Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

John Masciale
  • Male
  • Palatine, IL
  • United States
  • 7 years
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John Masciale's Discussions

Frank Converse Old Cremona Songster

Started this discussion. Last reply by Timothy Twiss Feb 25, 2016. 1 Reply

Indiana University Sheetmusic Collection

Started this discussion. Last reply by Joel Hooks Dec 3, 2014. 2 Replies

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Latest Activity

John Masciale replied to Brice Alms's discussion What was the common size and tapering of the tuning peg holes in the 19th century.
"I've carved some for my gourd banjo out of walnut. I used a modern reamer, but made my own shaver out of a block of maple."
Apr 13
Mike Drouet left a comment for John Masciale
"Hi, Just now going to start getting in to it -  really a strings/fiddle player - but the fretless banjo for me looks like a way to go.   If there are ever any jams - would like to come - as a beginner banjo but more advanced fiddle…"
Apr 3
John Masciale left a comment for Mike Drouet
"Hi Mike.  I live in the NW suburbs, welcome to the forum!"
Apr 3
John Masciale replied to Tom Berghan's discussion Who here plays concertina?
"I do play concertina at times.  Mine is a 20 button anglo in C and G.  I have a friend who has a Stagi anglo in D and G.  I've another friend with a Lachenal English concertina.  I would be very tempted to consider getting…"
Mar 19
John Masciale replied to david caron's discussion How many minstrel banjoists out there?
"I would say that the number is somewhere in the hundreds.  It would be hard to pinpoint it beyond that.  There are people who play fretless minstrel era banjos, and then there are people who study and play with the technique and repertoire…"
Feb 16
John Masciale replied to Andrew Jensen's discussion String Slap
"What is the configuration of the tuner on your thumb string?  I have had instances where I was getting some buzz when it was interfering with the string on that peg."
Feb 7
John Masciale replied to david caron's discussion Let me introduce myself...
"I have heard both.  Terry really has done an outstanding job with the sound of his banjos. "
Feb 2
John Masciale commented on Paul Draper's video

Garry Owen

"We did an event in Minnesota at Fort Snelling, and were told that we could not play this tune, due to native American sentiments.  We were kind of surprised by that.  I have been told at times not to play Dixie or Kingdom Coming (believe…"
Feb 1

Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
Rob MacKillop
How long have you played banjo?
7 years

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John Masciale's Blog


Posted on September 28, 2015 at 9:41am 3 Comments

I was at a civil war event this past weekend.  Elaine and I were contracted to do some performances and to do a school day presentation for 600 students.  There was another musician there who was very talented, and could play a number of instruments.  However...

He pulls out an 1890s banjo, and says that it is one.  However he then says that this is the same as the banjos of the civil war era.  He then told the kids he would play in a civil war era style, and proceeded to play in a…



Posted on June 25, 2014 at 12:51pm 0 Comments

Per our discussion at the conference I've added a page named AEBG where we can do things specifically for the conference.

The Battle for Christmas

Posted on January 2, 2012 at 9:26am 1 Comment

I've been readingThe Battle for Christmas.  Here is an interesting excerpt about Christmas theatre in Philadelphia in 1843


"The matinee performance at the National Theatre opened with a drama, George Barnwell,continued with a blackface show The Original Virginia Minstrels, and ended with another drama, King of the Mist.  The Ach Street Theatre matinee opened with  Hunter of the Alps, continued with a Comic Song,  and concluded with the…


Mail settings in Windows Explorer

Posted on June 27, 2011 at 8:32pm 1 Comment

I've been having problems with getting my list of friends to appear on the Inbox/Compose section,  using windows explorer.  I now have it figured out.  Under the menu bar Tools for explorer I have selected Compatibility View.  My list of friends now appears.


However, when playing with this, I tried sending Elaine an I love you message, which apparently did not send.  However, if any of you got such a message from me.....   oops.  It was meant for Elaine.

VA Hospital

Posted on June 6, 2011 at 8:18am 0 Comments

This weekend we attended an event up in Milwaukee at the Old Soldier's Home.  There were representatives of American military from every war.  It was a very large event and well run.  Sadly, for a number of reasons it is likely to be the last time this event will occur.


Elaine, Elise and I were playing a little music on Saturday, and someone passing by overheard us, and asked if we would like to play for spinal injury patients on the top floor of the VA hospital there on the…


Comment Wall (81 comments)

At 11:09pm on November 15, 2008, Charles said…
Hi John,

Thanks for the warm welcome to this forum. It does look very interesting, so I'll spend some time investigating and getting to know about it and the various members.

At 12:52pm on November 22, 2008, Jim Dalton said…
Hey John,

There seems to be some kind of problem.

Tim's reply to "Briggs' last moments" and his new discussion "Gigs and Presentations" aren't appearing as they should. (see the recent exchanges between Tim and me).

Is Ning having problems?
At 9:05pm on November 25, 2008, Zeke D said…
thanks for the welcome to the forum. i have been playing minstel banjo for about 7 months. and i am looking forward to talking w/ you guys to learn one heck of a lot from the people who really mastered this awesome instrument.
At 10:45am on November 27, 2008, Zeke D said…
That sounds good. Like i have been learning off of Bob Flesher's Books and its very tough to get other tunes b/c i am not that talented yet to start making my own tabs.
At 4:19pm on November 29, 2008, Aurelia Perry said…
Thanks for the welcome! Still learning my way around the format, but it looks great! Take care, Aurelia
At 4:55pm on November 29, 2008, Rick Hadley said…
Thanks! I found the link on the Google group. This looks like a much more user friendly system.
At 5:47pm on November 29, 2008, Michael Randolph said…
Thanks, John. It's nice to see familiar faces, such as yours, from the Early Banjo Gatherings. - Mike
At 11:54pm on November 29, 2008, Scott Miller said…
Hi John,

Thank you for the welcome.

You are the one who scarfed up all the high end rib bones at my online store. (Bone Dry Musical Instrument Co.) Hope they're rattlin' okay for you. --Scott
At 9:24am on November 30, 2008, Samurai banjo said…
Thanks !John,
Thank you for the welcome.
I can talk about the minstrel banjo with the friend and I am glad really.

Yokohama Japan
At 2:38pm on November 30, 2008, Forrest Peterson said…
John,thanks for the welcome.


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