Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Buckley via Rice, edited MacKillop.

Views: 118

Comment by Tim Twiss on August 22, 2009 at 7:46am
That gourd sounds nice. They are unlike anything, aren't they. Your right hand looks so good...really good. The hammer just becomes a simple way to execute single notes with "i". No pinky stickin' out showing any signs of tension either.
Re: arrangement-you've certainly put it "inside" with your changes. I'm not sure I agree with them however. You should play many more of those Rice tunes...especially "Whoop" and "Where's dat Nigger". Thank goodness there are good fingerings which gives you a cross reference for mistakes. The interval of a 4th is quite common, and is the intent of the piece. You get used to hearing it...it may be a key to some sort of African connection, but I have nothing to base that on as fact. It is true that many Rice pieces are very different from the others.
And hey...if your gourd slips off your leg, try shelving paper...tacky, and cheap to get. I settled on the gourd between my legs, as the early pictures show.
Comment by Rob MacKillop on August 22, 2009 at 2:35pm
Here is the TAB. I've ironed-out what I think are mistakes. Not 100 per cent sure, though, so make your own mind up. ComeShineOutPeggy.pdf

This is also the debut of my Nate Calkins gourd banjo. It sounds better in the evening, but is enjoyable to play at any time of day. I've ordered a slightly higher bridge so I can get a lower pitch without buzzing.
Comment by Rob MacKillop on August 22, 2009 at 2:50pm
I guess my right hand does look relaxed, but I look miserable! I must have been concentrating too hard. This stroke thing takes a bit of getting used to, but I think Converse is helping me develop a useful right hand, but I still find it hard work, especially fast triplets such as at the end of Briggs' Breakdown. I can't believe the speed you guys take it at. My playing is stiff, boring, uninspired - but I musn't be too hard on myself. Small steps...

For those of you who printed out my tab, the date is wrong - should be 1858, not 1860 (I was thinking of Buckley's book). I've now uploaded a corrected version.

I'm using a strap with my gourd - slippery little thing!

Regarding the arrangement - as I said, I was not sure, and I worry about ironing-out harmonic idiosyncrasies. Robert Burns put it perfectly when he heard that the classical composer, Pleyel, was to arrange some Scottish traditional airs:

''Whatever Mr Pleyel does, let him not alter one iota of the original Scots air [...] But, let our National Music preserve its native features - They are, I believe, frequently wild, & unreduceable to the more modern rules; but on that very eccentricity, perhaps, depends a great part of their effect.''

So please don't take my 'edition' as definitive. Rather, it is just one of a few possibilities.
Comment by Strumelia on September 16, 2014 at 10:56am

Hey Rob, I really enjoyed this!   Sounds nice and clean, and lovely round tone from that gourd...are you still playing it I hope?   I'm going to go to Rice and see if I can give it a tussle myself.  Thanks for the inspiration!

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