Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Tim Twiss's Blog (111)

Banjo tunings and pitch

I am glad to have 2 instruments, especially now when i am experimenting with pitch. I seldom leave an instrument in the E Rice tuning, but am starting to leave my Hartel tuned up. I'll post some tunes with it for contrast.....I'll tell you how it feels, and see if there is any percieved difference to a listener. Should take a look at this, since.....well, that is what they said it was. Funny how we all stick with D.

Added by Tim Twiss on March 27, 2013 at 7:54am — No Comments

Green Converse Continued

Okay, I'm back in the tutor recording biz. The best thing to do when something isn't happening is to walk away...let it breathe for a while. I'm back at the Guitar Style section...and it seems to be happening. Did 4 of them...up at:


go to music page

Added by Tim Twiss on February 16, 2013 at 10:42pm — 5 Comments

New Product

Okay, so I have gathered this huge resource of "pure tutor" material. Unalterted, straight ahead versions of our main books...Briggs', Rice, Buckley 1860, Converse Green and Yellow. It is a lot to absorb, even on digital downloads. I am experimenting with "samplers". I put one together with 40 selections chosen from all. I will give away 2 to the first respondents, with the promise of getting feedback. After that, I will sell and send these CD's for $13.00 including shipping.  They are…


Added by Tim Twiss on February 11, 2013 at 10:40am — No Comments

This music...

....is so enjoyable because it can be done on so many different levels. Simple simple stroke tune sound good. ALWAYS...the vocal stuff is great. Our genre includes some fancy advanced pieces, as well as guitar style. It is so very wide open. That is partially why it is so difficult to disseminate sometimes.

Added by Tim Twiss on February 9, 2013 at 2:37pm — No Comments


...for me, it is when a bad day of playing doesn't sound as awful as it used to.

Added by Tim Twiss on February 8, 2013 at 1:04am — No Comments


....for me, it's when a bad day of playin' is not as awful as it used to be.

Added by Tim Twiss on February 8, 2013 at 1:02am — No Comments


I know you guys can't see it, but spammers are knocking at our door like Night of the Living Dead. crazy....we filter carefully.

Added by Tim Twiss on February 5, 2013 at 9:26am — 5 Comments


Having posted these last few tunes, I just picked up the banjo and did a few that were among the first I did when I began videos in 2008. One new one...."Nelly Bly" with the guitar. It's a time to pause and reflect, and then of course to get on to the next thing.

The book release has been good, and I thank all of you that got it. Always to clarify, it is a Primer, and a book to:

  • Lay a solid foundation
  • Provide an entry level repertoire
  • Probe the future by…

Added by Tim Twiss on January 27, 2013 at 4:00pm — No Comments


I'm licking my chops.....looking at that Green Converse Book. When to start...? I seem to get posessed by it once I start, so I have to make sure the rest of life is in order first...ha ha.

I plan on that and the Buckley 1868 soon.

Added by Tim Twiss on January 13, 2013 at 6:34pm — 37 Comments

New Videos-Buckley

I'm putting up some new videos. When I was playing through the ttors a while back for videos, I thought I had all the tunes up. I seem to be missing some, so I created a few of these from the audio I did recently. Nothing fancy in the visual, but a static picture supports listening to the music.

Added by Tim Twiss on January 9, 2013 at 11:12pm — 1 Comment

Case for Banjo

I ended up with one extra case. It is an Access brand gig bag and has lots of support. Real stiff and protective. Like new. I even have a good shipping box to get it to you. Anybody interested, contact me and i'll give you a photo and dimensions. It won't fit a real long Minstrel.

Added by Tim Twiss on January 8, 2013 at 7:07am — No Comments


Thanks all, for visiting my site and taking advantage of the holiday download special. As usual, if you had (or have) any difficulty getting a tune or two, or if one was cut short, please let me know and I will send you the file right away. Don't forget to check out the Little Yellow Book by Converse. This material came out really well. Essential Stroke stuff...great tunes!

Also, on the site there are 11 original banjo books to download free. Thanks…


Added by Tim Twiss on January 4, 2013 at 8:27am — 4 Comments

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

BUCKLEY 1860 - Part 3



Today I began the last leg of the Buckley adventure. Above is the address where you can tune in and check it out. This will certainly be the most challenging, as it contains the fiddle repertoire in the back. Many are written with one or two sharps, and there is no thumb string indication. What to choose....thumb string as "D" or "E"? I'll talk about it one…


Added by Tim Twiss on November 26, 2012 at 9:00am — 62 Comments

Buckley 1860 - Part 2

So I sub-divided the book into 3 parts to make each volume a reasonable size. ( appr. 38 tunes each ). This is the start of the second part, beginning on page 25 with Raccoon Jig, and Corn-husking Jig. I've done them both a lot before, but as usual....under close scrutiny, flaws pop up that need fixing. Got 2 pretty good takes, using the Bell Boucher for this leg of the trip. The interpretation of the dotted rhythm is a bit of a beautiful mystery to me yet...

Added by Tim Twiss on November 15, 2012 at 11:10pm — 36 Comments

Buckley 1860

I blogged my way through Briggs' and Rice as I was recording them. Time to settle down and attack the Buckley 1860. My car car is out of commission, it's getting cold, I have a nice banjo....so here I go. Front to back...the instrumentals. It's a chance to comment on them as i go, with remarks about stroke or fingerstyle choices, and wrong note included in score. No need to respond if you don't don't want to, but this will go on for a while. As I do them, they will be for sale on my music…


Added by Tim Twiss on November 4, 2012 at 10:43pm — 39 Comments

Sweeney Fun

I think it would be a riot to take some time and pay tribute to Joe Sweeney's known repertoire. It is not huge. Break out the sawbucks, the boards to tap on, dress up a bit.....they could be representations of what we think he sounded like...or just tributes in your own style. Could be fun and informitive.

Added by Tim Twiss on November 4, 2012 at 10:10pm — No Comments


Hey, I hope all you East Coasters are safe.....

Check in when you can.


Added by Tim Twiss on October 30, 2012 at 8:53am — 3 Comments

Dandy Jim

I just was thinking about this one. It was one of the first ones I learned, but I never did this one (vocally at least). Of course it needs sprucing up a bit before I take it out, ha ha.

Anybody have the words to the "Company i" variation?

Added by Tim Twiss on September 30, 2012 at 5:34pm — 1 Comment


John Masciale created this Ning Network.

© 2020   Created by John Masciale.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service