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Oct 9, 2021 - 7:21:15 PM
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7146 posts since 8/30/2004

Here's one that we shouldn't forget. Ralph at his best. For people having a problem with my take on it then let's call it "in the style of Ralph Stanley"..Jack Baker

Hard Times    Tabledit

Edited by - Jack Baker on 10/13/2021 15:11:39

Oct 10, 2021 - 3:55:21 AM

6301 posts since 10/13/2007

Thanks for giving us that one. It is a great one. In listening and looking it seems like Ralph plays some rolls that I did not know he used like the Dillard or Osborne roll (m,i,mt) and the alternating thumb (M 21) and the reverse roll (m 24). I had the impression that his right had was more confined pattern wise but it seems very free. And again my impression is that he rarely does all this and wonder why. Any thoughts on this Jack? Gary have any thoughts on this?
stanleytone Jack Baker

Oct 10, 2021 - 5:48:04 AM
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7146 posts since 8/30/2004

Ralph changed his right hand several as he was developing his style. He kept what you know him by because he did not want to sound like Earl...I did this tab many years ago and it's quite possible that I many have put in some of my own ideas, but I doubt it. Like any young player, Ralph was searching for a sound he could call his own. These sorts of details never did bother me. It is a great song and that is what counts in my approach to banjo playing....Jack

Edited by - Jack Baker on 10/10/2021 05:54:40

Oct 10, 2021 - 6:35:41 AM
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3632 posts since 7/12/2006

you are so right about ralphs evolution in his playing over the years. i think he was at his best during the later years of the stanley brothers. that whole STARDAY /KING INSTRUMENTALS collection is pure gold. he sure did play Hard Times differently over the years. I learned the version he did on his Live in Japan album.
cant wait to see what snippets i can get off your take Hard Times.

greylock, in all the tabs ive done of Ralph i dont think ive ever ever heard the T I T M THING . I ve heard T M T M . and i dont think ive ever heard a T I M T M I T M either.

one thing ralph does like to do is a sorta reverse FMB roll.... T I M T I M T M

and i also notice when ralph is playing a really fast tune  he will often  play  the usual  g lick (T M T I M I T M ) and alter it thus (T M T I M T I M)  enabling him to play that G lick must faster and smoother without bactracking to the index finger after the thumb. and let me tell you... it works!

but I digress. Kudos to Jack for giving a nod to Ralph, the soul man of bluegrass banjo.

Edited by - stanleytone on 10/10/2021 06:50:18

Oct 10, 2021 - 6:47:20 AM
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41262 posts since 3/7/2006
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Here is a good video showing Ralph playing, and also talking about Hard Times:

Oct 10, 2021 - 6:55:36 AM
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3632 posts since 7/12/2006
heres a link to the live in japan version of hard times.
you can hear the banjo much better on the version jack posted. its neat to hear the subtle and not so subtle differences in both versions.

just listened to your tab version jack. oh im defintely gonna steal some of your licks on this!  theres a little melodic snippet  early on that made me put my pics on!

Edited by - stanleytone on 10/10/2021 06:59:54

Oct 10, 2021 - 7:56:46 AM
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315 posts since 2/27/2004

And you can't help but like Curly Ray Cline's fiddle playing in that song! I miss those old timers.

Edited by - PickinFool on 10/10/2021 07:57:27

Oct 10, 2021 - 8:13:23 AM
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7146 posts since 8/30/2004

My Bros and I used to have Ralph come to our Farm and do an afternoon gig. He's drive that big ol bus and set things up right there on the spot...My bros also traded coon dogs with Ralph for many years. He called me over to the stage and taught me clinch mt. and hard times. So over the years I'm sure I polluted it some Ha....Jack   p.s. In Clinch Mt. he never mentioned that 5/4 measure-- just played it....
Oh Yeah, Curly Ray was a riot and tons of fun and boy could he saw that Fiddle...p.s. I might add that Ralph and his gang were such Gentlemen and never made anyone nervous or insecure....

Originally posted by stanleytone

Edited by - Jack Baker on 10/10/2021 08:24:35

Oct 10, 2021 - 9:39:43 AM

3632 posts since 7/12/2006

Lol i bet if you asked ralph about that 5/4 measure hed a looked at you and thought "what in the heck is he talkin about?"

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