Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

New recording available-Buckley's Banjo Guide of 1868.

Ready to ship. Only $15.00 and this includes shipping.

Use Paypal at http://www.timtwiss.com/.

This 2 CD set contains 94 tunes....pure, simple, beautiful solo Minstrel Banjo.

You can also download the original book if you do not already have it.


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It seems as though the tutors were a slow and gradual march towards the Classic style. Other traditions developed outside the written page. But...there seems to be a common heritage...some DNA that binds it together.

Nicholas, just as man did not evolve from apes, I think clawhammer/frailing and stroke style were likely both evolving/coexisting simultaneously, perhaps regionally in pockets of higher or lower concentrations. Personally, I think it's almost certain that various clawhammer/rapping kinds of styles were earlier at least than any banjo 'guitar style' found in the banjo tutors. I mean come on, just listen to some of the more archaic drone-based styles of Dink, Holcomb, Ashley, the Hammons.... no Spanish Fandangos and Viennese waltzes there...lol!      .....and Danl, good buddy, don't even think about going 'there'...=;-o  

I also am pretty sure there was more purchasing and reading of instructional books in urban areas, areas where banjos were starting to be commercially produced to meet the growing popularity among middle and upper white classes. Undoubtedly, by-ear/traditional passing down of music was relied upon more heavily in rural/agricultural, remote, or mountainous areas, where it's likely fewer people were purchasing instructional and sheet music books in music stores.  It just makes sense.

That's the way it feels to me. Didn't it evolve from the basic and fundamental rhythms that were first heard from the slaves music then, evolved by those musicians that developed it into a particular style that became widely popular, and from that into other interpretations.

All aside, I am grateful to have someone like yourself Tim who has lent an honest Interpretation to this music and has given those of us that are interested in hearing this music portrayed from the written form an opportunity to experience this music AS it was written. It sounds wonderful and brings forth a feeling when it is done so. I don't think I recall you ever saying this was the end all of end all way this music was meant to be played. But you are guilty of providing a great reference of the written materiel.

Time to mosey over to the music store and pick up a copy.......

We always speak of where the books were sold and who may have been buying them, but what of where the music actually came from? It was brought to the press from some very groovey place.

I feel like if we didn't have the tutors or didn't know of their existance, we would not have anything to go on. My original interest with Minstrel banjo was to be able to find and learn the pieces as they were played duirng that time period since I did a little reenacting for a time, and wanted to present the music as it was played back then to people who had never heard it.  


I just spent the afternoon making necks, tailpieces and steamed up a couple rims WHILE listening to Tim's Buckley '68 tunes. These are a rare treat. Great sound, Tim. All kinds of snippets of familiar lines that worked their way into American music. My favorites are the minor and ragtime sounding ones.

Thanks Terry. This stuff is all over the map....early ragtime feels, hornpipes, 6/8 jigs, waltzes, schottisches, mazurkas, plain old driving stroke tunes, classical melodies, Foster songs....all of it. AND...the wonderful originals by the Buckleys....IMHO, some of the best.

Some of those chords are bizzaro  ..  but you nailed 'em.

Yea...Spalding's Jigs....???? jeez


Tim, I have spent close to twenty years studying several banjo styles including Clawhammer, Round Peak, Scruggs, and various two and three finger styles, all in addition to the variety of Stroke style as found in the tutors. I don't believe it is my point of view that is fixed. I would also appreciate a forum where one feels free to share ideas without being accused of being "narrow and snobby".

I don't see any restrictions in sharing points of view. Discussion is indeed difficult over computers. I see this dialogue rolling along. However, snobbery was your word.

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