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

Joel Hooks replied to Chris Prieto's discussion How long do you take to learn a song you haven't heard before?
"Very true John.  As the years of banjo went on and subsequent generations took it up they learned how to write notation better.  By the late 1880s banjo notation specific edits became more or less standard.  By the late 1890s they…"
7 hours ago
Strumelia replied to Chris Prieto's discussion How long do you take to learn a song you haven't heard before?
"For tunes i particularly like, I tend to want to play them on more than one type of instrument (banjo, penny whistle, epinette, mtn.dulcimer, and yes bones too I consider an 'instrument').  So I generally approach a new tune by trying…"
8 hours ago
John Masciale replied to Chris Prieto's discussion How long do you take to learn a song you haven't heard before?
"I am a pianist, and sight reading has never really been the issue. The challenge is reading between the lines. Which string/position is a better choice?  Are the notes really as written, or are they an approximation?  Some songs I am still…"
11 hours ago
Joel Hooks replied to Chris Prieto's discussion How long do you take to learn a song you haven't heard before?
"My sight reading has gotten very good, mostly because I worked at it.  If it is monophonic or has common harmonies I can typically sight read close to speed after "reading" through without a banjo in hand. This is in A notation.…"
12 hours ago
Chris Prieto replied to Chris Prieto's discussion How long do you take to learn a song you haven't heard before?
"I like the idea of using fiddle tunes to sharpen up. I always have a hard time with 6/8 tunes, they take me a lil extra to crack"
yesterday
Sonny Bryan replied to Chris Prieto's discussion How long do you take to learn a song you haven't heard before?
"That's "1/8th note or larger"...And I agree it can be a very satisfying process."
yesterday
Sonny Bryan commented on Chris Prieto's photo
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Coffin case by Terry Bell

"Sir, that surely is a very smart case. Congratulations!"
yesterday
Sonny Bryan replied to Chris Prieto's discussion How long do you take to learn a song you haven't heard before?
"It depends on the composition, Chris. Standard notation tunes comprised of mostly 1/8th notes are larger, that can be fairly easily grabbed on a fretless banjo, probably not too long. At least to get a sense of the music. At that point, it's a…"
yesterday
Tom Taggart liked Chris Prieto's photo
yesterday
Paul Draper liked Chris Prieto's photo
yesterday
Chris Prieto commented on Chris Prieto's photo
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Coffin case by Terry Bell

"Thank you :) Yeah, very happy with it. The letters are done in gold foil stuffs. It's a fun addition to the kit."
yesterday
Strumelia commented on Chris Prieto's photo
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Coffin case by Terry Bell

"This is great!   Oldtime player Ray Alden used to have a 'medicine show' wooden banjo case like this too, made for him.  Wish i could find the photo! Chris you must be thrilled with this.  :)  (and you well deserve…"
yesterday
Andy Chase liked Chris Prieto's photo
yesterday
Chris Prieto posted a discussion

How long do you take to learn a song you haven't heard before?

I have begun trying to rely less on familiarity and memory and trying to play songs I don't remember hearing by only reading the sheet music. It's mostly shorter less popular tunes in the tutors.I love to play the tabs of songs I have audio for because I can plow thru em rather quickly and all the hard work is already done for me. But it occurred to me that I was starting to rely on the audio and if there was ever no electricity I'd be out of luck.It takes me quite long to end up with something…See More
yesterday
Chris Prieto posted a photo

Coffin case by Terry Bell

Sure rapscallion and flapdoodle ain't the most historically accurate but this is for coaxing spare change from your pockets not a history lesson :)I wanted to post my own photo of it but I'm never gonna get around to it
yesterday
Strumelia and Will Bickart are now friends
Thursday
Steven J. Berger liked Paul Draper's photo
Wednesday
Bob Sayers replied to Tom Taggart's discussion Harmonica Used by Minstrel Performers?
"On the subject of reed instruments played during the Civil War, there's a wonderful broadside on eBay depicting members of the 5th Virginia Volunteers singing hymns to the accompaniment of a harmonium.  Pricey, but quite nice.…"
Tuesday
Timothy Twiss commented on Mark Ralston's photo
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differences btw Winner 1864 vs 1869

"There are too many Winner's Books out there."
Tuesday
Mark Ralston commented on Mark Ralston's photo
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differences btw Winner 1864 vs 1869

"Roger that ..... tnx for the clarification."
Tuesday
 
 
 

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