Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

A Frank Converse original from his Analytical Banjo Method, 1886.

Views: 80

Comment by Paul Draper on November 28, 2016 at 5:53pm
Tim's fretless version of this blows me away!
Comment by Al Smitley on November 28, 2016 at 7:18pm

Very nice, Paul.  Just wondering how long some of these complex late 19th C tunes stay with you if you go for a couple weeks or months without playing them.

Comment by Paul Draper on November 28, 2016 at 9:35pm
Well, this one took a week of solid work to get this far. I fear it will disappear quickly if I don't play it a few times a day, for a while anyway. A couple of weeks --- back to square 1...
Comment by Andy Chase on December 2, 2016 at 11:24am

Of the classic-era pieces I've worked on, I find that the innate muscle memory tends to drift away, but comes back pretty quickly with the music in front of me.  It's hard to get out of the "memorize it and file it away" mindset that I first picked up with old-time music and carried into the minstrel-era stuff, where most tunes have fairly short sentences repeated AABB; with some of the longer classic style pieces it's more sensible to keep the music in front of you even when you have it pretty well memorized; one less variable to keep track of when playing a piece that goes AABBACCBA or whatever.

Particularly in a performance context; when I attempted to play 'Ladbroke March' from memory at AEBG VIII I crashed and burned spectacularly, partly because I bungled a measure or two which in turn caused me to bungle my place in the tune, and it all spiraled out of control even though I'd been practicing it flawlessly all that day.


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