Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

A rather dry, but fascinating topic. I hope some folks chime in with thoughts about the right hand in this music. I was playing "Hobson's Jig" today, and I always struggle with M2. I was wowed by Clarke's recording, and learned from the Flesher Book. As you can see his fingering, it is somewhat "Rice like" with its repeated finger and thumb strokes. It works. The Buckley version (from which it was taken) is unfingered, much like most of his books. Havining spent a lot of time in the Converse Analytical this year, I have really come to appreciate his "Combinations". These are direct plants of the hand marked by the heavy line. His last music was heavily marked with these marks (the book was published in 1886). The more I play with this concept, the more I see how the earlier music fits these fingerings. Such is this particular spot. The tune totally flowed for me after this. Also, a pull is needed on the 1st string, as indicated by the arch above the note. This is but one spot of many I have found.

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I struggle with fingering all the time (my left hand). I completely agree with you, especially about the pulls. Once I started pulling the Bs in the second measure everything else fell into place. It makes sense to thumb the other notes. Exactly what do you mean by "plants of the hand"?
Good call Tim! I don't have much to add but to say this is definitely one of the more interesting and distinguishing figures of early banjo technique. The Buckley book, with its lack of fingerings can be reasonably informed by both the Converse and Rice (e.g., Buckley: Campbell's Jig [pg 24] and Jim Crow Jig [pg 21]). I love talkin' about structural elements!
Refer to page 90 of the Analyitcal.
I guess I don't fully understand what you're saying here. "Direct plants of the hand" What is that? You're telling me I should be making a pull-off for the 1st string notes? That's crazy talk! ;-)

I do enjoy playing HJ, it was one of the first tunes I learnt. I don't recall having any difficulties...but it was a while back.

How was the Great Nawthern Escape?

===Marc

edit: Ah well, I guess I should have read the thread before making a reply...
No, not all. Check out page 93 also. Lots of those examples there.
The Nawth was fruitful. I want to be the full time mascot.
I get it. After playing it through a few times it becomes very easy doesn't it?
Yes, I think so.
Danged if you ain't right about that. I always thought this was one of those tunes you had to just grin and bear it. But a little snap just free's the thing up.

Good one.  Definitely helps and I imagine this left hand pluck was done more often than we might think.

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