Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Stroke Style Banjo/ Phil Rice's Method for the Banjo 1858, "Where did you come from"

Views: 140

Comment by Tim Twiss on July 25, 2012 at 11:13pm

Nice job on a hard tune. It looks easy, and is in the front of the book, but it is not. Swinging the eighth notes.....why not? Check however, M19....giving the full length of the quarter note will change it a bit. I like the camera angle. Bravo for a good video.

Comment by Doug Goodner on July 26, 2012 at 1:03pm
Good job, Nick! Now I know where you've been... practicing.
Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on July 26, 2012 at 1:08pm

Thanks Doug!, sorry I didn't make it last night I decided to hang here. I have just submerged myself into the Rice tutor, not coming out till I'm done with each song. There is so much out there, felt I needed to focus on one thing, then move on. The Guitar style stuff is making me want to jump into that....in time 

Comment by Strumelia on July 26, 2012 at 2:08pm

What lovely tune- I really like some of those parts in it.

And the video camera view is terrific.

Tim's correct that you are 'swinging' those pairs of 8th notes in Rice...making them more like a dotted eighth with a sixteenth note rather than two eighth notes, followed by the normal quarter note...definitely gives a different feel to the tune as written- not sure if you chose to do that purposely, it sounds nice in any case.   :)

I hope to be able to play as well as you in the not too distant future.

Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on July 26, 2012 at 3:31pm

Outstanding feedback, Thank you Strumelia. This is something I have to look at. I have a tendency to swing my eighth notes, I do it when I fiddle also. I want to post these videos for just this reason,...pointers, and critique. So very helpful. As I said in my post to Doug, I am worshiping at the alter of Phil Rice's tutor for now. Want to work my way through the book. From my first video I was given insight to my right hand, and once again I took my eighth notes and managed to turn them into triplets...I am figuring it out.  Cheers!

Comment by Strumelia on July 26, 2012 at 4:38pm

Nicholas, the 8th note thing is pretty subtle.  Here's an example of the timing as written in Rice:

It may also be that the funny little extra tail added to the top of each thumb note suggests that it might be a 16th note, when in fact it's just a stylistic graphic embellishment on the 8th note. (Um, I hope I'm not wrong about that, or else forget everything I'm saying!)  =8-* 

I also just recorded a dorky  little .wav file to try to enable you to hear what Tim was talking about.

Here are 4 little hummed phrases...

Phrases 1 and 3 are as written in the Rice example.

Phrases 2 and 4 are as you are playing it, doing the little 'swing' thing:

note durations

Hope this helps visualize (auralize? lol) it a bit better. 

I'm sure you are not the only person to do this. I think all of us are now hard-wired to feel more comfortable with a swingier rhythm, and less comfortable with the older 'straight laced' sound.  It reminds me a bit of the difference between old-time style playing and the newer bluegrass style playing- a lot of the difference is just little things swinging the rhythm.

Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on July 26, 2012 at 5:01pm

WOW!!! that was very helpful. I think you are right, I think I looked at the extra tail on the thumb note and fired it off as a 16th note. How wonderful...this is so cool. And yes listening to it as an example was very helpful. Thank you Strumelia.

Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on July 26, 2012 at 5:08pm

Hey again, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to make that recording and send me this example. What a great community this is. Thanks again!!!! 

Comment by Carl Anderton on July 26, 2012 at 6:48pm

Nick, all relevant commentary aside...you are a helluva stroke-stylist... it's great to see all your hard work paying dividends.  It's a long ways off but we're gonna tear it up at the next Gathering.  Keep it up.

Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on July 26, 2012 at 10:10pm

Thank you both, and thanks Carl, I love this and hope to be doing it a long time. I appreciate the help from everyone. Cheers!!


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