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 Chris Prieto's discussion How long do you take to learn a song you haven't heard before?
"I am a pianist, and sight reading has never really been the issue. The challenge is reading between the lines. Which string/position is a better choice?  Are the notes really as written, or are they an approximation?  Some songs I am still…"
Jul 21
John Masciale commented on Tom Berghan's video

Old Uncle Ned

"Beautifully performed!  I may borrow your lyric adoptions"
Jun 21
John Masciale replied to Meade A. Breese's discussion Bell Banjos
"I am very impressed by the Bell banjos that I have seen.  Terry really understands what he is doing, and makes a great product."
Jun 2
John Masciale replied to Chris Prieto's discussion Gut 4th string
"I use varnished strings, they are much more weather resistant.  If they are not varnished, dip your fingers in some shellac and run them down the string.  You can try using a string that is not quite so fat. You won't get the volume…"
May 23
Charles Edward Lee liked John Masciale's blog post Venting
Apr 6
John Masciale replied to Jon's discussion Playing in keys of D (Briggs) or E (Rice)
"When playing in the key of E, just play the notes as written.  An E string in that tuning is E regardless of whether you are playing in E or A. If you are learning to play the jigs in the instructors, that is one issue.  I usually leave my…"
Mar 30
John Masciale replied to Ronald Hanes's discussion Question about playing while standing
Mar 30
John Masciale replied to Ronald Hanes's discussion Question about playing while standing
"You can buy waxed hemp twine for less money than that.  I use it on my frame saw. I don't think it will rub off too readily, but have never tried it for that purpose.  I have to wonder what would happened due to the combination of…"
Mar 30

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 (80 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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