Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

All Blog Posts (282)

Happy 4th of July

I was thinking about going to a July 4th anvil shoot ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anvil_firing ) at the home of a black powder enthusiast  I know, so I found this on Utoob, 


Added by Wes Merchant on July 4, 2013 at 12:27pm — 1 Comment

Buckley 1868

Okay, here we go. It becomes a strange possession once I start. good sign....first tune went down well on one take and the setting sounds good. man, I've been waiting for this book! See ya at the end.

Added by Tim Twiss on June 30, 2013 at 6:14pm — 24 Comments

AEBG was awesome

Thanks everyone for a great weekend. I'm sorry I couldn't make it on sunday but I had a blast on friday and saturday.

Added by Kevin Taylor on June 24, 2013 at 9:45am — 17 Comments

see you sooner or later

 To the few amigos here, I didn't die, or fall off the planet, my musical ADD just one day lately shifted to classical / flamenco guitar,  my brain does what it wants,,, just say so long fo a bit,,, but Im sure Ill be back,

take care



to those who don't care, sorry to waste your minute

Added by Steve Jeter on June 5, 2013 at 8:49am — 10 Comments

When to change your GUT strings?

Just curious,.. do gut strings eventually loose their Punch? Mine sound good with little fraying on the 1st string, but have had these on since I got may banjo two years ago. SO maybe I am not noticing a slow decrease in available frequency due to age. Should Gut strings be changed out every..1, 2, 3, years?

Added by Nicholas A Bechtel on June 2, 2013 at 1:22pm — 13 Comments

Memorial Day

Hey all you banjo pickers that served our Country,...THANK YOU!

Glad your hear with the rest of us sharing and playing this great music.


Added by Nicholas A Bechtel on May 27, 2013 at 10:45am — No Comments

A Stinker

Who would have thought??..."May Polka" has been the hardest song ever for me to record. ( Green Converse book ).

Added by Tim Twiss on May 25, 2013 at 10:08pm — No Comments

Lots of tunes

I threw a lot of songs up...basically letting you in on a practice. Good for us....to see how well we can play tunes on any given day. Not too polished, but we enjoy playing, and have some gigs coming up. We are especially enjoying these early and slightly obscure tunes. How do you approach one that is not recorded much yet???? Look at the music and try things I guess. Anyway, any comments or observations are welcome.

Added by Tim Twiss on May 22, 2013 at 9:45pm — No Comments

please pray were being shredded here in Oklahoma

we need prayer. we're in the middle of a two day tornado outbreak


Added by Ron on May 20, 2013 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments


The Lester Levy Collection website got a facelift....check the site out for tons of sheet music. This is great source material. The pages are easy to flip through if you want to glance at a multi-page song.


Added by Tim Twiss on May 18, 2013 at 6:42am — No Comments


I have been enjoying banjo for about five years, and I wanted to learn about early banjo and to be able to play it accurately, and for the past two years, I have enjoyed it. I wanted to thank Tim Twiss for being a resource of this music. I had resources from a couple of books by Joe Weidlich and others, and the songs made better sense when I watched Tim's YouTube videos. So I'm sending a big thanks to Tim.    

Added by Noah Cline on May 9, 2013 at 5:48pm — 1 Comment


47 % today....perfect for skin banjos.

Added by Tim Twiss on April 28, 2013 at 9:46pm — 2 Comments

Joe Bussard's Annual Banjo Podcast


For those of you unfamiliar with Joe, he is one of the world's premier collectors early country, blues and jazz of 78's. He's also the subject of the Australian Documentary "Desperate Man Blues". I've known Joe for many years, and actually played in a band with him for a while, he's quite a character and a great resource Here's the play list : Taylor's…


Added by Wes Merchant on April 19, 2013 at 3:02pm — 6 Comments

I have hit upon a puzzlement, and have a question

I am learning the tune "Cotton Pod Walk Around" in Tim's Early Banjo Book

I am carefully listening to it and trying to play along.

It seems to me that the last two notes in the first full measure

do not match what I hear on the cd. Assuming the cd is correct

then the last two notes of that measure appear to be reversed.

I have carefully checked this using my slow down software and it

confirms what I feel when I attempt to play it.



Added by Ron on April 17, 2013 at 10:02am — 17 Comments

step by step for lurkers

 we know this community is small,,, but I wonder how many people never register ,,, but still use the site...

The reason Im wondering is ,, I thought of making a super easy note by note vid of a super easy tune like Calabash Dance,,  it can be as easy as 3 fingered notes and the open ones of course. 

but I don't know if it would be of any help,,, to me its easier than the first tune I learned juba.....  

per Tims post remembering..... I remember the wknd 2 yrs ago when I…


Added by Steve Jeter on April 17, 2013 at 8:32am — No Comments


I wish we had that Facebook feature here....it would be a cool way to acknowledge a post without adding comments. Maybe it's in there somewhere...?

Added by Tim Twiss on April 13, 2013 at 7:28am — 4 Comments

Got $ and lots of fun

 I asked about how to get tips,, well I got some , not a lot 38.00. but paid for gas.    I got to play a lot of tunes,, best part was playing with the kids. I had 3 sets of wooden spoons{homemade attached at end} and my homemade tambo... there were a lot of times I had them all in use. 4 kids playing along.  coal black rose was the easiest to play to .  Fun to see how some kids had natural timing, some didn't.  many pics taken and some kids came back to play more.  Git up in de morning was…


Added by Steve Jeter on April 8, 2013 at 10:17am — 2 Comments

New tune in tab- The Back of the Change House

I just put up a tab for a tune to share that I discovered this morning. It should be played fast, but I found the melody and the way it layed on the banjo to be completely mezmerising and engaging when played slowly and loosely. Although I recorded it this morning, I feel like am just starting to tap into it...being able to play it different each time by altering the phrases. A very free and creative feeling

Added by Tim Twiss on April 7, 2013 at 10:01pm — 1 Comment


Funny....doesn't feel like 707, does it?

Added by Tim Twiss on April 6, 2013 at 10:56pm — No Comments

Bill's Banjos

I used to live in Bills house in Baltimore many years ago, he had some fine instruments then and has continued collecting over the years. Here is his online gallery, I hope you enjoy!


Added by Wes Merchant on April 6, 2013 at 7:58pm — 3 Comments


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