Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I'm glad some people jumped onto this idea. I'm inspired to post another one, staying on the tangent of solid banjo material that is overlooked. Here is one from Winner's 1883 penned by the respectedAl Bauer. He was an important figure in Early Banjo, and survived his military service in the Civil War to remain active in music. His "Banjoists's Budget" book has some of the quirkiest and catchiest melodies ( and titles ). Here is one called Zara Jig. It will present some challenges, but stays fairly simple. It will jump up high. It is written in 3 sharps ( key of A ). Play it on any banjo...any tuning, as long as you reference E as the thumb string. There are no fingerings, so be creative. I have worked out some for it, but I thought it would be fun to see how people treat it. It is equally at home as a Stroke tune...or Guitar style.

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An interesting and fun little tune. Definably a bit of finger stretching on the B part of the tune.  It's fun to try and figure out a tune without having someone to listen to as a reference. 

Anybody else working on this one?

I just sat down to try this. It's the B section that is tripping me up. It may take me a bit longer to be comfortable enough to post this.

I had to really work out a good fingering for it. Plus, I used a high bass...don't do that too often.

Does 'high bass' mean raising the 4th string a whole step?


Yup, raising the 4th string definitely makes the tune a lot easier to play (if you want to call my feeble attempts at such thing  playing). 

Looks like I can postpone that pinky finger extension surgery I was looking into. (at least for a while)  :-)

I don't know if anybody else will post a tune this week, so I thought I would share mine. If you are still working on it and want to do than DON'T WATCH THIS!!

I'll be glad to share my experience in the B section if anybody wants to talk about it. It was not the cakewalk I expected.

Hey Tim,


Zara Jig *tef files and tablature here:


Fingering correct?



Well, is that how you played it? I came up with something different. Want to compare?

 I think the B section is open to different ways of playing. I thought it was awkward...but I found a way. What was other's experience with it?

Tim Twiss said:

Well, is that how you played it? I came up with something different. Want to compare?

Different how, you have tab?


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