Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

If my banjo sounds a bit weird, it's because I forgot to take the cushion out of the back! It can be too loud for practicing, otherwise. This is a fun piece to play, but I must watch my intonation...and I must learn to spell the title correctly!

Views: 140

Comment by Rob MacKillop on August 26, 2009 at 11:22am
I tried Mississippi Walk Around, but failed to make a video worth watching. It's not easy...
Comment by Tim Twiss on August 26, 2009 at 2:10pm
These little boogers are tricky!
Comment by Michael Nieman on August 31, 2009 at 5:04pm
I really enjoyed that. Can you tell me a bit about your banjo. I currently play, CH style, a Chuck Lee Ovila Vintage, but am looking around for a fretless of some kind. I like the look and sound of that banjo. I may look for something with a really big pot, like a 14", but I am really curious to know just what that is you're playing there.
I have tried to play a tune or two from Bob Fleisher's book and I find them fascinating but difficult. It's hard to get used to some of the techniques, like pulling off on a string you're not striking, that I haven't been exposed to playing CH. I really like the feel of the music, though.
Comment by Rob MacKillop on September 1, 2009 at 1:31am
Hi Michael. The banjo is an original SS Stewart 'Orchestra' model witha 12" pot, from 1880 or soon after. You can see more videos of it on my website www.ClassicBanjoRM.com . I bought it from Bernunzio - they have a website somewhere. It retains some minstrel-banjo qualities - fretless, long scale (28") and large pot, but it is also forward looking - overspun rim. Perfect for the transitional repertoire between minstrel and classic styles.

I'm not a clawhammer player, and don't regard myself as a stroke player, but I am exploring both. It is my understanding (and I am often completely wrong) that pulling off the string you are not striking is indeed known to both styles, and is called an alternate string pulloff or ASPO. I'm sure there must be youtube videos talking about the technique. Look for the amazing video by Tom Collins on the Round Peak style.

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