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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Attention:  Please update your user information!  We will be undergoing some changes in the future and want to be able to stay in touch with you!

Latest Activity

Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Apr 23
Paul Draper posted a video

Joe Sweeney’s Jig / Matt Peel’s Walk Around

Joe Sweeney’s Jig - from Buckley 1860Matt Peel’s Walk Around - from Converse “yellow book” 1865
Apr 23
Joel Hooks commented on Rob MacKillop's video

How to tie strings to bridge

"For some reason the video does not show up for me. That said, all of the videos I have seen on attaching strings have been WAY too complicated. For connecting to the peg I like to use the method taught in the Christopher Parkening Guitar Method,…"
Apr 20
CURTIS PAYNE shared Rob MacKillop's video on Facebook
Apr 17
Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Mar 29
Paul Draper posted a video

Leavitt’s Jig.

From Converse’s Analytical Banjo Method, published 1887. Andrew Leavitt (1822 - 1901) performed in Boston and Albany.
Mar 28
Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Mar 16
Paul Draper posted a video

Skiowa Jig.

Good old 19th c. banjo tune from Buckley’s 1860 book.
Mar 15
Paul Draper replied to Al Smitley's discussion Mistake?
"Thank you for the link, Al.  I had not seen this. "
Feb 27
Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Feb 26
Al Smitley replied to Al Smitley's discussion Mistake?
Feb 26
Al Smitley posted a discussion


I just posted the American Experience episode of Stephen Foster from 2001, which I found on YouTube.  I was trying to include the text, "I saw this 20+ years ago. I never understood why, when other episodes of American Experience are available for online purchase, this one is not. This morning, I was surprised to stumble upon it on YouTube, however. "  I don't know what went wrong and don't know how to correct or delete it.  SorrySee More
Feb 26
Al Smitley posted a video

Stephen Foster (2001, PBS American Experience)

On July 4, 1826, as America celebrated its fiftieth birthday, local patriots and politicians in a small village east of Pittsburgh, read the Declaration of I...
Feb 26
Paul Draper posted a video

Angelica Polka.

From S. S. Stewart’s “The Minstrel Banjoist” 1881.
Feb 25
Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Feb 10
Paul Draper posted a video

Mid-19th Century Instrumental Medley

Old Johnny Boker, Briggs 1855Jim Along Josey, Howe 1851Backside of Albany, Howe 1851Old Zip Coon aka Turkey in the Straw, Briggs 1855
Feb 9
Mark Ralston posted a discussion

Unusual 19th century shoes and j-hooks

I'm working on an old banjo that has unusual shoes. The pot is 3 1/3" deep, the shoes are 2 1/4" long, and the bottoms of the shoes have hooks that grab the bottom of the all-metal (non-ferrous, looks like nickel over brass) pot. As a result, there are no penetrations of the pot, similar to the Whyte Laydie construction. The upper part of the shoes are threaded into the side of the tension hoop. The exterior of the tension hoop has decorative, knurled "frames" between the j-hooks.Does anyone…See More
Feb 3
Strumelia left a comment for John Masciale
"John, there are people with pending applications to this site, wanting to join but getting no response. Are you checking applications occasionally?"
Jan 24
Strumelia replied to Strumelia's discussion someone trying to join here...
"@johnmasciale , are you still maintaining this site?  Is anyone?"
Jan 24
Strumelia posted a discussion

someone trying to join here...

I just got this email message through banjohangout... maybe someone can get this poor fellow's application here approved?:This message was sent to you from jlawjr (jlwebb@colby.edu) via Banjo Hangout:---------------------------------------Hi, Strumelia,I have been trying to join the minstrelbanjo.ning group. It has been a couple of months and I haven't received a response from the administrator in charge of the…See More
Jan 22



Started by Al Smitley in Uncategorized. Last reply by Paul Draper Feb 27. 2 Replies

someone trying to join here...

Started by Strumelia in Uncategorized. Last reply by Strumelia Jan 24. 2 Replies

Bell Boucher for Sale

Started by Judith in Classified. Last reply by Greg Terry Jan 8. 7 Replies



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