How does Pete Seeger make this sound? I had always thought that it was a tenor banjo that made this raspy plunky type of sound, but I see it happening here on a 5 string!
At around 5:45 into the video, he starts a rapid strum and that is what I am looking to emulate.
Looks to me that is just rapid brushing up and down across all the strings. Pete was very good at getting different sounds out of the same banjo. Helps to have a lot of tools/techniques to match different songs. banjered
That's what I thought, but when I try it comes out sounding like a guitar.
If you refer to the up-run strums after the finger-picked single string notes then those are quick down-strums, not down & up strums. To my ears those notes don't sound all that bright though but that is probably due to the low audio quality of this recording.
If they sound like guitar strums on your banjo then you don't play those strums quickly enough and/or your banjo's head tension/tightness is too low.
On budget model banjos you have to be extremely careful tightening the head as their flat tension hooks cannot handle much tension at all.
Edited by - Bart Veerman on 05/18/2022 20:29:13
Seeger discusses a lot of his "special" techniques in the book "How to Play the 5-String Banjo." A wonderful book, still available.
'Red Wing' 3 hrs
'Unknown Watson Banjo' 4 hrs
'RK- R80 banjo' 5 hrs