Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

March 2013 Blog Posts (9)

F.B. Converse

"There are but two really fundamental principals or movements governing the action of the right hand in this (banjo) style."

The Hammer

The Combination


Trust this man. He published this statement in 1886.

Added by Tim Twiss on March 31, 2013 at 8:30pm — 6 Comments

found Camptown Hornpipe Tab

Happy to announce that I have located Camptown Hornpipe Tab

all ya gotta do is google "Camptown Hornpipe Tablature"

and it comes up on a site belonging to a Mr. Andy Chase


I'm going to try making my own tab using the Rosetta Staff from the Early Banjo Book

and use this one I found to check my work.


I'm really glad to be learning these tunes.

Added by Ron on March 31, 2013 at 3:05pm — 1 Comment

If They Could See Us Now

I just discovered a tool others already know about, but it is new to me and WOW

what a powerful combination!  I am speaking about the audio management

programs that are available which allow you to slow down an audio file and keep

its tonality intact. I am really making headway now.


I play the CD which comes with the "Early Banjo" book by Tim. and I can slow the

playing down to where I can learn to keep up with him, then I speed it up bit by…


Added by Ron on March 30, 2013 at 9:55am — 4 Comments

Expanding the Repertoire


One of my hobbies...passions...( okay, obsessions ) is finding new banjo material. I try to do it from the perspective of the original Early banjo players, using sources available to them and integrating it according to the examples left behind in the tutors.

I have a fresh source and I would like to share how i seek out material and then arrange it.

I am using Kerr's Merry melodies for the the violin. It is well known that much of the original Minstrel banjo is…


Added by Tim Twiss on March 30, 2013 at 6:15am — 5 Comments

Search engine

Is it just me, or is this search function totally worthless? We have so much good stuff on this site, but it seems difficult to retreive it.

Added by Tim Twiss on March 28, 2013 at 11:15pm — 2 Comments

Old Time Banjo

The events I enjoy playing at are Civil War Re-enactments, Living History events, or any other festival where old time music is welcomed.  On the minstrel banjo, my favorite tunes are Oh Susanna, Turkey in the Straw, Buffalo Gals, and Old Dan Tucker.  I also have a mountain banjo that I built, and play old time tunes on it.  I like to have visitors to the events to sit down with me and play the wooden spoons or limberjack, while I play the banjo.

Added by William "Pat" Arinder on March 28, 2013 at 1:15pm — No Comments

Update on learning from Tims New Banjo Method book

In one of his videos Tim emphasized seeing the "strike" in the triplets.

That goes way beond the triplets into most other complex patterns in

the music. I'm learning to see the "Strikes" in other complex patterns of this music.

Ex: Cotton Pod Walkaround looks baffling until you look at the book while listening to the CD

and identifying the strikes within the complex music


This is probably well known to most everyone here but it is very new and…


Added by Ron on March 27, 2013 at 9:51am — 3 Comments

Banjo tunings and pitch

I am glad to have 2 instruments, especially now when i am experimenting with pitch. I seldom leave an instrument in the E Rice tuning, but am starting to leave my Hartel tuned up. I'll post some tunes with it for contrast.....I'll tell you how it feels, and see if there is any percieved difference to a listener. Should take a look at this, since.....well, that is what they said it was. Funny how we all stick with D.

Added by Tim Twiss on March 27, 2013 at 7:54am — No Comments


Car fueled..... check, 

Address pugged into GPS.... check, 

Go to bed early for good nights rest.... check, 

Calendar clear... check, 

Banjo's packed to jam with... check, 

Camera ready for guided tour of Factory.... check, 

Pocket full of cash, to buy souvenirs....  check? 

Yes... Souvenir.......!    I have a 1 hour drive ahead of me... tomorrow.   

Heading to the Bell and Son banjo factory, I have a personal Guided tour of the…


Added by Jeff on March 15, 2013 at 5:45pm — 2 Comments


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