Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Tom Taggart
  • Male
  • Gainesville, VA
  • United States
  • 3 Years
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Tom Taggart's Friends

  • Rob Mohr
  • Jim Robertson
  • David Layton
  • Jacalyn Thomas
  • Sonny Bryan
  • Max L. Rowland
  • Tom Berghan
  • Timothy Twiss
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  • Dan O;Connor
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Tom Taggart's Discussions

Harmonica Used by Minstrel Performers?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Scott Danneker Jul 23, 2017. 56 Replies

This is a follow up on Curtis' comment in the chat room. We are both interested in learning if harmonicas were used by minstrel performers. I took some to the Sweeny event last year and played them…Continue

Beginner Tune of the Month (July 2016)

Started Jul 13, 2016 0 Replies

I thought I would suggest "Oh! Susanna" as the beginner tune of the month for July.  In my humble but accurate opinion every banjo player needs to be able to play this tune.  There is a fairly easy…Continue

April 2016 Tune of the Month

Started this discussion. Last reply by Timothy Twiss Apr 14, 2016. 14 Replies

It is almost the middle of the month, but we could still get in a TOTM for April.  I would suggest Juba.  It is an easy tune and a great way for new folks to practice basic strikes in the stroke…Continue

Adjusting Tension on a Banjo Head

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dan O;Connor May 16, 2015. 11 Replies

Being relatively new to minstrel banjo, I was wondering how to go about adjusting the tension on a banjo head.  Mine seems to be rather flexible and lately I have noticed a buzzing when playing.  I…Continue

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Latest Activity

Tom Taggart liked anthony Derycke's video
Tom Taggart replied to david caron's discussion A good read?
"I am not sure what the exchange rate is, but I bought a copy of Carlin's book in paperback for $35 USD in the bookstore at Appomattox Court House National Park a couple of years ago. I enjoyed it as a good overview of the period. Another book I…"
Tom Taggart replied to Strumelia's discussion Davy Crockett
"I have never seen any reference that links Davy Crockett to any type of instrument. I am not saying it is totally impossible, just highly unlikely that Davy Crockett played a gourd. However, the article does not say the park ranger was protraying…"
Tom Taggart liked Strumelia's discussion Davy Crockett
Tom Taggart liked anthony Derycke's video
Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Tom Taggart liked anthony Derycke's video
Tom Taggart liked Champion of North Huron's discussion Coffin Case
Jan 14
Tom Taggart liked anthony Derycke's video
Jan 11
Tom Taggart replied to Scott Danneker's discussion Happy New Year...
"Happy New Year Scott, Strum! I have been distracted from my music as well recently. Had rotator cuff surgery on my left arm just before Christmas, follow up was today to get the stitches out and the doctor said I no longer need to wear the sling.…"
Jan 2
Tom Taggart liked Tom Berghan's discussion Ole Virginy Break Down
Jan 2
Tom Taggart replied to david caron's discussion Let me introduce myself...
"Yes, welcome! I am sure you will find a lot of interesting things (and people) here. Don Gardner makes some good looking, and sounding banjos. I am a regular customer at his suttlers tent at Civil War reenactments in my area of Northern Virginia.…"
Jan 2
Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Dec 26, 2017
Tom Taggart commented on Leonidas (Lee) Jones's video

Stille Nacht

"Nice Lee. Thanks for sharing this great old Christmas song."
Dec 26, 2017
Tom Taggart liked Leonidas (Lee) Jones's video
Dec 26, 2017
Tom Taggart liked Leonidas (Lee) Jones's video
Dec 21, 2017

Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
Tim Twiss web site
How long have you played banjo?
3 Years
What kind of banjo(s) do you own?
Home made (but not by me) minstrel banjo. I bought it second hand from a friend in Civil War reenacting community.

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Comment Wall (8 comments)

At 10:38am on December 16, 2015, Mark Bransford said…

Dear Tom:

Thank you for your encouragement. I placed an order with Bell Minstrel Banjo for a Bouscher model banjo. I am suppose to receive it by the end of January next year. I can't wait to start learning how to play it.

Mark B.

At 4:54pm on May 17, 2016, Sonny Bryan said…

Thanks Tom, enjoyed it too.

At 7:32am on July 20, 2016, Jim Tribble said…

Thanks Tom.  It is a great site, the only drawback so far is the "unexpected error" I get for timing out.  

At 1:04am on March 4, 2017, John W Carlson said…
Thanks Tom, looking forward to it.
At 9:50pm on April 11, 2017, Jim Robertson said…

Thanks for the kind welcome, Tom.  I'm looking forward to spending some time hanging about here.  Since I live about 40 minutes from Appomattox there's a good chance I'll meet some of you in person some time.

At 11:07am on May 13, 2017, rachel woodruff said…
thank you very much Tom. i do hope to learn some things..
At 11:53am on May 15, 2017, David Colpitts said…
Thank you, Tom. I am on the brink of picking up a kit from the nice folk at BackYardMusic, and am still torn between the short and standard lengths, and fretted or fretless. I have a good ear, but wonder if my first should have "automatic" notes via frets, and then I'll know where to put the fingers on the fretless, after I am familiar with the frets. Any thoughts? Aside from early ease, do I sacrifice anything else by fretlessness? I know I gain microtonal capacity and sliding, which do appeal to me a lot.....
Thanks again, and regards,
At 5:45pm on September 12, 2017, Jacalyn Thomas said…
My pleasure!So glad you liked it.

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