Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

From p. 105 of Frank Converse's Analytical Banjo method, meticulously notated syncopation & all.

Views: 79

Comment by Paul Draper on July 1, 2019 at 10:41am

Great job Andy. Sounds good on that banjo too

Comment by Andy Chase on July 1, 2019 at 11:09am

Thanks, Paul! I still need to record a take on a fretless banjo, but it's been brutally humid here the last week or so.

Comment by Paul Draper on July 1, 2019 at 11:42am

Yeah, tell me about the humidity... I did a workshop using my gourd banjo at Old Songs Festival In Altamont NY on Saturday. The head held up pretty well (smaller head) but my left hand was sticking to the neck. Sebastopol Breakdown was pretty broken down....

Comment by Andy Chase on July 1, 2019 at 1:22pm

I don't need another minstrel banjo but I sure would like to have one with a renaissance head.

Comment by Strumelia on July 1, 2019 at 1:52pm

Hmm, I forgot when Oldsongs was, i thought it was later on.  If you had told me about your workshop, we might have remembered to come!!  I could have done some contra dancing, too.  D'oh.

Comment by Paul Draper on July 1, 2019 at 3:13pm

Ah, Lisa that’s too bad, I didn’t even think of it... I was kind of rattled anyway - Vida and I were Crew leaders for the main gate, ooooffffff..... (maybe we should think about something for next year: bones, banjos, fiddle demonstration on our favorite 19th c tunes... something to think about...). PS - get on the OldSongs.org mailing list....

Comment by Andy Chase on July 1, 2019 at 4:50pm

I found the beginning and end actually pretty to keep straight once I got the funky groove down, but the madness from measure 18-24 or so makes it easy to derail!

Comment by Joel Hooks on July 2, 2019 at 3:51pm

I think it is fantastic!

The fretted banjo up to concert pitch is approprate.  Tubs were out of fashion by 1886.

Comment by Andy Chase on July 3, 2019 at 4:22pm

Yes, there are a lot of pieces in this book that I wouldn't even attempt on a tub.  This one in particular is pretty fun pitched way down to the extra-anachronistic Briggs tuning, though.  Alas, it seems the humidity is back with a vengeance!

Comment by Strumelia on July 3, 2019 at 6:54pm

I wouldn't attempt this on a tuba.


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