Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

The Glendy Burk "Stephen Foster"...1851...

The Glendy Burk "Stephen Foster"...1851... Ballard Banjers Minstrel Banjo 1 Ballard Banjers Minstrel Banjo 2

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Comment by Strumelia on April 10, 2017 at 8:35am

Fun!

So, you're playing this in the key of D.  What is your tuning?  It seems different than the usual, but obviously I'm missing something.

Comment by anthony Derycke on April 10, 2017 at 9:51am
The banjo is tuned in: ...D g d f # a... (low bass) and 432 Hz :)
Comment by Strumelia on April 10, 2017 at 10:51am

Ah ok, dGDF#A  (usually people write the 5th string in lower case since it's higher)

So you are playing in the key of D in 'low bass' tuning.  Obviously you are doing just fine and other folks do that as well.  But have you considered raising your bass string into minstrel 'high bass' tuning to play in key of D, (dADF#A) which would mean you wouldnt have to fret your bass string to the A note so often- just let it ring open during the tonic chord and tonic brushes, like one would in clawhammer standard G tuning.  And of course minstrel highbass is the lower equivalent to the standard clawhammer tuning of gDGBD, and would be real easy since you seem very familiar with clawhammer style anyway.

Comment by anthony Derycke on April 10, 2017 at 11:34am
Standard Minstrel tuning "Briggs 1855"
Comment by Strumelia on April 10, 2017 at 11:49am

Yes I know that.   :)  But minstrel playing also uses the 'high bass' tuning as well, especially for playing in the key of D.  It can be very convenient as opposed to always having to fret the bass string when playing in D.

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