I was reading through the Gatcomb's Gazette editions that Joel Hooks kindly uploaded, and in Volume 7 No. 3 the opening article titled "Old-Time Banjoists" provides a lot of information that is very relevant to this forum and could shed light on a number of topics discussed here including the beginnings of fingerstyle banjo. Here's a link:
Um, before we start dragging up this whole discussion of drones and drone strings and 'pedal points' yet again...can everyone please first read (or re-read) this discussion where we beat it all to death not that long ago?
I'm gonna duck out of this and go play my banjer now. How about you guys putting up a video or two of actual music playing once in a while, for a change? Dan'l? Young John? You've both been active members a long time but never seem to contribute except to debate and 'correct' others. Do you also play the banjo? Maybe time to put up some tunes and inspire somebody here in a positive way. What a concept! :)
That is over my head, CW.
More on playing styles: I mentioned Pete Seeger saying that most folks musicians that he encountered only knew maybe three songs using simple accompaniment. But he also stressed that many of these same people played with great artistry.
Artistry is not the same as technical brilliance or complexity.
Did full-time professional musicians like Converse, Weston, Ossman, Van Eps, Bacon, etc take the banjo to higher technical levels of playing than ante bellum folk players? Did they have banjos that were better made and more durable?
Seems pretty likely.
You don't need to be that good to play this music. You only need some soul.