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Sep 19, 2021 - 4:25:56 AM

Dgbectrum

Italy

41 posts since 8/22/2019

Hello

can anyone give me the names of banjoists, today or in the past, who play the chicago tuned plectrum?

Thanks

Sep 19, 2021 - 6:08:41 AM

12 posts since 10/11/2020

Hey great topic! I posted a similar thread almost a year ago that generated some interesting discussion. Here's a link to that: https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/369390

Another good resources is this article from the Syncopated Times with John Gill (who also responded in that thread above): https://syncopatedtimes.com/pickin-on-the-plectrum-and-the-tenor-too/

One really interesting thing is that I have still found ZERO reference to anyone using Chicago tuning in early jazz (1910's, 20s, 30s,). My hunch is that some people were using it, but there are few (if any) historical records where this was documented.

I'm active in the western swing scene so I'm especially curious the early western swing banjoists. Ocie Stockard? Johnnie Lee Wills? Sleepy Johnson? Anyone know of any interviews with those guys?

Sep 19, 2021 - 9:37:49 AM

Dgbectrum

Italy

41 posts since 8/22/2019

Wonderful, thank you!

In the twenties there was at least one: Harry George, producer of Trujo banjos (actually made by Gibson). I own a Trujo banjo, read their story here:

banjoexpress.com/trujo.html

Sep 19, 2021 - 10:02:33 AM

Dgbectrum

Italy

41 posts since 8/22/2019

Ahahah, I notice that I've also replyied on that thread! Ok, sorry, my memory is getting lost :-)

Sep 19, 2021 - 10:07:34 AM

Omeboy

USA

2960 posts since 6/27/2013

One of the very best in the Chicago tuning: Paul Scavarda

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2G5Dee6ddM  (Russian Rag)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWuAFqnc35Q (Whispering)

Edited by - Omeboy on 09/19/2021 10:16:12

Sep 19, 2021 - 11:05:42 AM

Dgbectrum

Italy

41 posts since 8/22/2019

Good! Thanks

Sep 19, 2021 - 11:10 AM

12 posts since 10/11/2020

Ah yes, Trujo banjos and their “salons” were mentioned in that thread too! Guess I forgot about that.

I’m still wondering who in 1920s Chicago was playing in DGBE. What’s the origin of the term, and how far back does it go?

The two banjoists from that scene who I am most familiar with are Johnny St. Cyr and Bud Scott (both originally from Louisiana). St. Cyr is well known as a guitar-banjo player, and I believe also occasionally recorded on tenor. I would guess he used DGBE for that. Bud Scott also played guitar and some guitar-banjo. But he did plenty of King Oliver records with a tenor banjo. I wonder what tuning he was using for that?

Edited by - shedstomp on 09/19/2021 11:10:30

Sep 19, 2021 - 3:20:53 PM

Dgbectrum

Italy

41 posts since 8/22/2019

From the pictures I've found on the web it seems that in one he plays a C chord on standard tenor tuning, in another a C chord with Chicago fingering

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