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Banjo Wayward Son

Monday, January 7, 2008

I admit that I have neglected my banjo of late.  I have been spending alot of time with my guitars and (heaven forbid) my electrics.  Plus during that time, I have cooled somewhat to the classic Earl style bluegrass banjo sound.  Not that it isn't great, but I am feeling less inclined to practice it.

But I have been listening to some frailers or clawhammerers or old timers (whatever the prevailing name is) and been intrigued with the sound.  When I first got into banjo, I kind of arrogantly shrugged off the frailing style as something less than the slick Scruggs 100 miles per hour sound of the bluegrass bands I was exposed to at the time.  It has taken some time, but I have learned to appreciate the softer, somehow lazier sound of clawhammer.  Now I really love the way it sounds. 

But I can't really go out and buy a new banjo especially since I haven't been playing the original one.  There would be no explaining that to my wife, so I shrewdly decided not to try.  Instead, I took off the resonator, put a slightly shorter bridge on it (which loosened up the action a bit) and tried my hand at clawhammer. 

I was awful, but that's ok.  It didn't sound like a real open back, but it was good enough.  And it was alot of fun.  But more importantly, it got me back playing the banjo.  I haven't given up on bluegrass banjo, but this just adds some spice.  I figure I don't play just one style guitar, why should the banjo be any different?

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Paul Bock replied to topic 'Nothing for Sale' 51 days

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Playing Since: 2004
Experience Level: Just Startin'

[Jamming] [Socializing]

Occupation: DBA

Gender: Male
Age: 62

My Instruments:
Morgan Monroe

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Chatham County Line, Crooked Still, Sammy Shelor, Pete Wernick, John Hartford, JD Crowe, Greg Cahill, Steve Huber, Doug Dillard, Alan Munde, Stringbean, that Earl somebody or other.

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Visible to: Public
Created 3/6/2006
Last Visit 1/3/2012

I've been playing since 2004. Learning Scruggs style and a little melodic here and there. Took lessons with Ross Nickerson, so I have no excuse to be a lousy banjo picker!

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