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thereallyniceman's Discussions

Help for a beginner please !
3 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by John Cohen 2 hours ago.

Vess L. Ossman plays “Old Black Joe”
2 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Richard William Ineson on Friday.

Don’t try this at home !!
16 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by marc dalmasso Sep 7.


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John Cohen replied to thereallyniceman's discussion Help for a beginner please !
"Thanks for the advice and suggestions.  I've watched all of the lessons (multiple times!) and I've gotten closer to a comfortable position.  I think in the end an armrest will solve my problem since it will raise my forearm so…"
2 hours ago
thereallyniceman replied to thereallyniceman's discussion Help for a beginner please !
"Hi John, I would agree with Steve and feel that you "may" be holding the banjo twisted slightly incorrectly. Some people hold the banjo on their lap in between their knees, but I would strongly suggest that you do not hold it this way as…"
21 hours ago
Steve Harrison replied to thereallyniceman's discussion Help for a beginner please !
"Hi John, welcome to our group. I too am of the large economy size with hands to match. I balance the banjo on my right thigh and rotate my upper body towards my right shoulder and at the same time move my right shoulder, elbow and forearm backwards…"
thereallyniceman and John Cohen are now friends
thereallyniceman posted a discussion

Help for a beginner please !

I received an email from new member John Cohen and thought that our members may be able to give advice.QUOTE:Good day! I'm a minstrel banjoist interested in playing classic banjo.  The other day I swapped a few of my minstrel banjos for a gorgeous 1910 Fairbanks-Vega Tubaphone No. 3 with a 10 3/4 rim and a 26'' scale- a phenomenal sounding and playing banjo in excellent condition.…See More
Richard William Ineson replied to thereallyniceman's discussion Vess L. Ossman plays “Old Black Joe”
"Sounds as if they are turning out at the 'Old Bull and Bush' they also seem to get mixed up between 'Old Black Joe' and 'Poor Old Joe' Ossman keeps his cool, despite everything. "
Shawn McSweeny replied to thereallyniceman's discussion Vess L. Ossman plays “Old Black Joe”
"Tasteful, simple accompaniment by Ossman supports the vocals and never upstages, even during the tremolo bits. Ossman reputedly took some lessons from Farland, but not enough to harm his playing. Another popular American songwriter, George M. Cohan,…"
thereallyniceman posted a discussion

Vess L. Ossman plays “Old Black Joe”

Here is another recording made by Vess Ossman (vocals by Arthur Collins and Byron G. Harlan). This is the famous “Old Black Joe” by Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864) who is known as the "father of American music".Foster was an American songwriter primarily known for his parlour and minstrel music.He…See More

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Comment Wall (57 comments)

At 21:20 on January 6, 2009, Carl Anderton said…
Glad you found us, Ian. Welcome.
At 20:11 on April 10, 2009, Jody Stecher said…
Wow, Ian, these are gorgeous, and not at all different iterations of basically the same banjo idea. I would imagine there's a good variety of tone and response. The Amboyna z-b particularly knocks me out. How does she play and sound?
At 20:36 on July 14, 2009, Mike Redman said…
The XX special was bargain of the year! I have one just like that and would never part with it, have owned it for 20 years. My old banjo teacher, Horace Craddy found it for me. Enjoy it, a friend for life!
At 9:52 on July 29, 2009, David Layton said…
Hi there Ian in Blackpool, its an Ozark 5 string. In the picture I'm at Art In Action an Arts Festival in Oxfordshire. I 'm also into oil painting as well as banjoing. I've just started learning classic banjo. Ive been playing for just over 2 years now. Started with Scruggs style then progressed into clawhammer. Found myself at a bit of a learning plateau kinda stuck too much at first position but recently i started to learn a lovely song called "Colorado Buck Dance". I found that classic style has really opened up the fretboard for me. One thing i'd like to ask. I play classic tunes the sameway as clawhammer, bare fingers and just using my thumb and index finger. Is this correct or should i be using threefingers as in scruggs style also should i be using picks or is it personel choice down to the individual.
From David
At 10:04 on July 29, 2009, David Layton said…
sorry i forgot to mention i live in Burton on Trent in Staffordshire.
At 20:25 on March 12, 2010, J. Adam Latham said…
No worries, Ian ... I hope you get your video needs worked out ... Looking forward to your contributions!

All the best,
At 19:11 on December 4, 2010, Eric STEFANELLI said…
Thank you for your comment, you are welcome, i have many van Eps cylinders and Vess L. Ossman too, and of course many old 78r.p.m.
Only one about Tarrant Bailey J.R.
I am thinking to put some on this site, as soon as possible, because many are unknown, and i'm thinking aout many people who must be interrested to heard them, if i have sheet music i will post it in same time.
I like your performance on Morley's Palladium March.

At 7:17 on December 20, 2010, Sylvia said…

Hi Really Nice Man,  you must teach your wife how to play Banjo, I reckon she could be playing second parts quite quickley then you could play duets like Eric and Pat.   Also she could become a member of this site and perhaps mine would not be the only female voice heard  :-)  

At 13:28 on March 13, 2011, Jan Bloom said…
I make banjos currently sold through Elderly Instruments.  These are a Farland style all wood beveled rim banjo 11.5 diameter.  Normal scale length is 25.5 for the clawhammer player.  However, they may be ordered direct with classic scales of 27 or 27.5.  
At 15:25 on April 21, 2011, Mike Moss said…

Thanks Ian, that's very generous of you. I'll have to dig out my "to-play" list (which is getting longer by the minute...) and see what I can extort, err... I mean, nicely ask for :)


I'm very happy with the sound of my banjo, by the way, now that I've converted it somewhat. The Renaissnace head and Chris Sands heavies give it a booming tone which is almost worthy of the old killing machines, and I'm getting some nice, thunderous bass notes with the appropriate picking technique. Gotta love how Bill Ball played those thunderous bass notes!

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