Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Tom Taggart
  • Male
  • Gainesville, VA
  • United States
  • 4 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
  • Donovan Murphy
  • Chris Prieto
  • Tom Littleton
  • Dan O;Connor
  • Richard Katz
  • Judith
  • Parker Buckley

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 Paul Draper's video
3 hours ago
Tom Taggart replied to Ryan Carlson's discussion Minstrel banjo project
"Looks good. How about posting a video so we can hear how it sounds?"
Tom Taggart replied to Steve Stroot's discussion Fretting over fretless
"I had not played any type of banjo prior to getting involved with a fretless one. Like Chris said, with some tabs and some videos I think I picked it up fairly quickly."
Tom Taggart liked Mark Weems's video
Tom Taggart liked Mark Weems's video
Tom Taggart commented on Mark Weems's video

Oh Lud Gals: Sweeney Convergence, 2018

"I really had fun at this years event. Looking forward to next year."
Sep 16
Tom Taggart liked Mark Weems's video
Sep 16
Tom Taggart replied to Rob Mohr's discussion Hurricane Florence
"Hope you folks down in hurricane country are managing OK. Let us know how you are getting along. Like to know our banjo buds are surviving."
Sep 15
Tom Taggart liked Brice Alms's video
Sep 15
Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Sep 15
Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Sep 15
Tom Taggart liked D. Wooldridge's photo
Sep 12
Tom Taggart liked D. Wooldridge's photo
Sep 10
Tom Taggart commented on D. Wooldridge's event Joel Sweeney Convergence
"Back from Appomattox, unpacked, and trying to get tent dried out. That may take awhile. However, this was a great event and well worth the trip. Great folks, great food, and of course GREAT music. I think the weather held down the number of the…"
Sep 9
Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Sep 9
Tom Taggart commented on Paul Draper's video

Blue Eagle Jail in Appomattox Jail

"Are you really barred, or just being cagey Paul?"
Sep 9

Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
Tim Twiss web site
How long have you played banjo?
4 Years
What kind of banjo(s) do you own?
(1) Home made (but not by me) minstrel banjo. I bought it second hand from a friend in Civil War reenacting community. (2) S.S. Stewart banjo made ca. 1900.

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Comment Wall (10 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.
At 7:15pm on August 30, 2018, Rob Mohr said…

Tom, thanks again for the invite for the upcoming convergence. Right now, my family seems intent on going, so we'll just do Saturday (knowing my wife, that could easily change lol). 

At 11:46am on September 6, 2018, Dow Mathis said…

Thanks for the warm welcome, Tom.  Glad to be here.

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