The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!
6975 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: direct from author
In terms of value for the money - it's a 10 out of 10! (I rated it 9 because I dint want Jim to get a swollen head ;-) ...and maybe, cause there's only 18 tunes, I figger he must be holdin' out on few gems, he's keeping to himself.
This is prolly suited to the intermediate / advanced-beginner crowd & beyond. Tasteful arrangements are the the cornerstone of this book in my opinion. Some may challenge you a little, as they have me, but they sound good! The variations sound good, wherein some books I have seen, the variations just sounded weird. That said, I don't believe it was the author's intent to have each patron of his book regurgitating his "thing" verbatim. I have enjoyed learning his arrangements, and stepping away from the tab also, to let my own limitations, and sometimes unintended variations take over. I suppose this type of thing may be encouraged by most authors of such materials, however, in the span of learning 3 tunes from this book, I feel that I have learned a lot of "new tricks" and enhanced my playing much more so, than I might have expected.
I only just learned this, but there are sound files for all the tunes, downloadable, free of charge from Jim's site, plus he has a few You-tubes with some more elaborate variations that support the tab generally, or vice-versa. Lastly, he is good guy, that is quite accessible for direct conversation, assistance, advice, etc., either here, but more usually found nightly at the banjolounge.
If you are serious about learning clawhammer banjo, or kicking your game up a notch, do not overlook this book. Roughly $15.00 (I think incl. postage.) If you tell him gee sent ya, it might cost you an extra $5.00 or so :-)
Overall Rating: 9
'Arkansas Traveler' 32 min