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Mar 15, 2019 - 4:18:26 PM
7 posts since 7/20/2017
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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
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6321 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....

Mar 15, 2019 - 4:56:36 PM
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Chris Meakin


2193 posts since 5/15/2011

Nice one Harry!

Mar 15, 2019 - 7:10:19 PM



1972 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



1972 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

6321 posts since 4/7/2003

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
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Players Union Member



39401 posts since 3/7/2006

Just for comparison, here is Taj Mahal's version:

And also to compare - Josh Turknet has done it in his Clawhammer Core Repertoire:

But Harry's version is the best!

Mar 16, 2019 - 4:33:45 AM

7 posts since 7/20/2017
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Nice version pastorharry- thank you!

Mar 16, 2019 - 2:05:15 PM

219 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.

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