Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't actually play my Minstrel Banjo, ............... ............. at least not yet.
I also have an old S.S.Stewart Banjo:
I picked that up on eBay & I have it fitted with NylGut strings.
To tell the truth I haven't gotten round to learning how t play that either .... so many instruments .., so little time!
Anyway, back to the Minstrel Banjo.
I'm actually from Edinburgh myself & I bought that old Banjo back in the early 70s when I was working in the shop Grants, at North Bridge, just off the Royal Mile, but then your probably too young to remember that!
Anyway, one member of staff was short of a stake one day for the GGs so he sold it to me for £5!
If your interested in seeing it, the next time I'm heading home, I'll be happy to stick it in the car & we could meet up.
You can then perhaps help me set it up properly, then maybe I can start learning to play it.
No, I actually just started playing clawhammper a few months ago. First instrument I have ever played in my life! And I am not so great at it. Anyway, I was strolling down the internet highway when I stumbled on this website. I loved the sound of the minstel banjo playing I was hearing so I wanted to explore it some to see if it was a direction I wanted to go.
Hi rob thanks for the welcome
Am really an uilleann piper with a thing about the 5 strings roll in irish music during the 19th century (funky chickin & egg thing). Making a tackhead banjo at the mo so thought this group would be the people for advise should i need any.
Cheers pal & take it easy
I knew Scott when I was in College in the early 70s. He had come to Canada (as a draft dodger, I believe) and was teaching film studies in Toronto. When I got my old Peerless banjo about that same time he told me I should put nylon strings on it - and I did. They were hard to get in those days. I regret - especially now - that I never managed to see the William Miles banjo quartette. I was involved with my own ancient musical guru at the time, a wonderful old fiddle player who eventually lived to be 100. The article does a good job conveying Scott's wonderful mystic relationship with the banjo and with music in general. I never had any contact after he moved back to the States and didn't even know that he'd died until I stumbled on this essay.
Thanks for your welcome to Minstrel Banjo. I will check in at Classical Banjo, as you suggested. You may be interested to know that I introduced one of my Washburns to Mac McNagthen at Clifford Essex early in the 1970's shortly after I acquired it. I had only recently acquired it in Dublin and wanted an appraisal. My wife and I spent an hour in the shop with him, listening to 78s of his teacher (whose name escapes me -- you may be able to fill in the blank) on a wind-up Victrola and admiring his banjo, on which he allowed me to play Pete Seeger's arrangement of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring". We were charmed, but I didn't really appreciate the encounter until decades later. By the way, I watched one of your videos today -- Grimshaw's etude on the 7-string banjo -- with immense pleasure.
Difficult to keep up with you. You keep popping up in so many places. Discovered this site through a link from BanjoHangout. Extremely pleased that you were good in 2010 and Santa let you keep the Mercier. Looking forward to mine. I thoroughly enjoy your uploads and looking forward to your new book and CD. Hoping that the New Year will shine brightly on your family and fill it with health, wealth and happiness...and of course a full year of music in your head, soul and fingers. And thanks for your sharing your gifts will all of us who pick up a banjo.