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Aug 27, 2021 - 12:22:08 PM
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115 posts since 9/12/2006

It seems like an oxymoron, but you can play mellow music on the banjo. Enter the Everly Brothers. In creating arrangements for their songs, I try to focus on their harmonies, so lots of pinches and use of chord positions. Many other pop ballads can fit into this style. Especially enjoyable for those who've gotten past chasing speed.

Would be interested in hearing from others who've explored this oft-overlooked part of the banjo and/or examples of mellow banjo playing you've heard (Tony Furtado on Allison Krauss's "I Will" is a good place to start!).


Aug 27, 2021 - 4:00:53 PM

Ian Stuart

Australia

139 posts since 2/14/2013

Thanks Eddie. Love your videos thank you for sharing your approach on different ways to tackle playing banjo. Cheers Ian

Aug 27, 2021 - 4:24:04 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

59571 posts since 10/5/2013

Nice work, Eddie.  That sounds great on the banjo!
Here’s a mellow waltz with a southwest flavor - an old Gene Autry hit. Arrangement by Alan Munde and Beth Mead. youtu.be/A6ixMLrbvMw

Edited by - chuckv97 on 08/27/2021 16:29:59

Aug 27, 2021 - 6:06:28 PM
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115 posts since 9/12/2006

Thanks Ian, I heard from another of your fellow Aussie pickers on this one as well. Chuck, that was really cool and yes, waltzes are a great place to find slow songs that will sound good. Alan Munde certainly is a master at it.

Aug 27, 2021 - 7:41:43 PM
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117 posts since 2/16/2008

you might like some of the stuff done by Tony Ellis. he has some melow tunes.

Aug 28, 2021 - 1:29:10 AM
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963 posts since 6/25/2006

Love that Eddie.

You might find this old thread interesting:https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/363677/1 I got some great suggestions for 'slow, expressive tunes' from BHO members.  I had a stab at one of the suggestions (Vassillie's Lullaby by Tim Carter):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBmsjzNe550

Aug 28, 2021 - 7:03:07 AM

194 posts since 11/28/2006

The chord progression for Hotel California lays out nicely on the banjo.

Aug 28, 2021 - 1:32:44 PM
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115 posts since 9/12/2006

Ron, yes, I just wrote out HTC for a student this past week...good call.

And thanks to Carrie for those suggestions, which I will check out.

Aug 28, 2021 - 9:40:49 PM
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Tommy5

USA

3898 posts since 2/22/2009

Plastic Jesus is a very bouncy tune that sounds good on the banjo, in Scruggs or Melodic style or something in between. BTW, I have Eddies book, “ Beyond the Basics of Bluegrass Banjo”, I have had it for years, yet keep going back to it to discover new stuff, or go over stuff I have forgotten.

Aug 31, 2021 - 5:54:34 AM
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banjopaolo

Italy

1442 posts since 11/6/2008

Great songs and great rendition on banjo! Thank you a lot....

I love when banjo is played in a relaxed mood... I play both tenor and 5string and in this period I’m playing often with bare fingers on both...
I don’t play bluegrass of course....


Edited by - banjopaolo on 08/31/2021 06:00:18

Aug 31, 2021 - 7:37:45 AM

115 posts since 9/12/2006

Paolo, That is really nice. Great that you can also play the string parts. I can record them without picks, but find I have to use picks when performing with others. Carrie that was quite a thread on the link you sent. Several folks seem to mention Tony Ellis in addition to 2749Guitars here.

Aug 31, 2021 - 8:04:43 AM
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184 posts since 12/15/2005

Eddie Collins great subject and excellent examples all around. ‘Mellow banjo’ is something near and dear to my heart. I have composed several tunes that are far from the hard driving approach that is usually associated with our instrument.
As an example, here’s the title cut to my album of original banjo music, ‘13 or So’.
Thanks, Nick

nickhornbuckle.com/home


Aug 31, 2021 - 8:58:32 AM

6265 posts since 10/13/2007

Eddie Collins: King of the 5 Slow Beauty.

This is really great stuff Eddie. Thanks for doing this..And what a
Great tribute to the Everly Brothers who I really loved also.
ken

Edited by - From Greylock to Bean Blossom on 08/31/2021 09:03:57

Aug 31, 2021 - 10:23:49 AM
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banjopaolo

Italy

1442 posts since 11/6/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Eddie Collins

Paolo, That is really nice. Great that you can also play the string parts. I can record them without picks, but find I have to use picks when performing with others. Carrie that was quite a thread on the link you sent. Several folks seem to mention Tony Ellis in addition to 2749Guitars here.


Yes I’m a professional string player and violin teacher, banjo is my Hobby!

of course playing live is different...

Aug 31, 2021 - 10:26:46 AM
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banjopaolo

Italy

1442 posts since 11/6/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Nick Hornbuckle

Eddie Collins great subject and excellent examples all around. ‘Mellow banjo’ is something near and dear to my heart. I have composed several tunes that are far from the hard driving approach that is usually associated with our instrument.
As an example, here’s the title cut to my album of original banjo music, ‘13 or So’.
Thanks, Nick

nickhornbuckle.com/home


Beautiful Nick! :-)

Aug 31, 2021 - 10:43:28 AM
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115 posts since 9/12/2006

Nick Hornbuckle Nick, yes, I've heard several of your tunes that were great examples of this. The key to me on what you're doing is you get such a beautiful ringing sustained tone. BTW, I'm one of the organizers of the Central Texas Banjo Hang. Sounds like we may be in touch virtually before too long. Keep up your great picking!

Aug 31, 2021 - 10:46:57 AM

115 posts since 9/12/2006

From Greylock to Bean Blossom Tommy5 Thanks for chiming in with the nice comments.

Aug 31, 2021 - 2:13:14 PM
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Ivor

England

82 posts since 11/18/2020

Initially, I thought mellow tunes on a Friday be string banjo might be a bit of a disaster, how wrong I was!
I’m going to try some slow tunes in an effort to improve my technique and timing.

Aug 31, 2021 - 6:17:56 PM
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lanemb

USA

214 posts since 3/11/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Eddie Collins

It seems like an oxymoron, but you can play mellow music on the banjo. Enter the Everly Brothers. In creating arrangements for their songs, I try to focus on their harmonies, so lots of pinches and use of chord positions. Many other pop ballads can fit into this style. Especially enjoyable for those who've gotten past chasing speed.

Would be interested in hearing from others who've explored this oft-overlooked part of the banjo and/or examples of mellow banjo playing you've heard (Tony Furtado on Allison Krauss's "I Will" is a good place to start!).


Love your video Eddie!  You should do a mellow music book next!

Sep 17, 2021 - 7:52:44 AM
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115 posts since 9/12/2006

I just added a Rolling Stones song that fits into this "Mellow Banjo" category.


Sep 17, 2021 - 9:05:40 AM
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3902 posts since 3/28/2008

I'm a big fan of "mellow banjo". These original compositions may qualify.

youtube.com/watch?v=WLAdJi_CM54&t=1s

youtube.com/watch?v=d67jtxdN_P8

Sep 17, 2021 - 12:17:07 PM
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7104 posts since 8/30/2004

Very nice ira, tie and all...jack
Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

I'm a big fan of "mellow banjo". These original compositions may qualify.

youtube.com/watch?v=WLAdJi_CM54&t=1s

youtube.com/watch?v=d67jtxdN_P8


Sep 17, 2021 - 1:39:59 PM
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115 posts since 9/12/2006

Good stuff Ira, certainly a lot of classical sounding pieces could fit in the category, and of course your "White Christmas" is a classic!

Sep 17, 2021 - 2:15:05 PM

3902 posts since 3/28/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Jack Baker
Very nice ira, tie and all...jack
Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

I'm a big fan of "mellow banjo". These original compositions may qualify.

youtube.com/watch?v=WLAdJi_CM54&t=1s

youtube.com/watch?v=d67jtxdN_P8


 


Thanks, Jack. Y'know, you gotta look good for the people out there. (I'm thinking of a great Bill Monroe story I heard recently, involving a photo of him in shorts.)

Sep 17, 2021 - 2:16:25 PM
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3902 posts since 3/28/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Eddie Collins

Good stuff Ira, certainly a lot of classical sounding pieces could fit in the category, and of course your "White Christmas" is a classic!


Thanks, Eddie. I hope you're doing well!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqDIJabRtRc

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