Hi, I am a UK Clawhammer player and I am normally found on banjo hangout. This is where I met Joel Hooks, who has made a big impact on me with his Classic Banjo recordings, so much so that now I own a fretted banjo, I thought I might give this Classic Fingerstyle a try. I wonder what if any book tutors people could recommend for a non standard notation reader?
You have my apologies if this is in the wrong place or I have missed a links page etc, I only joined this evening and am very much still finding my way around.
Many thanks from Bill.

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Hi Bill

Clifford Essex have a book by Alan Midddleton introducing you to general fingerstyle banjo with tabs and a CD I think.  It would give you an introduction and a few solos. I've never seen a copy but I feel it might be restrictive in the long term as any future scores you wished to play would be in standard banjo notation, so far better to learn to read notation from the beginning. Lots of period tutors here in the library. I learnt in the 60s (before tabs) from the Morley and Grimshaw tutors, both are in the library here. Plenty of earlier tutors here as well.

Have fun.

Thanks for your help. Given your advice it may be more pertinent then to ask if anyone has recommendations on a suitable way to learn standard notation, so any advice on that score is welcome too.
Thanks from Bill.

Hi Bill,

The book from Clifford Essex Music that Anthony mentions is "The banjo and how to play it".This is based on the Emile Grimshaw tutor, of the same name, which is available in the TUTOR BOOKS page, but A. Middleton's has been updated and expanded and I strongly recommend it. It also contains TAB.

It is available here:  http://www.cliffordessex.net/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=657

I hope to be producing, in the not too distant future, a new series of videos showing how to play "Classic Style". The very most important advice is that you do learn Notation as MOST original music for the style is written in standard notation. It is not difficult and you don't need to be an expert to play Classic Style as there are shortcuts as shown in the lesson videos on the LEARN TO PLAY pages.

Watch my video CLICK: "Playing by numbers"  and download the numbered chord shapes. You will find these shape numbers printed, as hints, on much of the old published notation. I hope to explain this system more fully in the new videos that I will be producing soon.

Simply practise the shapes until you can jump easy into any of the 13 shapes without looking, and it will all come together...slowly!

If you are lucky enough to have a teacher near you I would advise a few lessons to start you correctly, but watch the lesson videos and ask questions on here.

Good luck.


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