Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Composition by Frank B. Converse, pub. 1886, played "guitar style". Thank you to Bob Lanham for the tablature and inspiration.

Views: 116

Comment by Rob Morrison on January 21, 2014 at 11:05pm

Good job Paul.  You can really hear the underpinnings of ragtime in this piece.

Comment by Paul Draper on January 21, 2014 at 11:11pm

Thanks Rob.  I was hooked on it after I heard Bob Lanham's nice rendition of it last week.

Comment by Bob Lanham on January 22, 2014 at 7:21am

Yep, sounds great!  I noticed you don't need to anchor your right pinky on the head, like I do for finger style.  Anchoring is a habit I picked up from playing bluegrass years ago.  As Converse writes:

" it may be desirable to - temporarily - support the hand by resting the little finger on the drum, but in general practice this tendency should be avoided for reasons before mentioned, and furthermore, that it is opposed by many Guitar Authorities." (Converse's Analytical Banjo Method, page 14)

Comment by Tim Twiss on January 22, 2014 at 7:52am

Nice job Paul. Sounds real good.

Comment by Tim Twiss on January 22, 2014 at 8:00am

I'm glad this stuff is included in the "Minstrel Banjo" material. It starts to stretch beyond towards what became Classic Banjo. Then we have the real early material here too, Juba and all of that. The scope of this genre is quite wide. People were really exploring and moving forward back then...both the music and the instruments.

Comment by Paul Draper on January 22, 2014 at 10:29am

Thanks guys.  Bob - since finger-style is new to me, I decided to work on it without anchor.  At first it was awkward, but now it's OK.

Comment by Andy Chase on June 28, 2015 at 5:45pm

This made the top of my 'to learn' list after watching you play it last weekend, Paul.  Converse's 1886 Analytical Banjo Guide is really a remarkable transitional book.

Comment by Paul Draper on June 28, 2015 at 7:17pm
I was playing it today on my Gold Tone Whyte Laydie - doesn't sound quite as good as your Eastman...


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