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GOAL 2: Learn More Tunes

Monday, March 12, 2007

Now, before you give me a "quality before quantity" lecture here, understand one thing...  It's not fun to run out of tunes to play.  I also love to learn new tunes.  Some people get frustrated during that learning period.  The time between hearing a tune for the first time and getting it down is a really nice time for me.  In fact, I learn new ways to do things then.  Fumbling around is a natural state of being for me!

Enabling Objectives

2(a): Learn Bob's tune list.  124 tunes is a pretty good list, and while I know several, it's a practical and sensible place to start.  Again, we are not learning tunes just to know 'em.  We want to play 'em with others (Goal #1).  Start with the tunes that are in Dan's book.  I enjoy learning them from the free fiddle versions best (dang, Dan... I didn't need to even buy your book to get good use from it... just kidding.  it's one of my prized possessions now).

2(b): Learn tunes from the DVDs.  There will be more about this in Goal #3, but I purchased a number of instructional DVDs when I sold the Saga pony banjo.  My intent here is to learn tunes the way somebody else plays them.  Mostly I am learning technique here, but I am also learning the tunes.  For example, Carlin teaches "Old Corn Liquor," and it's basically a transcription of Odell's version, which is awesome.  It is a great learning experience to play it that way, but when I play it my way, it's different.

2(c): Keep your ears open.  Tunes speak to you, you know.  As I go along, listening to new things, tunes will just demand to be learned.  Don't let all this tune-learning just shut that down.

Learning new tunes is one of those things that will just happen.  I have never really worked at it.  During my time with the Frenzies, I mostly picked them up on the gig.  I can do that no problem with the bass (especially when there's a guitar player to watch--one of the first tricks I learned as a bass player was "reading" the guitar player's left hand).  On the banjo, it might take a couple of times.

1 comment

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Playing Since: 1994
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I enjoy most music. My banjo interest is exclusively old-timey, and that's why I joined this site. I love the Skillet Lickers, Uncle Dave Macon, Earl Johnson and the Clodhoppers, the New Lost City Ramblers, and the Holy Modal Rounders. My favorite banjo players are Fred Cockerham, Tommy Jarrell, Bob Carlin, Paul Brown, Joel Mabus, Bruce Molsky, and all kinds of others. I'm also a HUGE fan of Curtis Eller's American Circus. Curtis is one of my oldest pals in the world, and the first banjo player I ever met.

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Created 12/26/2006
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I play clawhammer banjo, as well as flatpick some guitar and string bass. I love country fiddle tunes and songs along the lines of the 1920s and 1930s "old-time" and "hillbilly" recordings by The Skillet Lickers, The Carter Family, Uncle Dave Macon, Earl Johnson, The Stripling Bros, etc. I'm not actively playing banjo these days, and my presence here is kind of inactive. I'll always keep my banjo, though, and you can bet I'll be back here some day.

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