Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Testing to see if I can start a new discussion, it didn't work a few days ago.

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Ok, looks like it functions today.

so....  Here's a question to any one still around-

Can you give some of the reasons you think you are not posting here anymore?  I mean reasons aside from "others are not posting lately". In other words, why you do not post now when you used to post often here in years past.
(all reasons are valid, no need to hold back)  

I just don't know how to record.  I've done it before but can't remember how and never get around to relearning.

Hi Strumelia, it has been a long time since I have been here. I started playing Bach on the banjo which has taken a lot of time and effort.Ai just got a Bell Boucher banjo so now I will be revisiting my minstrel repertoire. Thanks for reaching out.

6-7 years ago my musical pendulum swung more towards classic style for a few years, then early jazz and plectrum banjo, and then away from banjo music altogether.

It's swung back to the middle somewhat over the last few months, to the point where I've found myself thinking about working up tunes well enough to post the occasional video again.

Good to see you back again, Andy.  Music is a constant exploration and sometimes a hiatus, as well.

I have not been here for a very long time. I have not been playing the banjo for the last couple of years. I found that I was getting worse at it instead of better, and that was discouraging. I have no group to play with, and that is discouraging. Then the Covid shutdown locked me out of playing because people were working here at the house and did not want to hear banjo all day.

Finally, last spring I bulged a disc in my neck on the left side, so holding the banjo caused a lot of pain and numbness in my left arm. That shut me down completely.

My neck is mostly healed now, and I am trying to pick it up again, but I have lost so much that it is difficult to get the banjo going. It's like starting all over again. There are tunes I used to know well that I can't remember how they begin.

Gettin' old ain't for sissies.


If only the best bird sang, the forest would be a very quiet place.

LOL. "Hoist with my own petard"

I've kinda floated over to playing more clawhammer. Admittedly, I've neglected the minstrel. But hey, this gives me reason enough to pick it up again & start posting more videos.

I confess I've not been playing music. Life has set me to various new or revisited focuses. Those weird cycles we go through in life! Though this bothers me, it doesn't seem to bother me enough to do something about it right now. 🤷  I feel pretty busy in general. 

Also, it's become more difficult for me to ignore the racist references in minstrel music, they seem hard-baked into it at almost every turn. That has always disturbed me but more so over time, as our world has become so divided and full of hate.

Considering the absence of this site's owner and complete lack of maintenance or moderation, it seems a miracle this site is still functioning and existing at all. I learned a lot and had some fun here, and fun meeting some of you at banjo gatherings.

Odd to think of all the epic discussions (some of them like battles), hundreds (thousands?) of videos, photos, and activity just hanging here with the assumption that one day all traces of it will be gone with no warning, poof. 💨

I just noticed that Tim Twiss is "no longer a member here" either. He did leave his content up though. He posted more than half of the 2600 videos here alone. !  I hope he is well and doing fun things.


It is sad that you have stopped playing music. 

Some of those old tunes are nice tunes if you just drop the lyrics. I have been playing Whistling Rufus for a number of years now, but did not even know that it had lyrics. I just recently saw the lyrics, and yikes! So I will continue trying to play the tune, but there will be no singing.

Do you still host your dulcimer forum?

Brian, yes I still run my mountain dulcimer site at  https://fotmd.com/ - fifteen years now, and it's still quite active and fun.  😀

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