Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

This is my first time reading sheet music for banjo. And, I've realized I have a heavy thumb. I hope I've interpreted this properly.

Views: 142

Comment by Ian Bell on March 28, 2013 at 5:39pm
Hey, I recognize that tune! You must be doing something (actually a few things) right. Good stuff!
I really enjoy playing some of these old tunes on my steel string banjo sometimes.
Comment by Valerie Diaz Leroy on March 28, 2013 at 5:43pm

Ha, ha! Thank you. I'm trying to get a feel for this and stay focused with the camera rolling. 

Comment by Strumelia on March 28, 2013 at 6:07pm

This is great- you are really zooming along in your progress!   More than me, for sure! 

(yikes I'm so BAD and uninspired lately, too much work on my desk)

Well, at least I taught a new clawhammer player how to play The Cuckoo today.  And I gave her a free cheapo gigbag I had lying around, since she had no case at all.  So...my own version of good 'banjo progress' for today.   ;)

Comment by Valerie Diaz Leroy on March 28, 2013 at 6:09pm

That IS good banjo progress!

I've been home for the past two days with a stomach bug. I've had some time on my hands :)

Comment by Ian Bell on March 28, 2013 at 7:02pm
Ah, Stumelia...the Cuckoo... she's a pretty bird - and one of the most wonderful, mysterious, moments of banjo playing ever committed to...whatever it was they committed things to in those days - lacquer, I guess. Who wouldn't love to play that with the magic that Clarence Ashley put into it.... if you taught somebody how to play the Cuckoo today, you did alright.
Comment by Tim Twiss on March 28, 2013 at 8:57pm

How did you come to choose doing it guitar style?

Comment by Valerie Diaz Leroy on March 28, 2013 at 9:34pm
Tim, I did not choose to, it just came out that was. I'm still trying to figure out which fingers I'm supposed to use for each string. I am trying to focus on striking with my index, but I think I will really benefit from more practice and a lot more guidance.
Comment by Strumelia on March 28, 2013 at 9:47pm

Valerie, I suspect you are just naturally up-picking because your background is coming from bluegrass banjo style (up-picking in roll combinations), not clawhammer (striking down towards the head with your nail).  Tim (for one) knows all about the styles used in minstrel banjo playing- stroke style, and guitar style (and are there maybe others too?)

Valerie I'm still trying to figure out what that pretty pearl inlay is on your banjo neck- is it a design of leaves, or something else?

Comment by Tim Twiss on March 28, 2013 at 10:15pm

No fingering indication....so anything goes. There are very many of them go either way. You can stretch a point as Rob McGillop did by doing Briggs' in guitar style. I actually don't see it (guitar style) until Buckley's Books, where tunes could go either way. This Winner's book was later, but the tune was obviously around in the 1850's. G.S. Buckley played fingerstyle in the 50's.

Carry on....I thought it was cool.

Comment by Strumelia on March 28, 2013 at 10:34pm

Valerie I would like to know how you picked that particular tune to play.   :)

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