Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

All Blog Posts (282)


Per our discussion at the conference I've added a page named AEBG where we can do things specifically for the conference.

Added by John Masciale on June 25, 2014 at 12:51pm — No Comments


Hi Folks - I took video of everyone's performances at the Dunker Church concert on Sunday.  If you would like me to post your performance for our Ning brethren and sistren who where not there, I will gladly do so.  All performances were very good!  One caveat -- I really MESSED UP the audio on some of these videos thereby spoiling an otherwise great performance.  I sincerely apologize for that.  Mea maxima culpa!  I'll know better next time, I hope.... On the plus side, the audio of the…


Added by Paul Draper on June 25, 2014 at 11:01am — 9 Comments

Have Fun in Antietam!

Wish I could come, but pesky work has gotten in the way again. Plunk one out for me!

Added by Ian Bell on June 18, 2014 at 8:35am — 2 Comments

Kerr's in Breakout Group

I posted a video of some tunes I will present in a small breakout group at AEBG. I'll have TAB there. These present interesting banjo opportunities, as does much of the book. They lay well, are pretty simple, and include many things that make the banjo fun....playing up high, pulls and slurs, double notes, Hammers and Strikes.

Added by Tim Twiss on June 16, 2014 at 8:04am — No Comments

Track sheets for CDs



Here are the tunes on the CDs

Added by Tim Twiss on June 15, 2014 at 7:56pm — No Comments

Steel Strings during the Civil war

Does anyone know weather there would have been Banjos with steel strings during the Civil War Period.

I will take my answers off the air...thank you.


Added by Nicholas A Bechtel on June 4, 2014 at 9:45pm — 3 Comments


Wes....thanks for sending the tune I tried it. What surrounds it.......?

Added by Tim Twiss on April 27, 2014 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

AEBG Registration

I was talking to Mark Weems today and we both wondered whether we  had possibly missed some announcement about registration for AEBG.  I know when the dates are, but by this time of the year in the past, I had already registered.  Anyone have info on this?

Added by Rob Morrison on April 25, 2014 at 4:00pm — 4 Comments


Anyone going to AEBG that wants to try something a little different? Perhaps a duet with nice arranged parts? The Dobson "New System for the Banjo " has a few.

Added by Tim Twiss on April 24, 2014 at 8:02pm — No Comments

Hangout Waltzes

Voting is still open over on the Hangout. Go over there and help one of our guys win a Bell.

Added by Tim Twiss on April 15, 2014 at 10:00pm — 9 Comments

Soldier's Joy

I wonder why this tune gets skipped over. I do not see many people do it.

Added by Tim Twiss on March 19, 2014 at 7:36am — 15 Comments


The whole thing about thumb strings developed from a discussion about repertoire and styles of Early Banjo. I hope someone wants to jump back in and discuss music. 

Added by Tim Twiss on February 10, 2014 at 10:13am — 14 Comments

homemade gourd banjo

Hi. Just built, with the generous help of a luthier friend, a gourd banjo similar to the one in the 1790 painting The Old Plantation.

Got me wondering, do we know how they would have been tuned at the time? I have the 3 and a half strings…


Added by Jim Jacquet on February 5, 2014 at 5:19pm — No Comments

Early Banjo Book

Special on this Early Banjo book CD pack. It contains the essential material in tab from the 19th Century instructional books on how to play Stroke Style banjo. Enhance your current skills...or try something brand new. It covers the moves, and does not…


Added by Tim Twiss on January 30, 2014 at 9:30am — 3 Comments


What a great night. It is like..."The Saturday Evening Post"...ha ha

Almost like getting a live concert from around the country.

I love all the new music.....different twists everyone has.

Added by Tim Twiss on January 25, 2014 at 7:17pm — 2 Comments


And out of nowhere comes NOAH CLINE with a strong triple.

Go man! Sounds fabulous.

Added by Tim Twiss on January 25, 2014 at 7:01pm — No Comments

Repertoire and Tutors

The more I study and play this material, the more I realize....that repertoire expands so far beyond the first books. While they give us insight as to what the source material was, and how things were arranged....we should never be limited to those books. If that genre had lasted longer...there could have been dozens upon dozens of books. It is open to any vocal piece or linear music you can fit onto the instrument.

Added by Tim Twiss on January 24, 2014 at 12:50pm — No Comments


This resource continues to blow me away, with it's adaptability to the banjo. It's not just playing the notes from these pages, but creating some nice things within. You can make some cool things by thinking out the pulls and open string phrases. It becomes unique then. I'll post an example of a new find. I just sit down for pleasure every day and find another. With about 400 in each book, and 4 volumes.....I will not run dry for a LONG time. Not all keepers, but some are.

Added by Tim Twiss on January 23, 2014 at 8:16am — No Comments

Key of F...

What would YOU do??

If you get a piece of fiddle music in F? Which note do you reference as the thumb string?

Added by Tim Twiss on January 22, 2014 at 9:21am — 2 Comments


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