Posted by gailg64
- Play count: 802
Size: 6,052kb, uploaded 2/7/2013 4:02:25 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time
Sequatchie Valley, Joseph, Karen, Gail out-take from Sequatchie
Austin Stovall Says:
Monday, September 11, 2017 @6:23:39 PM
Sounds Great and good tune choice. I love that OT 3 finger style. I would really like to learn how to play it. Do you have any videos demonstrating your style of playing?
Monday, September 11, 2017 @8:04:50 PM
Hi Austin, Thanks, I've absorbed it over a great many years and have been fortunate to live in an area with incredible musicians, especially fiddlers, who make it easy.
I have not made any sort of demo video, but there are a couple of vids on my page made by friends which you can kind of see what I'm doing with the flat chord style (c tuning and closed chords. "Anni at Merritt's store" is a good one to see that style.It's in old C tuning (b string not raised to C). Thumb lead, thumb on 4th and third, index on second and third finger always on first string---pretty standard "classic" approach but I like to give it snap by bouncing the thumb and the first string at the beginning of a phrase, shortening the first beat so that the second is longer ("dotted" if you read music).
I spend a great deal of time listening to old 78s and especially admire Charlie Poole (Flop Eared Mule rocks!), Homer Davenport (Cackling Hen, OMG!), and Arthur Wells, the banjo player on the 1920s 78s of Charlie LaPrade and the Blue Ridge Highballers was one of the greats. Wade Ward was also a sharp fingerpicker--he used drop bass tuning and made bass runs with his thumb.
There are a number of currently active banjo players whose playing I really admire: Kirk Sutphin, Bill Schmidt, Brett Riggs are top notch pickers, as well as youngsters like Aaron Tacke, who plays with a Minneapolis band with varying names, has a very old-time 3 finger roll style. Search youtube!
The other style I like to do especially if a tune is in G, is syncopated 3 finger roll that's has the sound but is technically not bluegrass because I do not have a continuous roll. "Island Pond", the tune is Hy Patillion, is more or less that style, even though the tune is in C. The rolls were inspired by the Tenn. banjo player Homer Davenport who recorded with fiddler Jess Young in the 20s..
Austin Stovall Says:
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @7:48:27 AM
Thanks for the explanation of your style. I play a few tunes in 3 finger but would like to get to where I could do back up on just about anything. I love the sound of those old players that you mentioned but I'm not very good at figuring out what there doing. Did Walter Liggett use the flat chord style? I especially like his playing.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @7:14:48 PM
I love Walter Liggett and have only a vague idea what he was doing. A band I play in does Ham Beats All Meat and How Many Biscuits & I make an effort to fake that with a 3 finger rhythmic figure down at the nut. Doesn't sound like he went up above the 5th fret on the old recordings. I can send you an mp3 if you'll send me an email address.
Liggett sounded a bit like other TN banjo players, Murph Gribble, or at least the parts of the tunes where Gribble picks, and a bit like Homer Davenport, except more repetitive and staying low. I just try to capture the repetitive rhythm and the dead stops at the ends of phrases, but OMG, he was just spectacular on Dill Pickle Rag and his playing on Run XX Run is a masterpiece.
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