Mike Moss
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Mike Moss's Discussions

What's that effect
9 Replies

What exactly does Derek Lillywhite do at the end of his "Cornish Dance" recording to pull off that neat effect? I've slowed it down and listened closely but for the life of me I can't figure out…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jody Stecher Oct 7, 2014.

Thalberg connection?
4 Replies

Here's something to ponder. I recall a (probably apocryphal?) story about Sigismond Thalberg and the banjo, which seems to have been taken up by a number of banjoists in the mid-late 19th century,…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Trapdoor2 Jun 30, 2013.

Thoughts on fretted instrument movements from a worldwide perspective
9 Replies

I got the idea for this discussion after it was asked whether or not the balalaika was relevant in the realm of Classic Banjo. This is a thought-provoking observation as, for some reason, I had…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Joel Hooks Mar 24, 2013.

And now, for something completely different...
2 Replies

I've produced an arrangement of a Russian solo, "Ах ты, берёза" (Ah you, birch tree) arranged (or composed) by Pavel Necheporenko. Stylistically, it follows the Russian BMG tradition of producing…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mike Moss Mar 21, 2013.


Mike Moss's Page

Latest Activity

Mike Moss replied to Joel Hooks's discussion Has Anyone Heard from Mike Moss Lately?
"Hi all, I received a very kind email from Ian asking if I was OK and he pointed me to this thread. I'm sorry if I haven't been all that active lately but I haven't been much of a banjo player since late 2014 when I started my grand…"
Jun 26
Mike Moss commented on Clayton Walter's video

Joe Morley - Polka - Classic Banjo

"Hi Anthony, the plot thickens..."
May 16, 2016
Mike Moss replied to thereallyniceman's discussion There may be changes ahead on CB Ning.
"Hi Ian, Lynn & Dave, I feel awful for not checking the site so often and only seeing the sad news now -- you have been a veritable force of nature in the Classic Banjo world over the years and your efforts as a performer, arranger, film…"
Jan 2, 2016
Mike Moss commented on Jocko MacNelly's video

Baby's first classic banjo video

"Brilliant tone Jocko, also goes to show that a resonator is as good as an openback for Classic Style! Sorry to hear about Ian's arm, btw, I've been waiting for a cut in my finger to heal for over a month now and have been playing with…"
Sep 23, 2015
Mike Moss commented on Mike Moss's video

Alice, where art thou? -- Ascher/Farland

"Hi Anthony, thank you for the kind words. Tremolo is an ungrateful technique that never really pays off, but I was fascinated by the small body of literature for the 'jo that makes such clever use of it, moreso than on many other instruments,…"
Jul 21, 2015
Mike Moss replied to Eric Reid's discussion classic banjo v classical guitar
"There is but one answer: the Classic Banjo Guillotine!"
Jun 8, 2015
Mike Moss replied to thereallyniceman's discussion Baby Number Two
"Beautiful banjo, the maple arm looks lovely. The boudoir grand also looks great, how does it compare to the Wood Hoop Special tone-wise? Looking forward to hearing them in action!"
May 1, 2015
Mike Moss replied to Ray Jones's discussion Over Weight
"Once again, West Africans beat the banjo orchestra to the punch with the bass akonting."
Apr 5, 2015
Mike Moss replied to Jocko MacNelly's discussion scales for banjo?
"The ones in the Banjo Studies are good, Joe Morley's tutor also has a lot of nice scale-based exercises, including scales in chords which are very helpful as a lot of CB is based on three-note chord shapes on the treble strings."
Mar 24, 2015
Mike Moss replied to thereallyniceman's discussion They call me Ian "the fingers" thereallyniceman
"Definitely not getting played as much as it should! I'll try to throw a video together, but then again this is what I've been telling myself for the past six months! :-S"
Mar 7, 2015
Mike Moss replied to thereallyniceman's discussion They call me Ian "the fingers" thereallyniceman
"I've always understood the term "guitar style" to mean plucking the strings rather than striking them, the terms "guitar" and "banjo" style being synonymous with modern terms such as picking vs. frailing."
Mar 6, 2015
Mike Moss replied to thereallyniceman's discussion The Works of Joe Morley... NEW to Classic Banjo Ning
"Amazing job, Ian and Anthony! I just popped down to check the site and was blown away. Your work on this site never fails to impress, and this is an invaluable resource for all lovers of Morley's music. The arrangements are a great way to catch…"
Feb 10, 2015
Mike Moss commented on thereallyniceman's video

Canadian Parade by Joe Morley Classic Fingerstyle Banjo

"Bravo Ian, made my day! What a wonderful performance, I love the trio part on the bass. By the way, love the menorah, but wouldn't a hanukiah have been more appropriate at this time? ;-)"
Dec 19, 2014
Mike Moss replied to John Cohen's discussion Dead sounding banjo
"Hi John, a displaced bridge and a loose head are usually the problem when I feel my banjo sounds dead or tubby. You might want to sand down the feet of the bridge a little until you find that sweet spot where it sits just right. Might also be the…"
Nov 9, 2014
Mike Moss commented on thereallyniceman's video

Swanee by George Gershwin. Played on Classic Banjo

"Not only is Ian using FvE as his spirit guide, Mrs. Reallynice seems to be channelling George Gershwin! (I hope you didn't forget to erase the pentagram once you were done with the ritual? The spirits of the banjo underworld would be unleashed…"
Oct 27, 2014
Mike Moss commented on Shawn McSweeny's video

Palladium Rag

"Wonderful, great to see you back playing such great music!"
Oct 27, 2014

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Mike Moss's Blog

Refurbishing the old Dallas...

So I was having a look at my old Dallas -- with its old, dry head, and its excessively high action -- and decided that something needed to be done.


Thing is, this banjo looks like it might be a bit troublesome. As I mentioned earlier, I had fixed a major crack in the dowel stick, but the dowel stick is poorly set (the heel doesn't make contact with the pot) which means I will probably have to remove the dowel stick, scrap it, and make a new one... so I'll need some advice as…


Posted on June 6, 2011 at 21:00 — 20 Comments

Internet pop culture meets classic banjo

Posted on June 3, 2011 at 13:16 — 1 Comment

Just a small discovery...

I just found out a way to get a really neat, cheap and effective banjo mute, which dampens the sound consideraby. Ever since I switched from nylguts to Christ Sands heavies + Ren head, combined with my hard picking, my banjo has become enormously loud -- and I love it! Still, sometimes I need to produce a quieter sound than the ear-piercing roar of my killing machine, so I just put on a cheap Tourte violin mute I had lying around -- and it works! Just pop it between the second and third…


Posted on April 16, 2011 at 11:44 — 1 Comment

Mike's adventures in Banjoland -- V : My ex-smooth arm banjo

It's been a while since I last posted here, so I might as well post a few updates. There have been a few developments in the past few weeks which have taken time away from my banjo studies, namely that I got a pretty good job (which means... no, not more money to spend on banjos... must... not... spend on banjos!) and that I seem to have come down with the flu for the past few days so banjo playing isn't as pleasant as usual.


Still, I've been having a closer look at my old,…


Posted on April 4, 2011 at 13:35 — 5 Comments

Comment Wall (17 comments)

At 7:35 on February 3, 2011, David Wade said…

Mike, if you are UK based then the answer could be to get to one or two of the Rallies and you will find plenty of good quality vintage banjos at sensible prices.


At 8:13am on December 14, 2011, thereallyniceman gave Mike Moss a gift
A big thank you for your had work.. Sit down, chill and have a cold beer on me. Ian
At 8:52pm on February 02, 2012, thereallyniceman gave Mike Moss a gift
At 16:33 on February 11, 2012, Alan Sims said…

hi Mike have i not heard you playing a Chet tune somewhere on video or have i got the wrong person only i have tons of his tabs .regards Alan

At 17:45 on February 15, 2012, Richard Yates said…

<Welcome! Are you Richard Yates, the classical guitarist?>

Hi Mike, Yes. I am browsing for music that might be well-suited for my Transcribers Art column in Soundboard. Classical banjo seems to have a rich and catchy repertoire that guitarists might enjoy exploring. Any composers or compositions that you can suggest?

Richard Yates


At 21:05 on February 15, 2012, Richard Yates said…

Thanks for the tips.  The aufio files are great. The scores on this site are a bit confusing, though. Some include a single part labeled 'solo,' others have, in addition, '2nd banjo' and/or 'piano accompaniment.' Are the 2nd banjo and piano parts alternative accompaniments? Are some of the pieces with only one part 'available' all true solos or are accompaniment parts just missing? Are any of the pieces clearly true solos? Some banjo 'accompaniments' are as elaborate as the 'solo' part and different from the 'piano accompaniment.' So it's unclear to me what is required, what is optional, and what is missing.

'Down Devon Way' has 'solo for banjos,' '2nd banjo acc., arranged by Sheaff' and 'piano acc. by Cammeyer.'


'Andante and Waltz' has a banjo accompaniment 'As played by Cammeyer' and a piano part apparently written by Cammeyer in addition to the banjo part.

Any clarification you can offer on these questions would be a big help.





At 0:23 on February 16, 2012, Richard Yates said…

Very useful info, Mike. Thank you. I will browse and try out some things. (By the way, the Cammeyer 'A Christmas Carol' does have a second banjo part but the index says just one part.)

At 10:40 on February 16, 2012, thereallyniceman said…

Well spotted Richard!   ....FIXED  

Ian, thereallyniceman

At 1:49 on February 18, 2012, Richard Yates said…

Hi again Mike,

I have question about notation. In the Library scores I see instances of, for instance, beamed eighth-notes with the stems down, but with an occasional added upward stem and sixteenth note flag. You can see several on the top line of Morley's 'Mixed Grill'. I assume they are something banjo-specific as I have not seen them before.

Richard Yates

At 8:40 on February 18, 2012, thereallyniceman said…

Hi Richard,

Perhaps I may jump in first?  In banjo music the open 5th string (G) is signified by adding the upward tail to the note (as you see in Mixed Grill). This distinguishes the open 5th string from a G fretted at other positions...   simples!!

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