Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

December 2012 Blog Posts (6)

Frank Converse "Banjo Without A Master"


I'm going in for another project, this one being the 1865 book "Banjo Without A Master" by Frank Converse.

It will go up, one song at a time from front to back, but it may go a bit slower because I am going to write them out in Sibelius as I go. Been meaning to do this for a long time, so this will make a nice quartet of books. Watch for them as they go up at

www.timtwiss.com and hit "Music…


Added by Tim Twiss on December 28, 2012 at 7:25pm — 9 Comments

Rice and Briggs' CDs

While I am at it, if any body wants hard copies of the Briggs' or Rice music, I am making some today and can send them out. Same price as download, and I'll include postage.

Added by Tim Twiss on December 27, 2012 at 8:02am — 1 Comment

Smithsonian Magazine article & video "Music During the American Civil War"

This video and text probably won't provide much new or interesting to members of this site, but we never know just what important tidbit we might stumble across. Anyway, it is definitely worth sharing with acquaintances who might be interested in what we are so passionate about, and it would likely enhance their knowledge on the subject in general.


The musicians of the Union and Confederate armies provided strong memories of the homes left…


Added by Bryant Henderson on December 19, 2012 at 12:58pm — No Comments

Tambo on Ebay

Neat looking tambourine. Wonder if it's as old as they claim? http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Antique-Tambourine-Brass-Banjo-hardware-All-original-Minstrel-Era-/181046686874?pt=Folk_Art&hash=item2a2739349a 

Added by Ian Bell on December 18, 2012 at 12:13pm — 9 Comments

Early American Classics for Banjo

Have become absolutely obsessed with this book by Rob MacKillop.  Can't seem to do the old time stroke, but I can certainly pick single notes(to much time spent on the Scruggs style).  I love the sound and music of a by gone era.  Has anyone else used this book and if you have, what do you think of it?

Added by Jonathan Weaver on December 17, 2012 at 5:54pm — 1 Comment

Having the guts to repair a string....

I broke a string tonight while playing. Judy immediately said, "Wow, I didn't realize I could do that with my mind..." (That's why I love her)
Not a suitable gut spare to be found and not enough left on the peg to make up the difference, but I did have a baggie of random string ends. I now have a 1st string with not one, but two splices in it — one above the nut and one below the bridge. Seems to be holding so far. Three cheers for natural materials.

Added by Ian Bell on December 16, 2012 at 10:58pm — 8 Comments


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