Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Working on Tobacco Jake Jig (Buckley, 1860)

I'm gaining a real appreciation for Buckley's arrangements.  They don't always flow as smoothly as Converse's, but they're clever in their own ways.

Views: 60

Comment by Paul Draper on July 13, 2013 at 9:31pm
Cool. I'm working on Rail Road Polka. The arpeggios and triplets at the end are very tricky... One more week...
Comment by Tim Twiss on July 13, 2013 at 9:43pm

Yea, I like Buckley a lot. He does not come right out and give it to you...but there's always a way.

Comment by Paul Draper on July 14, 2013 at 7:42am
It took me a long time to find that way for the last part... You suggested somewhere, I think, using finger-style for the arpeggios and the first two strings for the triplets, which is what I'm doing. What was impossible is now (somewhat) possible... I'm almost there. It's like biking up a hill -- I'm past the last hair-pin turn and I can see the top...
Comment by Tim Twiss on July 14, 2013 at 10:39am

Yea, that's what I do. It works out for me on a consistent basis.

Comment by Tim Twiss on July 14, 2013 at 10:41am

In fact, so much of this stuff is well suited to hybrid playing. I see it a whole lot in the 1868 as I slug through it again...I'm doing a bit more with the finger style.

Comment by Paul Ely Smith on July 14, 2013 at 12:15pm

I found, working on my Gottschalk arrangements, that switching to fingerstyle for the arpeggiated sextuplets was the most comfortable way to play them, even though it is possible to execute them using stroke style.  Then I discovered that similar mixes of right hand technique are found in West African performance practice as well as in early 20th century African-American plucked lute (that is, banjo and guitar) performance practice.  That led me to experiment with playing other passages using a mix of techniques where that was the most natural way to play the passage.  Whether or not minstrels were doing this (I suspect they were), it makes sense that other banjo players were doing it.

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