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Mar 15, 2019 - 4:18:26 PM
8 posts since 7/20/2017

I learned Colored Aristocracy 30 years ago- everyone was playing it and you just weren't a player unless you could do it. Great tune, and I always loved doing it, except for having to tune that one string up to E.

Anyway, no one could figure out how Taj does that little syncopated "pop" or percussive effect that's one of the signatures of his version. I listened to it a zillion times and never got it. Now after coming back to the banjo after a long hiatus, I still love that tune and want to know how to do that thing he did.

Has anyone ever figured it out in the 25 or so odd years I haven't been playing?

;)

Mar 15, 2019 - 4:45:46 PM
like this

6331 posts since 4/7/2003

Did a quick and dirty one for you, I haven't done this in years either...don't know if it will help, but what the hay....
youtube.com/watch?v=AWr80-tX4S4

Mar 15, 2019 - 4:56:36 PM
Players Union Member

Chris Meakin

Australia

2265 posts since 5/15/2011
Online Now

Nice one Harry!

Mar 15, 2019 - 7:10:19 PM

rcc56

USA

2070 posts since 2/20/2016

I always played it in G.  Straight G tuning and a little drop thump here and there.
I had forgotten that Taj had recorded it C.  It does sound nice and bright if you do it in C.

But the Dave Macon C tuning G CGCE always confounded me.  I watched Linda Williams play most of 2 sets in G CGCE one night and almost gave up the banjo.

Edited by - rcc56 on 03/15/2019 19:23:51

Mar 15, 2019 - 8:39:09 PM

rcc56

USA

2070 posts since 2/20/2016

And my hat is off to Harry. He plays it better than the illustrious Mr. Mahal.

Mar 16, 2019 - 2:26:11 AM

6331 posts since 4/7/2003

quote:
Originally posted by rcc56

And my hat is off to Harry. He plays it better than the illustrious Mr. Mahal.


Thanks Bob, and your check is in the mail ! wink

Mar 16, 2019 - 4:20:39 AM
likes this
Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

39524 posts since 3/7/2006

Just for comparison, here is Taj Mahal's version:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0bEIFVTp-U

And also to compare - Josh Turknet has done it in his Clawhammer Core Repertoire: https://clawhammerbanjo.net/clawhammer-core-repertoire-colored-aristocracy/

But Harry's version is the best!

Mar 16, 2019 - 4:33:45 AM

8 posts since 7/20/2017

Nice version pastorharry- thank you!

Mar 16, 2019 - 2:05:15 PM

276 posts since 5/19/2018

I remember that one the 1st time it rolled, I mean the second time it rolled around back in the 1970’s. Pulled it off the Taj alblum and then off of one of the NLCR recordings. Spent a lot of my teen youth figuring it out, and once I did, put me over a major banjo hump.

Pastor Harry...Very WELL done!

Thanks for dusting a few cobwebs out of my memory.

Mar 28, 2019 - 9:24:01 AM

1277 posts since 11/18/2003

This might help! :)  

(click here to download the tab for it)

Edited by - Josh Turknett on 03/28/2019 09:25:28

Mar 30, 2019 - 11:32:54 AM

24 posts since 3/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Josh Turknett

This might help! :)  

(click here to download the tab for it)


Thanks for the video and tab - nice version, and a tuning I haven't used before.

D.H.

Apr 9, 2019 - 12:27:14 PM

13 posts since 3/26/2017

quote:
Originally posted by kb10troy


Anyway, no one could figure out how Taj does that little syncopated "pop" or percussive effect that's one of the signatures of his version. I listened to it a zillion times and never got it.


Isn't it just drop thumbing and holding on to the string with the thumb a little extra hard so the string hits the frets on the way back?

Edited by - Melchizedek on 04/09/2019 12:27:44

Apr 11, 2019 - 7:00:18 AM

8 posts since 7/20/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Melchizedek
quote:
Originally posted by kb10troy


Anyway, no one could figure out how Taj does that little syncopated "pop" or percussive effect that's one of the signatures of his version. I listened to it a zillion times and never got it.


Isn't it just drop thumbing and holding on to the string with the thumb a little extra hard so the string hits the frets on the way back?


I've never been sure how he does it, and I never have heard another player do it quite that way. If you can duplicate it, please make a video and let me see what you're doing. It's only been a question in the back of my mind for, I dunno, forty years maybe? :)

Apr 11, 2019 - 9:05:33 AM

Bill

USA

901 posts since 2/6/2003
Online Now

You can watch his hands in this video.

youtube.com/watch?v=heNAhglccbU

Apr 13, 2019 - 11:07:50 PM

13 posts since 3/26/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Bill

You can watch his hands in this video.

youtube.com/watch?v=heNAhglccbU


Yeah this video pretty much confirms it.  The pops happen only when he his thumb pulls away from the string, especially when he goes for a non-5th string. From my own experience, it's just a matter of really holding on to that string with your thumb before finally letting it go. Definitely gives a more percussive sound to it.

It's about a simple as that unless I'm totally misunderstanding what you mean by a pop sound.

I may make a video when my neighbors are not all asleep.

Edited by - Melchizedek on 04/13/2019 23:15:02

Apr 14, 2019 - 5:36:12 AM

1277 posts since 11/18/2003

Yes, I agree 100%. Comes from dropping the thumb and holding the string a smidge longer before releasing it - so an aggressive drop thumb. 

You can enhance the percussive effect, or the "pop," by palm muting the string after plucking it with the thumb.

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