your music."  I have a big ego, but it's not that big.

Don Borchelt Says:
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 @7:04:37 AM

Rick, you don;t have an email link on your homepage, so I'll have to communicate with you here.  Feel free to delete this after you read it.  I apologize for not answering your question that you left on my blog on Monday, but I have been pretty busy the last couple of days, and I like to be able to think about my responses before I make them.   I will get back to you on that soon.

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