Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Been working on BBV lately. I STINK with barre chords, fretted or unfretted. That aside, anyone have any tips rolling from the 10th measure into the 11th and 12th measures?? I struggle getting from the 7th "fret" with my ring finger into the series of pulloffs and a hammer on. I think the pinky stretch to the 7th might work, but I'm not too accurate with that. And yes, I know that's what practice is for :P

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Series of slurs?  I only see one slur, a snap.

https://archive.org/details/buckleysbanjogui00buck/page/28/mode/2up

Here are the 11th & 12th measures from Tim's Buckley 1868 book.

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I'll leave it to Tim to comment then... it is not noted that way in the music.   FWIW I would play this piece guitar style. 

I've messed around with guitar style a bit, but not as much as I've played it stroke style. I'll dedicate a more time to trying the guitar style and see how it goes. I tend to stay away from guitar style for whatever reason. Probably due to the strums and keeping time.

That stab at the 7th fret, 1st string is so common that you might as well "Buckley down" and get it comfortable. ;-)

Yah, Tim's version is pretty close to the original...but it is the way Tim plays it. For example, I might play measure 12 with no slurs (or all slurs, I haven't played it). The original also uses a lot of arpeggiated chords that Tim doesn't indicate. If you're playing it stroke style...ok, the arpeggios are endemic, can't be avoided. If you play guitar style, you have to roll them (per the original which, like Joel, I interpret as guitar style).

I would also tend to play measure 6 (and measure 22) by picking up that 3rd fret note (1st string) on the 2nd string, 6th fret...which is how it is indicated in the original.

These are all stylistic decisions anyone would make. The score isn't carved in stone.

Poo. I meant to add my tab from Buckley's Guide For The Banjo, 1868. Includes the arpeggios and I think it closer to the original...but again, neither better nor worse than Tim's, just different.

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Right, and at the 19th measure where it says "7th fret" I will hold that at 5th position stopping the D with my 3rd and the F# with my 4th fingers. Learning position playing as a habit is a good thing and one begins to identify patterns as chord groupings which makes for fast position changes. 

AFA Guitar style, I STRONGLY recommend that you learn alternate fingering from the start.  It is the correct way to play it and I am positive (though I cannot prove it) that all the pros were using it early on and just did not tell anyone.

There are plenty of good A notation books to work out of.   A. J .Weidt's series is fine. Here is book 1 but all 5 are on the Internet Archive.

https://archive.org/details/A.J.WeidtBook1

Fred Bacon's book was first published in A notation and does a good job with RH fingering. 

https://archive.org/details/NewAndRevisedMethodForTheBanjoFredBacon...

For finger patterns, Marc recently sent me a great little exercise book that is worth playing with now and then.

https://archive.org/details/120-melodic-banjo-studies-for-the-right...



Trapdoor2 said:

That stab at the 7th fret, 1st string is so common that you might as well "Buckley down" and get it comfortable. ;-)

Yah, Tim's version is pretty close to the original...but it is the way Tim plays it. For example, I might play measure 12 with no slurs (or all slurs, I haven't played it). The original also uses a lot of arpeggiated chords that Tim doesn't indicate. If you're playing it stroke style...ok, the arpeggios are endemic, can't be avoided. If you play guitar style, you have to roll them (per the original which, like Joel, I interpret as guitar style).

I would also tend to play measure 6 (and measure 22) by picking up that 3rd fret note (1st string) on the 2nd string, 6th fret...which is how it is indicated in the original.

These are all stylistic decisions anyone would make. The score isn't carved in stone.

Joel, thanks for the references!! I've just been leaning on my early bluegrass lessons (before I was introduced to frailing & minstrel). I also have the 2 Finger Banjo series (index lead, thumb lead, & mixed) by Sebastian Schroeder. They're inexpensive on Amazon and easy to learn from.

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