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.

The Resources Page

The Resources page has now been added to the menu!  Under this you can find Lessons, Books and references of different types, websites, and additional documents. 

 

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Latest Activity

christopher john day and Audun Holland-Goon are now friends
6 hours ago
CW Bayer replied to CW Bayer's discussion 24 inch scale why?
"To the 1860s."
6 hours ago
CW Bayer posted a discussion

24 inch scale why?

I have an 1860/ banjo with a 24 inch scale. Why did scale length shorten from the 1850s to the 1869s? Perhaps this has been discussed but I'm wondering.
6 hours ago
Mark Weems commented on Dennis Bidwell's photo
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RK OT25B

"Perhaps the missing link in all this is that the early Minstrel Show was a Luddite expression, a deliberate response to social changes brought on by the Industrial Revolution and its glorification of technology. The banjo, with its humble, homemade…"
7 hours ago
CURTIS PAYNE liked Al Smitley's video
9 hours ago
Strumelia commented on Dennis Bidwell's photo
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RK OT25B

"Well, just pondering...  guitars would tend to be used heavy on the chord backup department, and are typically tuned in a chromatic way, in intervals, right?  Banjos, being tuned to a keys or keys would utilize those open strings and would…"
9 hours ago
Dan'l commented on Dennis Bidwell's photo
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RK OT25B

"Strum - That is, for tunes like Corn Shucking Jig, Camptown Hornpipe, or Mary Blane.  A guitar without frets could handle those tunes from mostly first position fingerings as well as a fretless banjo of that same time could. Since (human…"
10 hours ago
Richard Katz replied to Richard Katz's discussion Chord chart for Minstrel banjo tuning
"Hi Al, Thanks so much. Exactly what I was looking for. Much appreciated! Richard"
10 hours ago
Al Smitley replied to Richard Katz's discussion Chord chart for Minstrel banjo tuning
"Richard:  The first attachment has chords that I think Dan'l referring to.  I just copied them and changed the chord names so that they coincide with minstrel 'G' tuning.  The second attachment just shows chords that I…"
10 hours ago
Strumelia commented on Dennis Bidwell's photo
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RK OT25B

"For playing 'what' tunes, at what time...can you clarify?  I'm kind of thinking we are discussing a difference between the earlier simpler rhythmic songs and dances of the 1830s and the more complex and sophisticated melodic…"
10 hours ago
Dan'l commented on Dennis Bidwell's photo
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RK OT25B

"Violin and cello instruction phase can include putting temporary flat frets on the fretboard, then as now, so at least we know it was an understood concept. I suppose the value of it is so marginal, probably pointless beyond the instructional phase.…"
11 hours ago
Dan'l commented on Dennis Bidwell's photo
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RK OT25B

"... which begs the question why weren't fretless guitars in vogue for playing such tunes at that time for the same reasons?"
11 hours ago
Strumelia commented on Dennis Bidwell's photo
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RK OT25B

"Guitars had them, and some of those were sold by the same instrument houses. The obvious question then is why weren't frets offered as a standard option on factory banjos right from the start? This is an interesting question, D. One might…"
12 hours ago
Audun Holland-Goon left a comment for christopher john day
"Hello Chris! It's good to see you on Minstrel Banjo!"
15 hours ago
Dan'l commented on Dennis Bidwell's photo
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RK OT25B

"There's been discussion here on the fact that raised metal frets were a common technology available by the time the first factory banjos were being made.  Guitars had them, and some of those were sold by the same instrument houses. The…"
15 hours ago
Dan'l replied to Richard Katz's discussion Chord chart for Minstrel banjo tuning
"Richard - All the chord shapes are the same as for "Seeger" C standard banjo tuning,  g-C-G-B-D.      Minstrel "low bass" tuning,  d-G-D-F#-A,  is merely slacker by five steps.…"
16 hours ago
Tim Twiss replied to Richard Katz's discussion Chord chart for Minstrel banjo tuning
"Al Smitly has one he made."
17 hours ago
Richard Katz posted a discussion

Chord chart for Minstrel banjo tuning

Anyone have a chord chart for Minstrel banjo tuning. I haven't seen one. Thanks!
18 hours ago
Profile IconRichard Harris, christopher john day, Jeff East and 1 more joined Minstrel Banjo
19 hours ago
Tim Twiss commented on Tim Twiss's video
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Drink Your Water and Toss It Away

"It is "Carry me Back To Old Virginny""
yesterday
 
 
 

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