Minstrel Banjo

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Joseph Sorah
  • Vienna, VA
  • United States
  • 25 years
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Joseph Sorah's Discussions

Fifth peg down

Started this discussion. Last reply by Joseph Sorah May 20, 2014. 17 Replies

While doing research on my current train of thought I have come across several photos with the banjo held left handed and of course upside down. The many examples lead me to wonder if this is no…Continue

Looka Dar Now

Started May 2, 2014 0 Replies

I am looking for sheet music or tab for "Looka Dar Now" & "Goin DownTo Town". I've searched most the government and library resources. thanks, Joseph SorahContinue

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Latest Activity

Joseph Sorah replied to Justin Smith's discussion The Banjo in Texas
"What route did that that instrument take to reach New York? I shouldn't be, but I am confused about how Joel and the musicians who wrote the teaching manuals were interrelated. There seems to be some sort of disconnect between them. Could…"
Jun 16, 2014
Joseph Sorah replied to Justin Smith's discussion The Banjo in Texas
"Dan'l I never thought about WHEN in history our banjo actually became an instrument with a real finger board instead of a stick. Logic would tell us at some period of some length there was an earliest version that had a flat fingerboard that…"
Jun 16, 2014
Joseph Sorah commented on Nicholas A Bechtel's blog post Steel Strings during the Civil war
"From the research I've done steel strings weren't available to most people till nearly the end of the civil war. I believe manufacturers warned against them because they would cause the instrument to fail. Guitar manufacturers were dead…"
Jun 16, 2014
Joseph Sorah replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"This has been an interesting discussion. I believe the next banjo I build might be left handed. It might be a revelation to see the difficulty and techniques one needs to play in that position."
May 20, 2014
Joel Hooks replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"Here are two left handed banjo solos.  I think I have one more by E. M. Hall-- I'll have to look. These are the only banjo pieces I could document that don't require both hands."
May 20, 2014
John Masciale replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"Bob, I agree.  Being a left handed player, and choosing to use a left handed instrument has had some interesting consequences.  That is one of the reasons that I choose to play a copy of that Sweeney banjo,"
May 20, 2014
Bob Sayers replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"I hate to beat a dead horse, but will offer one final comment--which, I hesitate to add, is my opinion only.   I think it's all but certain, as Joseph Sorah proposes, that left-handed people down through the ages have picked…"
May 20, 2014
Joseph Sorah replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"I am a little confused. The original question was "The many examples lead me to wonder if this is no artifact of the photo posing by the photographer , but rather an actual example of the way some people played the instrument." The 19th…"
May 20, 2014
Joseph Sorah replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"I believe you guys have defined the issue. First: people have and currently do play banjo upside down, second: the photos we all have seen verify this, and third: whether the old photos were a reflection of how the individuals portrayed actually…"
May 19, 2014
Joel Hooks replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"I play left handed for the final strain of "Church Bell Chimes," otherwise I tend to use both hands. "
May 19, 2014
Bob Sayers replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"Like Dan'l, I thought it would be pretty unlikely to find a genuine picture of a lefty playing a right-handed banjo with the 5th-string peg pointing down.  But Elizabeth Cotten (mentioned above by Joseph Soreh) did it and here's the…"
May 18, 2014
Joseph Sorah replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"my thought exactly."
May 15, 2014
Bob Sayers replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"I think it's pretty well agreed that (1) if the photographic medium is a daguerreotype, an ambrotype, or a tintype and (2) the sitter looks to be playing in a right-handed manner, but the 5th string peg is pointing down, then (3) the…"
May 15, 2014
Joseph Sorah replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"Andy, I get your point having owned a photo lab for a while and been photo assistant for the staff photographer for a TV station. The problem I have is the fact that the banjo is up side down whether the finished photo is printed left or…"
May 15, 2014
Andy Chase replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"Ugh, sorry: in the image on the right I am holding the banjo left handed.  For complete disambiguation: note the wedding ring, which is on my left hand."
May 15, 2014
Andy Chase replied to Joseph Sorah's discussion Fifth peg down
"(For example: here is a tintype I sat for a few years ago - on the left is the image as it came out of the camera.  Hand obscuring the fifth string peg on the bottom.  On the right is the image flipped to show how I was actually sitting in…"
May 15, 2014

Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
Brousing
How long have you played banjo?
25 years
What kind of banjo(s) do you own?
Boucher copy, 5 string gourd, 4 string gourd, 2 19th century generic copies, 2 open backs, 1 resonator

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