Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

This satirical parody of Dan Emmett’s “Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel,” was written by John Reuben Thompson and published in 1863. The song describes the ...

Views: 48

Comment by Al Smitley on March 26, 2022 at 7:57pm

Well done!  As soon as I saw "5:39", I thought, "Paul's going to to the whole thing!"  That is rarely done.  Not only is it well done but, in my opinion, you win the all-time prize for ambition!!

Comment by Al Smitley on March 26, 2022 at 8:22pm

I hope you don't mind but I re-posted it on Facebook as I thought perhaps some of my 1860s base ballists and history teacher friends might like it.

Comment by Paul Draper on March 26, 2022 at 8:47pm

Thanks, Al.  Yeah, 5:39 will try the patience of most casual listeners.  This one is tough to articulate well, and I garbled some words - but after my own “half-a-dozen slips” I was too lazy to go for yet another take!  Anyway, thanks for listening.

Comment by Al Smitley on March 27, 2022 at 5:31am

You're playing it in 'C'?

Comment by Paul Draper on March 27, 2022 at 6:57am

Yes. 

Comment by Al Smitley on March 27, 2022 at 8:28am

In 'G' tuning?  Sorry to continue this inquiry.  I've played the tune in 'D' and 'G' but never tried it in 'C', which isn't too hard but awkward at first to throw in the 'E' (bar with pinky?).  Hmm.  Will have to play around with it.

Comment by Paul Draper on March 27, 2022 at 8:40am
I tuned down to F/C: cFCEG
Comment by Al Smitley on March 27, 2022 at 9:12am

Ah.  Thanks.  If you're like me, I find that often, I can best reach the notes with my voice in one key (between 'D' and 'G') but the melody is more easily played in the other key.  I often just play the instrumental part in one key and the verse in the other.  Perhaps a sacrilege to do so, but surprisingly I don't think it sounds too badly that way. Maybe if it was a different interval, I might not think it works.

Comment by Rob Mohr on March 28, 2022 at 10:59am

Awesome, Paul!! Richmond is how I was introduced to this tune and really liked it. The "stretch" (2d fret, 1st string & 5th fret, 2d string) always kills me!! And there's a small piece of the chorus where I lose the rhythm a touch...well done!!

Comment by Paul Draper on March 28, 2022 at 12:09pm
Thanks Rob. The way I play it (mostly the Converse Analytical version of Jordan) doesn’t involve what you describe.

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