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Nov 23, 2021 - 3:50:36 PM
894 posts since 5/22/2021

Dear everyone on the BHO,

Recently, I have really stumbled across a problem in my banjo playing while playing the banjo-backup chords when singing (This is primarily for clawhammer and seeger-style, not bluegrass).

I have posted about this issue before here, but I came to the conclusion that I just would really find a video of a experienced banjo player doing this VERY helpful.

My trouble is that, when I see a sing-along song, like this one, called "Deep Blue Sea" : http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/top-folksongs-chords/deep-blue-sea.htm

 

... I always have trouble finding out how I would "exactly" chord this while singing. Sure, I know how to make these chords in the C tuning (gCGBD), but what notes would I pluck/hit before I do the "bum-ditty" with the strum and hit the 5th???

Would I just play random single notes before the bum-ditties???

I really have been caught on this issue for a LONG LONG time, and I am a tad frustrated with myself. 

So, if it is not too much to ask, can someone here make a video (can be short), of going through a chording example, just like the one above, a sing-along?? I would very very very very much appreciate it. If you can show what exactly you are doing with the plucking and chording while you are singing, that would be very helpful also.

Thank you everybody, and please let me know,

Russ A.

Nov 23, 2021 - 4:10:32 PM
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2695 posts since 11/25/2003

My best help ( though not exactly what you are asking ) would be to search (Cathy Fink's "Singing with the Banjo, Clawhammer Style") on youtube. I can't imagine a better example. She's a great player and teacher.

Nov 23, 2021 - 4:50:22 PM
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jacot23

USA

249 posts since 12/13/2012

I'm still a beginner, but most songs i play sound sound fine just alternating between 3rd and 4th string on the bum of the bum ditty. Experiment and throw in a 2nd string here and there. I asked my friend who is an outstanding teacher this very question and she said you kinda just have to experiment and see what sounds right for each song to YOU; not necessarily any rules.

Reread your question, when singing along for me I don't play single note outside of the bum ditty / strike strum-thumb.

I'm way to self conscious to show my singing on here, lol.

Edited by - jacot23 on 11/23/2021 16:55:41

Nov 23, 2021 - 8:00:08 PM
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carlb

USA

2321 posts since 12/16/2007

quote:
Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

I have posted about this issue before here, but I came to the conclusion that I just would really find a video of a experienced banjo player doing this VERY helpful.


https://www.facebook.com/carl.baron.33/videos/10219632461297532

In open C - gCGce

Edited by - carlb on 11/23/2021 20:00:51

Nov 24, 2021 - 3:06:16 AM
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Bill H

USA

1789 posts since 11/7/2010

Here's a video of New Hampshire's own Shaw Brothers doing an original tune. Ron's banjo style was a model for me when I was first learning to play. Notice how he uses a full brush at the chorus and then on the verse is more Seeger-like. Search for old folkies who sing and play banjo, and who are doing songs that are similar to what you trying to learn.

I used a book called, "Beginning the Five String Banjo," by Jerry Silverman, who published several books on folk-style banjo and singing back in the Folk Era. He covers frailing, Seeger-style up-picking and even some three finger, as well as a focus on learning chords and chord inversions up the neck. I know many clawhammer players are averse to learning chords, but I think it is a valuable tool for singing and playing in folk-stye jams. The book can still be found: Jerry Silverman, :Beginning the Five String Banjo.

Oh, and he covers "Deep Blue Sea" in the book.

Edited by - Bill H on 11/24/2021 03:07:39

Nov 24, 2021 - 6:24:50 AM
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894 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by tonehead

My best help ( though not exactly what you are asking ) would be to search (Cathy Fink's "Singing with the Banjo, Clawhammer Style") on youtube. I can't imagine a better example. She's a great player and teacher.


Thank you very much for your advice! I checked her out, and it seems like that is just what I am dealing with here. Thanks again!

Nov 24, 2021 - 6:27:31 AM
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894 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by jacot23

I'm still a beginner, but most songs i play sound sound fine just alternating between 3rd and 4th string on the bum of the bum ditty. Experiment and throw in a 2nd string here and there. I asked my friend who is an outstanding teacher this very question and she said you kinda just have to experiment and see what sounds right for each song to YOU; not necessarily any rules.

Reread your question, when singing along for me I don't play single note outside of the bum ditty / strike strum-thumb.

I'm way to self conscious to show my singing on here, lol.


Jason,

Thank you very much for your advice and email! It was exactly what I needed! I think I am starting to understand this whole process now. I am going to practice, and experiment, and maybe at some point I will post a video here with the results.

Thanks again!.

Russ A.

Nov 24, 2021 - 6:28:11 AM
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2695 posts since 11/25/2003

Glad to hear that. =)

Nov 24, 2021 - 6:34:56 AM

894 posts since 5/22/2021

carlb,

Thanks for the video! It is a good example to go off of, for progression during the song.

Bill H,
I did not see your video on your post about the Shaw Brothers. Maybe something wrong with my computer?
Thank you very much also for your advice, and for recommending the book. I will check it out! It appears that EBAY has some for sale for around 9-13 dollars. In the book, does Jerry Silverman go over my issue of chording along (notes before bum-ditties) in a song? It seems like a good addition, regardless!

Thanks everyone, again,
Russ A.

Nov 24, 2021 - 6:42:47 AM
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Bill H

USA

1789 posts since 11/7/2010

quote:
Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

carlb,

Thanks for the video! It is a good example to go off of, for progression during the song.

Bill H,
I did not see your video on your post about the Shaw Brothers. Maybe something wrong with my computer?
Thank you very much also for your advice, and for recommending the book. I will check it out! It appears that EBAY has some for sale for around 9-13 dollars. In the book, does Jerry Silverman go over my issue of chording along (notes before bum-ditties) in a song? It seems like a good addition, regardless!

Thanks everyone, again,
Russ A.

Russ, It's been a while since I have used the book, but he does cover playing and singing techniques. I credit this book with giving me a good basic knowledge of chords which I think is helpful when playing with others or singing. I think Amazon listed some used copies at $7-$8. Good luck.


Nov 24, 2021 - 8:27:57 AM
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4231 posts since 10/13/2005

Have you used the search box off to the left of this page and typed in "singing with the banjo?" Lot's of info. My favorite banjo singing book is Tim Jumper's "Banjo Player's Songbook." I have the banjo ability to post what you request but not the computer ability, sorry. I primarily play/sing banjo songs but also a couple hundred fiddle tunes too. With Deep Blue Sea I can play it Claw hammer style but lately with such a slower song I would prefer to play it two finger style, and sometimes three finger folk style for other songs. Deep Blue Sea works out quite easy in standard G. I like standard G (lowered down to open D (dADF#A) tuning because with songs the chords are very right there and easy and I find with songs that chords sound better backing the playing. In other words, even though I am picking out the melody on the bum stroke, I often use the full chord on the dit-ty stroke. Good Luck! banjered

Nov 24, 2021 - 11:28:37 AM

894 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by banjered

Have you used the search box off to the left of this page and typed in "singing with the banjo?" Lot's of info. My favorite banjo singing book is Tim Jumper's "Banjo Player's Songbook." I have the banjo ability to post what you request but not the computer ability, sorry. I primarily play/sing banjo songs but also a couple hundred fiddle tunes too. With Deep Blue Sea I can play it Claw hammer style but lately with such a slower song I would prefer to play it two finger style, and sometimes three finger folk style for other songs. Deep Blue Sea works out quite easy in standard G. I like standard G (lowered down to open D (dADF#A) tuning because with songs the chords are very right there and easy and I find with songs that chords sound better backing the playing. In other words, even though I am picking out the melody on the bum stroke, I often use the full chord on the dit-ty stroke. Good Luck! banjered

Banjered,

Thanks very much for your advice! No worries about not being able to post a video, its quite alright. I have gotten so much good advice from you and others here about this chording question. I will keep your advice in mind and experiment with this for a while.

Thanks again,

Russ A.

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