Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo



Four months after Suwannee Banjo Camp, I have played straight through the Briggs Corn Peeling Jig several times now without significant temporal or melodic anomalies.  I therefore wish to submit an MP3 recording of this accomplishment to minstrelbanjo.ning.com for expert assessment and peer review. However, my investigation to discover how to submit a file in this format has so far borne no fruit.  Is such a portal available here on Minstrel Banjo?  I'd prefer not to send a video because I have not aged well.  (My wife reminds me of this unpleasant fact frequently.)  I thank you in advance for any assistance or advice submitted regarding this matter.

Cheers for now,

-Scott Danneker


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Can't really retrieve or archive this stuff, but nothing in Ning really facilitates that anyway.

The banjo hangout link seems like a good workaround to me. 

And it sounds good, Scott!  I'd be interested to know where the arrangement came from too, it's a little different than the one in the Briggs 1855 tutor. 

Strumelia said:

Scott D., you are well on your way, nice first clip!

What source did your version come from, or how did you learn it- from tutor sheet music, a recording, or from someone's tab?  It sounds interesting and a little different than others I've heard.

keep up the good work!   :)

Greetings Ms. Strumelia!

Many thanks for your complementary assessment of my humble first effort.  I am honored. 


Alas; mostly all of my playing sounds “a little different”, but this is quite the first time that I’ve heard it bestowed upon my playing in a (hopefuly?) non-pejorative fashion.


You also wrote:

What source did your version come from, or how did you learn it- from tutor sheet music, a recording, or from someone's tab?

In response to your query, I submit the following:

The tune is taken semi-directly from a handout prepared by Messer’s Twiss and Adams for a minstrel banjo work shop in Harpers Ferry, WY that they arranged and conducted a couple of years ago.  The same handout was in turn used by Greg Adams to teach a bunch of us stroke style neophytes this past march at the Suwannee Banjo Camp somewhere in Florida.  The tune you hear is taken from this very same tutor sheet that is appropriately titled “Stroke Style Banjo.” Additionally, I recorded all three of Greg’s workshops and this added audio resource has greatly enhanced my understanding of the written material presented therein.


Part A of the piece is performed as written whilst running the phrase “tro-que-tri-pa-lett” through my head over and over in order to get the timing down correctly. As my recording of Greg’s workshop embarrassingly confirms; I did not realize that “troquet” was a real word until the third session. This misunderstanding was likely the result of my tardiness on the first day of Greg’s workshop.


Part B of the piece is also performed as written with the exception that I have simplified the “Pete Townsed” measure by replacing the exaggerated 2nd and 4th flailing-about-with-your-entire-right-arm- swinging-round-and-round-type-strums with a with a simplified and (IMHO) more civilized thumb strike on the 5th string.  Besides, this makes it lots easier to get my right hand position for the next “tro-quet-tri-pa-lett” bit that follows immediately in the very next measure. In this respect, I took Greg’s advice and decided - for the time being at least – to abandon “dogma” for the sake of the music.


Part C was something that just came to me without the tab.  I just fiddled about with a drop thumb or two and a hammer-on (or was a pull-off?) somewhere on the second fret.  Anyway; it only took me a minute or two to figure it out.  It wasn’t until I recorded it that I finally got around to looking at the tab and discovered that 3rd and 2nd fret pull-offs on were employed in the transcribed Briggs version that Greg gave us back in March.


Thus encouraged, I am now working on Grape Vine Twist from the same “Stroke Style Banjo” tutor that was mentioned previously.  I shall submit an MP3 of it by the same method via Banjo Hangout (VBHO) for one and all’s amusement very soon.


Until then I remain,

Cheerfully yours.


-Scott Danneker

Wonderful,  and so easy. It is always nice to have more options.

Thanks for elaborating on how you evolved your unique version of that tune, Scott.    :)

May I recommend that you also order Tim Twiss's new beginning stroke style Book/CD combo that he just produced recently for the first time?   I think it will give you a whole additional set of entry level learning resources to work from, and it's great to have the CD to tune to, play along with, and hear what the tunes sound like.  I find it useful!

Thank you,

I have a birthday comming up so perhaps I'll suggest it.

All the best!


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