I had a nice chat with Tim Twiss today; we want to explore new ideas with the Friday Night Post series of comparing and sharing arrangement ideas. He had suggested going back to the early playbills for tune ideas, and I suggested the 1851 Gumbo Chaff tutor. As we know, it doesn't really illustrate period stroke style, but it does give the melody of popular period banjo tunes. It would be interesting and good practice to arrange the tunes in stroke-style.
These tunes wouldn't be the awkward fiddle tunes, they would our own arrangements of singin' tunes.
This is such an under-utilized resource (perhaps deservedly so ;^} ), but perhaps we could make lemonade out of it.
Anyone have a copy of Gumbo Chaff's banjo tutor?