Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Taken from Ryan's Mammoth Collection ( fiddle ).

Views: 100

Comment by Paul Draper on June 30, 2014 at 10:50pm
Awesome Tim. I also like Bob Winan's Emmett version which shows up as a related video.
Comment by Wes Merchant on July 1, 2014 at 4:45am
Mighty fine! Thanks Tim. This is the one that, if you follow the fingerlings in the book, plays the e on the 2nd string, then slides up to the a (12th "fret")and hits the harmonic. I've got a bit more work to do on it but I'll put it up one of these days.
Comment by Al Smitley on July 1, 2014 at 6:16am

Nicely done and......what a great sounding gourd!   ;)

Comment by Ian Bell on July 1, 2014 at 7:03am
That's such a great tune. I used to play it on the button accordion a lot. (I got it from Cole's 1000 Fiddle Tunes aka Ryan's) I think I was initially attracted to the cool title. I used to play it more like a polka - but that was maybe just the accordion asserting its identity. I''l see if i can find a recording.
Comment by Tim Twiss on July 1, 2014 at 9:23am

Jersey Lightning....is moonshine? And that high note a hiccup? Al sort of told me you guys talked about that. He brought the song to my attention...was very cool. When I look in Ryan's and see a tune like that, ( no key signature...concert key of A minor ) I think "Rice" tuning and reference the "E" as a thumb string, even though my banjo is tuned to "D"....ha ha.

Comment by Tim Twiss on July 1, 2014 at 9:24am

So....the concert pitch for someone playing with you is G minor. We all need to pack two banjos.

Comment by Al Smitley on July 1, 2014 at 9:39am

I can try it in Gm but I think fiddlers might be stuck in Am on that one because the high note 'A' in the first part, is intended to be played as a harmonic.   I should say that if not for Wes Merchant showing me the tune at Antietam, this would not be a topic of discussion.........at least for today.

Comment by Al Smitley on July 1, 2014 at 9:46am

Actually, Gm ain't bad.  I will learn both ways.  The Gm just isn't as conducive to the audio effect of sliding up to the harmonic, but I think that's worth not toting an extra banjo around.

Comment by Tim Twiss on July 1, 2014 at 10:01am

I think perhaps if this stuff really caught on, it would not be uncommon to carry 2 instruments.....the banjo being the transposing instrument it is.

Comment by Tim Twiss on July 1, 2014 at 10:02am

Play it the same....just have the concert pitch change appropriately.


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