Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Here is what I mean.

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Comment by Strumelia on February 21, 2015 at 8:54pm

So graceful and elegant!   :D

One day I hope to be able to use my thumb as nimbly as this.  Alas, my thumb is still being as stubborn as a mule sometimes, wanting to just do the clawhammer thing it has done for years.  I'm working on it though, and am slowly improving.  Personally, I find the more active thumb to be one of the biggest differences between oldtime and minstrel playing.  Mark I just love the sound of the gourd banjo, there is nothing like it- and your gourd banjer is so sweet.

Comment by Mark Weems on February 21, 2015 at 9:17pm

Thanks Lisa,

Yeah, it took me some re-burning of muscle memory on the thumb as well. The Rice Pull-Off thing is found in Round Peak claw-hammer playing as well, so I can do it. But this just seemed a nice easy way to do it. 

Comment by Strumelia on February 21, 2015 at 9:23pm

Easy for you maybe...lol just teasing ya.  ;D

Yes the "Rice pull-off" is found in oldtime clawhammer, in various embodiments.  I can imagine it having been done for as long as people were playing banjos really...cause it just seems like a natural way to snap those successive notes right along, doesn't it?

Comment by Mark Weems on February 21, 2015 at 9:28pm

It's all good!

Comment by Tom Taggart on February 22, 2015 at 12:31am

Really nice and a great sounding gourd.

Comment by Ian Bell on March 6, 2015 at 7:08am
Nicely done - I want to see the rest of that banjo! Is there a photo anywhere on the site?
Comment by Mark Weems on March 6, 2015 at 9:08am

Hi Ian, just look back through the videos I've posted and you will see it often.

Comment by Ian Bell on March 7, 2015 at 9:28am
OK - I've clearly seen it before - a few times - it's awful gettin' old! Thanks Mark.

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