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Slowing down

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I haven't had much time lately for building - hardly any, in fact.  But I've had the odd minute here and there for practicing and trying to increase my repertoire.  One of the songs I've been working on is "Keemo Kimo."  First I figured out a basic melody in Open G tuning and played that enough times through that I could be up to speed.  Then I tried to figure out some ornamentation.  In this song, the verses consist of four lines, each followed by the same refrain ("Sing song kittie catchy ki-me-oh").  The melody is the same for each of the four lines, and a different melodic line is the same for each of the four repetions of the refrain.  Listening to my favorite recording of it (actually it might just be the only one I've heard), by the Canebrake Minstrels, I noticed that the lines were very simply strummed but that the refrain was quite fancy with triplets thrown in.  Trying to figure out the triplets in Open G wasn't working for me, so I opened the MP3 file in a shareware program I've got called "Goldwave" which is a sound editor.  I selected out the first line/refrain part - just about three or four seconds - which is played exclusively on banjo.  Goldwave has a speed control on playback so I set it to 50% and listened and miracle of miracles, I was actually able to 1) figure out how to play the triplet (there was actually only one) and 2) figure out that they were in low-bass tuning rather than Open G.  So, I'm making progress.  I'll have to get a real slow-downer program and keep trying (Goldwave doesn't preserve the pitch, although come to think of it it also has a pitch control so maybe I can try that). 1 comment

Inlay complete

Thursday, October 30, 2008 1 comment

A nice lay in

Monday, October 27, 2008 1 comment

Hand versus Power

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 2 comments

Back to building real banjos

Friday, October 10, 2008 Add Comment

Metal Work, bridge work

Monday, October 6, 2008 1 comment

Tightening head

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 5 comments

fret job

Thursday, September 25, 2008 1 comment

Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel

Monday, September 22, 2008 2 comments

Back in the USA

Monday, September 1, 2008 2 comments

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Playing Since: 1998
Experience Level: Intermediate

Jonnycake White has made 51 recent additions to Banjo Hangout 


Occupation: Computer Programmer

Gender: Male
Age: 67

My Instruments:
Home built - 2 minstrel fretless, 2 short-scale, others

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Bob Flesher, Camptown Shakers, Planxty, De Danaan, Deseret String Band, any Old-time, minstrel, string band types.

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 6/19/2008
Last Visit 3/29/2023

Born in Arizona, I have fond memories of a small-town Colorado childhood and suburban Bay Area (CA) adolescence. I've lived my entire adult life in Utah. A computer programmer by profession, I enjoy working with my hands in wood and metal (although I find mistakes in software much easier to correct). I built my first instrument in 1991, my first banjo (and third overall) in 1999, and have built as of 2013 about 28 instruments, including 21 banjos, mostly from scratch on my own designs. I started trying to learn 3-finger banjo in 1998, found it to be too difficult, developed a two finger style on my own, but finally got the hang of frailing a few years later. Since then I've been slooowly working on improving my technique and repertoire. Favorite quotes: "A lot of our culture is lost in our lives-the old stories that were told by mothers and fathers who would go into the bush and then return to tell the others what they had seen. The problem now is that no one goes out and does anything, so we have no stories to tell our children. We have nothing to pass on. In the old days we had to make a musical instrument and sing along to it. Now we just go into town and buy a tape and listen to that." - Mario Mahongo, !Xu Bushman, quoted in National Geographic, Feb. 2001, p 117. "As a boy, I recall going with Dad to the woods to get the timber for banjo-making. He selected a tree by its appearance and by sounding...hitting a tree with a hammer or axe broadside to tell by the sound if it's straight-grained...As I watched him shaping the wood for a banjo, I learned to love the smell of the fresh shavings as they gathered on the floor of our cabin...When the strings was put on and the pegs turned and the musical notes began to fill the cabin, I looked upon my father as the greatest man on earth for creating such a wonderful thing out of a piece of wood, a greasy skin, and some strings." - Frank Profitt, cited in Foxfire 3, p 124 from Sing Out, Oct-Nov 1963.

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