Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Hello everybody!

When I look at page 13 from Green Converse, when I get to 1st string I get confused, you start at open string, second finger, fourth finger and then what?. Sorry for the beginner question, would appreciate help. Thanks

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You mean right away in the first measure? There is a key directly above it, relating the notes. The number below the string tells you which one on the right hand to use, and the number above tells you the "fret" or position.

OK , I have got that part but in the part on 1st string, the 4th note has nothing above or below the note, so where to I fret?

Basically I do not remember anything from music education.

Is there any material that would bridge the knowledge gap.

When I read converse trainer, it seems that I am missing some "grammar" , or I do not understand XIX century English. Maybe the easiest way would be to tune my goodtime banjo to mistrel tuning, finger at the appropriate frets, get the tuning from the tuner, finger on the fretless, mark the spot with white out, and figure this stuff that way?

Tim Twiss said:

You mean right away in the first measure? There is a key directly above it, relating the notes. The number below the string tells you which one on the right hand to use, and the number above tells you the "fret" or position.

So using the tuner I would have the individual notes from the scale marked, then memorized, and then I can play the musical notation?

Would that make sense?

That is the double flag note. Always the open 5th ( page 7 )

 

The number above the notes tells you what finger on the left hand is recommended, not the fret position. If you look at "D" above middle C it has a "4" above it, meaning that it is recomended that the 4th finger should be used to stop the string.

What I did when I was starting to read notation was to print the piece out and the write the "fret" position above the note if it was needed.  So above that "D" I would cross out the "4" and write a "3" instead.

It really helped me, especially when playing the 1st string above the 5th fret (or position)

Marek, for a tune as simple as Juba, when in doubt about the written notes, try doing a search in the video section here, and listen to how it sounds when played by other members here.   Hopefully you will be able to hear the notes you need to be making, and that can iron out doubts about fingers vs. fretpositions.  Almost every tune found in the tutors or other minstrel banjo books has been recorded on videos that can be found here on this site.  Seeing & hearing are very strong tools when trying to figure out a new and unfamiliar tune.  It has saved me many a time from cluelessly continuing to play the wrong note over and over.   ;)

I originally kind of mis-read when I first learned Old Joe (a great beginner tune, by the way) and it was only after I listened to a couple of people's videos here that I said to myself ("what the...?") and realized I was playing a natural rather than the correct sharp note...my Old Joe was more like Old Dead Joe...very mournful and minor sounding, not at all the way the song was supposed to be.  The difference was very obvious upon listening and happily it was easy enough to change over.   :D

Thanks for everybody comments, I am slowly progressing. Thanks again

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