Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Learning to read sheet notation music and or Minstrel music

I would like to first thank Tim Twiss and other who posting all the music.  But the one thing I find lacking is how to read the sheet music in all these books.  

I understand tabs and how to read them... But when it comes to music notation.... It greek, Chinese's, heck it mite as well be early Aramaic...

I would love to learn again... how to read music notation.... YES, learn again... I quit ready music in the 8th grade when my band teacher told me non-of his band members were going to play a barbaric sport of football...(YEA, he was a pencil neck jerk)  So, I polity explained to him where exactly where he could put the school Tenor Sax I was playing... and walked out...  hehehehe... 

Now I would like to learn it again... and non of it makes no since to me.... other then little squiggly line on paper....  what is out there.... or would one of the musically talented like maybe put on a class here...  video or other wise? 


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Hello I am Ron

  happy to meet you. There is on this site in the instructional materials a thing that Tim has worked out. It is called the Rosetta Staff. It shows exactly how the standard music notation works for  the early banjo.

I think you will find it a big help. Also there is a book available "Early Banjo" that has very good information about this too.

Jeff, I hate to be cold about this, but there are so many resources out there....and also on our site. If you want to read, start reaching for it...you'll get it.

Plus....so much guidance and support here. You need to make the first effort.

Hey Jeff I dabbled in reading about 11 years ago, Took a basic piano class which opened the door then about 6 yeas's ago I started playing the fiddle, and took a beginning strings class at a community collage...there was no getting around not being able to read. It still takes me a while, but brother applied effort and time you will have it. 

About reading......nothing to fear about it. You won't loose your ear, nor your ability to read tab. On the other hand...it enhances it.

Take in tips from different people. Everybody has a different experience, and something will line up with your needs. A very very old school thing involves pure transcription....copying music by hand. Gives you time to think about it...integrate it. Just....copy neatly previous scores.

Use my book where you see tab and original notation......memorize the tune and then stare at the real notation as you play it....connect the symbol to the sound and location on the fingerboard.

Transcrbe you own. Post it, and people will help you.

Thank you, Ron.. I did not know the Rosetta Staff existed.   That will help for starters.   

Tim, That is why I posted this asking for help.  I sure there are many resources out there and on this site.  I thought that is what I was doing my asking is making an effort.  

I have looked at the tab and then the notation in your book... what will being it all together is the Rosetta staff Ron mentioned..... for the last 4 plus years I have never looked at notation only tabs....  What I have been trying to do is put the two together so they made since.  

Nicholas thank you... Fiddle?  I would love to play one... BUT, lets work on banjo first... LOL!  I will take that advice on the book...

Anyway,  back to making some more... ?? something that sounds like music... hehehehe   

The Rosetta is in the book. Play notes from tab, say the name of the note, and associate it with the notation.

The rhythmic part of it ....is all math.

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