Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

11/26/12

http://timtwiss.com/musicstore/

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 by one as i get there...so far as I'm concerned, if there is no thumb string indicator, interpretation is up for grabs. These were just added without much thought to being an actual banjo arrangement. I'm sure they were thought out and played by banjoists. What this tells me is that the source is unlimited if we use the fiddle repertoire. Buckley also published fiddle books. He even inducated in this book that these can be played on the fiddle.

Hang on as the fretless goes up into the upper atmosphere. I believe this is fretted territory, but I am going to do them all on fretless. Possible, but not practical...is how i view many of these.

I begin with Picayune Butler's Harmonic Jig. I "found a way" after thinking about it and trying lots of options. The indications for playing the harmonics are not totally clear. See what you think. 

Views: 873

Comment by Tim Twiss on December 9, 2012 at 4:54pm

12/9/12

Okay, that's 100 down, 16 to go. Whew. Today so far, I did Dick Sliter's Reel  & Phil Isaac's Jig. I almost lifted the Rice version of Dick Sliter over, but in the interest of the purity of this project, I redid it. Might have even found a new fingering for it. Phil Isaac's Jig is a longtime favorite. Never take it for granted that it is easy to play. Clarity on the pulled notes is always a challenge. On to the next, which should go down quickly. After that...not sure. One tune at a time baby!!

Comment by Tim Twiss on December 9, 2012 at 6:35pm

Got a good take of Jake bacchus' Reel. Been playing it a long time, but there is always something new to find if you concentrate. ...a wrong note, making the rests clearer, an new fingering or articulation. It is so worth it to revisit repertoire.

Comment by Tim Twiss on December 9, 2012 at 10:14pm

Added Gotham Jig. If you have not tried this twisty weird little tune, you should.

Comment by Tim Twiss on December 10, 2012 at 11:01am

12/10/12

Recorded King of all Reels. Good, but where did that title come from? I found it also as Lardner's Reel in Ryan's ....page 44.

Comment by Tim Twiss on December 10, 2012 at 11:02pm

Added Bacchus' Favorite Jig. It certainly isn't mine. It was okay...but did nothing for me. Oh well....onward. Japanese Tommy's reel??? Okay, that should be fun. I'll be checking back.

Comment by Tim Twiss on December 11, 2012 at 2:02pm

12/11/12

I'm sort of taking my time, and letting Japanese Tommy breathe a bit, to get a good take. I listened to about 50 of these on a shuffle play this morning in my car, and I feel good about them. Just to take a moment and restate my purpose.....this is not a creative or artistic project. Don't get me wrong...i am trying to play them all well and skillfully, but the main purpose is to try and have recordings that are true to the music. It is simple, clear, and as written....taking into consideration the best tempo choice. The sound of the banjo is recorded with no reverb or gadgets to change the sound. Hopefully, this will become a reference....a jumping off point for other's (mine included) artistic and soulful renditions. I truly believe that one must (should0) understand the basics...the core of the pure music, before really branching out and changing it. 

Comment by Tim Twiss on December 12, 2012 at 11:12pm

12/12/12

Got a good take of Japanese Tommy's Reel. The next one, Root hog or die may have to waiat until morning. Still trying some different tempos. It has some unusual triplets and 32nd note runs that need to settle down a bit.

Comment by Tim Twiss on December 13, 2012 at 6:22am

12/13/12

Okay, I got that good version of Root Hog or Die. Worth sitting on overnight....fresh catch in the morning. On to the next one...New London Reel. I know I have played it before, but of course there is no recollection. I'll have to let old muscle memory gradually surface.

Comment by Tim Twiss on December 13, 2012 at 6:22am

12/13/12

Okay, I got that good version of Root Hog or Die. Worth sitting on overnight....fresh catch in the morning. On to the next one...New London Reel. I know I have played it before, but of course there is no recollection. I'll have to let old muscle memory gradually surface.

Comment by Tim Twiss on December 14, 2012 at 8:21am

12/14/12

This morning I added New London Reel. It went down well. The instrument sounded spectacular, and I am certainly "in shape" now. This is sort of like the part of a long backpacking trip where your pack is lighter, you are well conditioned, and you savor the last part of the trail.

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