Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

 Hello to the members of Minstrel Banjo.

I am new to the group, and I learned of it from a member on another banjo site. I have always loved the minstrel music, but was always afraid to give it a try. I have played banjo in the past, twelve years ago I started playing claw hammer, but had only played for a few months and I went through a rough divorce. So I put the banjo up and just started playing again. I also bought a Prust tack-head banjo w/ a calfskin head and flush frets which I will get in a couple of weeks. I love the sound of gut strings, and the deep bass sound it gives when played. My concern is that I  know nothing about Minstrel music, or even which book or books to get. I was very lucky on the claw hammer banjo hang out site, where a member had posted a book he wrote, and several songs with it. I also have Ken Perlmans books and CD's to help me, as well as Bob Carlin's DVD'S. I live in Puerto Rico, so needless to say there is no one here that plays banjo that I have found. So for now my learning will come from the help of fellow banjo players and the tab books I can order. Again thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful group.

Sincerely,

Oldbeginner

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There are some excellent places to start.  The first question is whether you read music, tablature, or both.  If you read tab, two great places to start are The Dr. Horsehair/Bob Flesher books.  http://www.drhorsehair.com/bookbag.html

 

His Learning Minstrel Banjo and The Minstrel Banjo Stroke Style books are where I first got started.  Joe Weidlich's book

The Early Minstrel Banjo: Technique and Repertoire

 

http://www.amazon.com/Early-Minstrel-Banjo-Technique-Repertoire/dp/...

is also an excellent resource.

 

Eventually you will want to look at the banjo instructors

Briggs, T. F. (1855 / 1992). Briggs' Banjo Instructor. Boston, Ma / Bremo Bluff, Va: OliverDitson / Tuckahoe Music.

Buckley, J. (1868). Buckley's Banjo Guide. Boston, Ma: Oliver Ditson & Co.

Buckley, J. (1860). Buckley's New Banjo Method. Boston, Ma: Oliver Ditson & Company.

Converse, F. B. (1886). Frank B Converse's Analytic Banjo Method. New York: S. T. Gordon & Son.

Converse, F. B. (1865). Frank B Converse's New and Complete Method for the Banjo, With or Without a Master. New York: S.T. Gordon.

Some of these are available at the banjo clubhouse (see the link on our main menu bar).

Additional resource that I use are:

Partner, D., & Sims, E. J. (2008). With My Banjo ON My Knee. Anaheim Hills, Ca: Centerstream Publishing, Inc.

Rice, P. (1858). Phil. Rice's Method for hte Banjo, with or without a master. Boston, Ma: Oliver Ditson & Co.

Sky, P. (2001). Howe's 1000 Jigs and Reels, clog dances, contra dances... Pacific, Mo: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.

Sky, P. (1995). Ryan's Mammoth Collection - 1050 Reels and Jigs and how to play them. Pacific, Mo: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.

Weidlich, J. (2004). The Early Minstrel Banjo Technique and Repertoire. Aneheim Hills, Ca: Centerstream Publishing.

Williams, V. (2008). The Peter Beemer Manuscript. Seattle, Wa: Voyager Recordings and Publications.

 

Thank you John for such wonderful information. I will be checking them all out in the cays to come. Thanks again for the information.

John Masciale said:

There are some excellent places to start.  The first question is whether you read music, tablature, or both.  If you read tab, two great places to start are The Dr. Horsehair/Bob Flesher books.  http://www.drhorsehair.com/bookbag.html

 

His Learning Minstrel Banjo and The Minstrel Banjo Stroke Style books are where I first got started.  Joe Weidlich's book

The Early Minstrel Banjo: Technique and Repertoire

 

http://www.amazon.com/Early-Minstrel-Banjo-Technique-Repertoire/dp/...

is also an excellent resource.

 

Eventually you will want to look at the banjo instructors

Briggs, T. F. (1855 / 1992). Briggs' Banjo Instructor. Boston, Ma / Bremo Bluff, Va: OliverDitson / Tuckahoe Music.

Buckley, J. (1868). Buckley's Banjo Guide. Boston, Ma: Oliver Ditson & Co.

Buckley, J. (1860). Buckley's New Banjo Method. Boston, Ma: Oliver Ditson & Company.

Converse, F. B. (1886). Frank B Converse's Analytic Banjo Method. New York: S. T. Gordon & Son.

Converse, F. B. (1865). Frank B Converse's New and Complete Method for the Banjo, With or Without a Master. New York: S.T. Gordon.

Some of these are available at the banjo clubhouse (see the link on our main menu bar).

Additional resource that I use are:

Partner, D., & Sims, E. J. (2008). With My Banjo ON My Knee. Anaheim Hills, Ca: Centerstream Publishing, Inc.

Rice, P. (1858). Phil. Rice's Method for hte Banjo, with or without a master. Boston, Ma: Oliver Ditson & Co.

Sky, P. (2001). Howe's 1000 Jigs and Reels, clog dances, contra dances... Pacific, Mo: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.

Sky, P. (1995). Ryan's Mammoth Collection - 1050 Reels and Jigs and how to play them. Pacific, Mo: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.

Weidlich, J. (2004). The Early Minstrel Banjo Technique and Repertoire. Aneheim Hills, Ca: Centerstream Publishing.

Williams, V. (2008). The Peter Beemer Manuscript. Seattle, Wa: Voyager Recordings and Publications.

 

Also check out the videos on here and at the Banjo Clubhouse. There's no tool more important than your own ears.

Paul

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