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Apr 18, 2021 - 2:11:40 AM

Ivor

England

48 posts since 11/18/2020

For 50 odd years, I’ve played what you would call “Seeger Style” folk tunes but over the past six months, bought a resonator banjo and really got into playing Bluegrass, It’s a revelation and a challenge.

I’m clanking and pinging through the classics like Cripple Creek and Banjo in the Hollow and getting better all the time, but I’d like to hear how these songs should be played!

I’ve searched the forum and there are some great recommendations like F&S foggy mountain banjo, but can anyone recommend maybe some slower or clearer recordings I can buy, maybe without the accompaniment, which feature what you might call the classics?

Apr 18, 2021 - 4:58:01 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

25835 posts since 8/3/2003

You might want to check out some beginner bluegrass instruction books/CDs/DVDs as they would probably have songs that are usually played fast played at a slow tempo so beginners could pick along.

When I was first learning many years ago, I got Jack Hatfield's Beginning Bluegrass Banjo Book #1 and it had a cassette (yes, that long ago) that played the song very slowly so you could listen and get familiar with what it should sound like, then played slow so you could pick along and then played up to tempo so you could listen to what it would sound like as you got more proficient on the banjo.

You could also download Tabledit/Tefview and download whatever song you're trying to learn. You can edit the tabs to edit out everything except the banjo and slow the tempo down wherever you want it. Just a thought.

There are probably a lot of books with CD/DVDs out there that would do what you need.

Apr 18, 2021 - 5:05:11 AM

Ivor

England

48 posts since 11/18/2020

Thanks Sherry, the Jim Pankey YouTube videos have proved really useful and I’ve bought a few books with CDs already, which are proving helpful too...I’ve still got a cassette player, if one turns up!

Apr 18, 2021 - 5:45:18 AM
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Norand

Denmark

292 posts since 2/13/2007

If you're on Spotify, check out the Pickers Primer playlist. It's essentially a history of bluegrass banjo from Flatts and Scruggs until today. open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9...copy-link

Apr 18, 2021 - 5:59:58 AM

Ivor

England

48 posts since 11/18/2020

Thanks Anders, I’m not on Spotify, I’ll see if there is anything similar on iTunes, thanks for the recommendation, it sounds like it could be just what I need.

Apr 18, 2021 - 8:57:17 AM
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Players Union Member

Lew H

USA

2620 posts since 3/10/2008

Are you aware of the slow down function on youtube? There are lots of BG banjo tunes there that can be slowed down. The cogwheel icon at the bottom left of the video has a dropdown menu with playback speed that can be reduced to 75%, 50% or 25% (as I recall).

Apr 18, 2021 - 9:46:33 AM

Ivor

England

48 posts since 11/18/2020

Well that’s a new one on me Lew I’ll give that a try, in the meantime, I’m guessing foggy mountain banjo is the album I should buy to get the style right?

Apr 18, 2021 - 10:00:35 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

776 posts since 8/9/2019
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Ivor

Well that’s a new one on me Lew I’ll give that a try, in the meantime, I’m guessing foggy mountain banjo is the album I should buy to get the style right?


Just scour YouTube. Nearly every single recording and live taped performance of nearly all the great bluegrass banjoists is on there.

Apr 19, 2021 - 5:47:58 AM

Ivor

England

48 posts since 11/18/2020

Looks like I’m in for a long session on YouTube Antoine!

Apr 19, 2021 - 6:58:19 AM

2630 posts since 2/10/2013

For folks with a computer a software app like "The Amazing Slow Downer" lets you change tempo without affecting the pitch. Lets you do other useful things as well. One feature I use a lot is the ability to change the pitch for a tune.

Apr 25, 2021 - 5:12:21 PM

2465 posts since 4/5/2006
Online Now

I had never been on Spotify until today. Wow! Super easy to sign up. With stuff like that & You Tube, you don't even have to amass a collection of albums like those of us that started back in the days of vinyl! Not to mention the various slow downer software. Try some of the slower vocal numbers such as Down the Road, Blue Ridge Cabin Home, & Cabin in Caroline. It's a whole lot easier to hear the melody notes vs. fast paced instrumentals where every note is a melody note. sad

Apr 26, 2021 - 6:57:19 AM

Ivor

England

48 posts since 11/18/2020

Thanks Dick and JD, I’ll give Spotify a go and try the slow down software too.

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