Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

A close up on the right-hand fingering by Converse, focussing on his use of the 'hammer' and 'combination' strokes

Views: 100

Comment by Rob MacKillop on August 20, 2009 at 8:57am
Please don't think I'm being arrogant by uploading this after only playing stroke style for a very short time, as clearly I can't play it! But hopefully my bad playing will help some!

Converse is very clear about how to play each individual note, which doesn't mean, of course, that if you don't play it this way you are doing it wrong - far from it - but he clearly knew what he was talking about, so I think his technique is worth looking closely at.

I have put the score on the Photos page of this site, for those of you who would like to try it. Converse tuned his banjo eAEG#B.

Please feel free to criticise positively. I feel strongly that we should be helping each other as we explore this magical instrument, its history and its repertoire. And, of course, look at Tim's video of this piece to hear how it should be played!
Comment by Rob MacKillop on August 20, 2009 at 9:01am
Excuse the 'senior moment' at 1min 55seconds - I forgot who, where, and why for a few seconds! Getting old!
Comment by Greg Adams on August 20, 2009 at 10:55am
Great job Rob. Two thumbs up from me. It's very satisfying to see how others are taking an interest in thinking about this music more deeply (at least from a structural perspective). Tim has really mastered Converse's 1886/87 approach and his outline for economy of motion. Your play-by-play breakdown is quite meaningful! Keep it up!
Comment by Rob MacKillop on August 20, 2009 at 12:09pm
That's a relief. Thanks, Greg.
Comment by Trapdoor2 on August 20, 2009 at 8:10pm
Brilliant!

Gee, if I had access to this sort of information back when I started playing the banjo...

Well done, Rob!
Comment by Rob MacKillop on August 21, 2009 at 5:14am
Thanks Marc. We need more of this stuff here, but from people who know what they are talking about!

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