A Site Dedicated to all enthusiasts of Classic Style Banjo
Hi, new member here! Thank you for letting me join!
I am trying to figure out how to classify myself as a banjoist. I play the 4-string tenor and plectrum, and grew up playing West Coast pizza parlor sing-along chord melody banjo (loud and obnoxious, of course! I even had a Vega Vox IV as a kid!). I grew up and got a Music Ed degree (on clarinet), and then started the search for a "legitimate" path forward as a banjoist. I discovered the music of Grimshaw, Cammayer, Bassett, Kirby, etc. 8 years ago when I went to work for Clifford Essex updating Grimshaw's plectrum compositions. I know these were all finger-style; he plectrumized a couple dozen of his own works, then I converted several more.
Anyway, I have been given the opportunity to present this great music at the American Banjo Museum during their banjo fest this fall, and just want some advice on how to do it gracefully and accurately as a plectrum banjoist. I am aware that those of us in the four-string world do not have the greatest reputation among the overall banjo community, and I would like to have a hand in fixing that.
Thank you all for the advice. It's been great getting to know this music; I consider it to be the "missing link" for plectrum technique. Please look up my YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfPWZu-PMrMtApqaz__qlCA. It is mostly Grimshaw, Cammeyer, Bassett, etc.
If y'all haven't gone out to look at some of Ron's videos, you're missing something special. His version of Bassett's "Castaneta" is simply masterfully done.
One of the big plusses of Plectrum style is that a solid tremolo sounds so much better with a plectrum (well, IMNSHO) as opposed to the finger wiggle. Duo-style...well, it isn't the same at all.