" Yiddle on your Fiddle play some Ragtime" by Irving Berlin

I have omitted the repeats of the second part as this works better for me ... the words can be found on-line . Hope you like it ....

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Comment by thereallyniceman on December 12, 2011 at 14:04

Another great performance. Where do you get them from Mike? I can only keep a few in my head! How long have you been playing classic style?

I have posted a copy of the score in photos section or here:


Comment by Michael Laurence Redpath on December 12, 2011 at 15:11

Thank you Ian. How long eh, well that is a hard one to answer . My dad  showed me a few tunes in what I later learned is the classic style  when I was about nine years old . Then when I was a few years older I played folk music in some of the pubs and folk clubs round Edinburgh , oh yes I was very under age . Some years after that I was still in the folk world but by then I was based near Chester by way of london , the interest at that time was in a more Bluegrass sound , so that's what I did , learned bluegrass , it was a fun way to play a banjo and I still enjoy listening to that music although I have no inclination ever to play that way again . After some years in the Chester area I moved to Coventry , at that time the folk music scene was on it's last legs , the clubs were shutting down , left right and center , so I looked about for a way to play the banjo on my own , and I came up with Frailing and gradually made the transition , until picking became quite alien to me . I frailed and played clawhammer style for many years , I guess it's one of those styles that become like breathing but in the end I found even though I played some classic tunes in that style it was ultimately limiting and the vast cannon of music for that style is mostly American , nothing wrong with that but I needed to find a way to express myself on the banjo that reflected my cultural background so about  four years ago I decided I needed a challenge and started to learn classic banjo , not an easy task as I'm sure you know , I did not read music well, no more than being able to work out a tune one note at a time. the music reading  is starting to come together a bit more now although the timing gets a bit confusing at times. Sorry to have gone on for so long but there was no simple answer . Oh yes the remembering thing --- because I did'nt read music I had to hold a lot of tunes in my head , for instance when I was frailing I think about one hundred and fifty  in all. hope all this waffle helps , Kind regards, Mike ...   

Comment by Sylvia on December 12, 2011 at 15:45

Hi Mike ,One hundred and fifty tunes remembered,   that's really something. Being a beginner at banjo it takes me all my time to remember 150 notes.   Having said that ,I do prefer to try and memorise the banjo music as opposed to reading it.I do read music for alto sax and recorder and for some reason just do not try and memorise for those instruments. Cheers.

Comment by Alan Ramsay on December 12, 2011 at 16:02

Hi Mike,  150!?!  I can't remember 1!  Well, maybe Sunflower Dance but that's only because I learned that one first :-)

Actually, I can memorise a piece and play it on my own quite happily but as soon as I play as part of the band (or with a camera on) I can't do it.  I *have* to have the music nearby. Its just nerves I guess and I hope they go away eventually...

Stick with the music reading.  I refused to use tab when I took up CB mainly because all the pieces used standard notation and I didn't want to have to transpose everything into tab.

If you ever end up in Edinburgh again, bring your banjo!  There are a few of us playing up here.


Comment by Michael Laurence Redpath on December 12, 2011 at 16:16

Hi guys , the hard thing is to keep them all up to a high standard , what I found was after maybe a few months of not playing a tune it became just the bones if you know what I mean , all the pretty decoration was gone and needed to be remembered again. As I said above I think it's because I did not read music , so , no option but to remember.I also meditate which helps Yep I've forgotten lots of tunes over the years mostly my own stuff which is annoying . Ah well . It's worth mentioning that most of those tunes were fairly simple songs and not as complex as most classic style music..   BE well and be happy , Mike .

Comment by Michael Laurence Redpath on December 12, 2011 at 16:28

to put the memory thing into perspective -- I had an old friend staying with me for a weekend a couple of weeks ago and he got me frailing for the first time in about three years , I could only remember about a dozen tunes off the top of my head , the rest would need some thinking about , I rather think I shan't be bothering with that. However I do still have a list of them all . 

Comment by Mike Moss on December 12, 2011 at 17:17

Thanks for sharing your story, Mike, I had a somewhat similar path... first bluegrass, then frailing, then Classic Banjo. 150 tunes is an impressive figure! I heard that Wm Ball at his peak could play 100 solos from memory.


Thanks for sharing another great tune, it's a pleasure to listen to such great banjo playing.

Comment by Michael Laurence Redpath on December 12, 2011 at 17:30

100 Classic banjo solos , now that is truly impressive  . thank you for your kind comments , it gives me so much encouragement to have this sort of feedback . thanks again Mike . 

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