Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

One thing we really do not know about playing this old music....is where does the beat lay? Was there a greater emphasis on the downbeat, or the backbeat? It works either way. Some performers use one...some the other. I don't know that there are any historical indicators. Any opinions?

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Well, Injun Rubber is not exactly the norm rhythmically is it? Some of the really funky pieces do work well with an offbeat.

What makes that funky? Only the interpretation...right?

The notation itself. 

Listen to the beat on this one. It produces a real excitement. Banjo is in there too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcRB062Ay1M

Not sure what you mean Mark....specifically??  Re: Injun Rubber


That is very cool.
Mark Weems said:

Listen to the beat on this one. It produces a real excitement. Banjo is in there too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcRB062Ay1M

Injun Rubber...it is in the interpretation. All those push beats are added by the participants. I agree, it naturally may do that, but the notation itself does not play that. I bet that if you played this in the way you approach many songs, slower with a straight 4 beat....and played the notation as written, you would have yet another creation...that would be pretty cool.

Tim, you should make a video playing Old Dan Tucker with emphasis on the offbeat and let's see what it would  sound like.

Here is one on file. My foot and the tuba have a strong downbeat, but the fiddle and my rhythm man ( on a washboard ) tend to comp on the off beat....Feedback on this please.

A fine example of rushing too...ha ha. sorry

Mark...back to the notation, what is it in your opinion that makes it funky?

The notated rhythm of that piece is unusual for the early repertoire. Beat is always up to how you feel it. Play everything on the offbeat if you want - no one will tell you your wrong. Just do it the way you feel it. I'm sure that's what they did back in the day. All great music comes from a players soul anyway, not from a piece of paper. No right or wrong here.

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