Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

A resource and gathering site for people interested in playing and constructing early banjos, and the history of minstrel music in America.

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Latest Activity

Al Smitley replied to Steve Stroot's discussion Fretting over fretless
"I'm certain this has been addressed before but can someone remind me when frets on banjos became not uncommon......a rather awkward way to put it but...."
30 minutes ago
Timothy Twiss replied to Steve Stroot's discussion Fretting over fretless
"No"
8 hours ago
Steve Stroot replied to Steve Stroot's discussion Fretting over fretless
"Thanks for all the positive comments.  My fretless anxiety has been diminished considerably.  But, the basic question remains...  Does a banjo HAVE TO BE fretless to be considered a minstrel banjo?  ie:  Is a minstrel banjo…"
9 hours ago
Strumelia replied to Ryan Carlson's discussion New to old style playing
"Start with Briggs tuning, not clawhammer tuning. Here's Tim Twiss' good video on how to do that: http://minstrelbanjo.ning.com/video/tuning-wmv"
12 hours ago
Strumelia replied to Steve Stroot's discussion Fretting over fretless
"If you stick with it for a few weeks, you'll be fine.  Don't expect instant ease. At first it's kinds scary, like a bicycle with no more training wheels.  Later you wonder why you waited so long.  After a couple years,…"
12 hours ago
Rob Mohr replied to Ryan Carlson's discussion New to old style playing
"Amazon has a couple of beginning books: Minstrel Banjo and More Minstrel Banjo, which is Briggs and yellow Converse all tab. timtwiss.com has free downloads most in musical notation and a few tab. I basically worked out of the two books and used…"
15 hours ago
Ryan Carlson posted a discussion

New to old style playing

Hi all, just finished my first handmade banjo, made for reenacting as a civil war soldier. So now that I have the banjo I want to learn to play it like they did in that era, so that leads to my question, what was the most common playing style used then and where can I look to learn it? I kinda have started learning how people do clawhammer nowadays but is that the same style? Also are there any kind of "picks" I can get and use for said style, I know you use the back of the nail but having…See More
17 hours ago
Tom Taggart replied to Ryan Carlson's discussion Minstrel banjo project
"Looks good. How about posting a video so we can hear how it sounds?"
17 hours ago
Tom Taggart replied to Steve Stroot's discussion Fretting over fretless
"I had not played any type of banjo prior to getting involved with a fretless one. Like Chris said, with some tabs and some videos I think I picked it up fairly quickly."
17 hours ago
James Pentecost liked Ryan Carlson's discussion Minstrel banjo project
17 hours ago
Steve Stroot replied to Steve Stroot's discussion Fretting over fretless
"Thanks for the encouragement!  "
yesterday
Chris Prieto liked Ryan Carlson's discussion Minstrel banjo project
yesterday
Ryan Carlson posted a discussion

Minstrel banjo project

Hey everyone, Thought Id post some pics of the banjo I finished today and get some feedback. I had made a small plywood banjo before this one but this was the first banjo I made more how a average person would have in the mid 1800's (hand made rim, carved neck, ect.) Not my best work in wood but I think it looks good and worn since I reenact a soldier, looks like its been in camp for a few years. Take a look!See More
Saturday
Chris Prieto replied to Steve Stroot's discussion Fretting over fretless
"You'll be fine. If you've been playing on a fretted rig for a while you already know where everything is. I did the same and with some tabs and youtube vids I was on my way. I do believe there were fretted minstrel banjos at some point but…"
Saturday
Al Smitley replied to Steve Stroot's discussion Fretting over fretless
"I'll let others respond to your question but...... have you given it a try?  If not, it might not be as difficult as it seems."
Friday
Steve Stroot posted a discussion

Fretting over fretless

I play standard clawhammer banjo but I'm interested in exploring the roots of banjo - ie: minstrel banjo.  But, the thought of a fretless, partial fretless or even fretless with markers scares me.  Does a banjo HAVE to be fretless to be considered a true "Minstrel" banjo?See More
Friday
Strumelia commented on Mark Weems's video
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Joe Ayers & Mark Weems: John Diamond's Walkaround

"The Prime Minister of Minstrel ?    ;)"
Friday
Timothy Twiss commented on Mark Weems's video
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Joe Ayers & Mark Weems: John Diamond's Walkaround

"So good to see Joe playing. He is our Godfather....a Prime Mover."
Friday
Strumelia commented on Mark Weems's video
Friday
Tom Berghan commented on Mark Weems's video
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Joe Ayers & Mark Weems: John Diamond's Walkaround

"Joe and Mark turn in a great performance here!  You don’t hear something like this everyday!  Really great guys. "
Friday

Forum

Fretting over fretless

Started by Steve Stroot in Uncategorized. Last reply by Al Smitley 30 minutes ago. 8 Replies

New to old style playing

Started by Ryan Carlson in Uncategorized. Last reply by Strumelia 12 hours ago. 2 Replies

Minstrel banjo project

Started by Ryan Carlson in Uncategorized. Last reply by Tom Taggart 17 hours ago. 1 Reply

Jim Crow Museum

Started by Timothy Twiss in Uncategorized. Last reply by Timothy Twiss on Friday. 9 Replies

Briggs death bed photo

Started by Chris Prieto in Uncategorized on Wednesday. 0 Replies

 
 
 

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