Hello to everyone.

Can anyone tell me which tutor book I would most likely have purchased to begin learning to play my new banjo, if I had lived in England in the 1880s?

Kind regards, Ian.

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I would hazard to say that the "Ellis Thorough School" was sold in greater numbers than almost any other of the time. Very common indeed...though perhaps not the best. The Grimshaw tutors are better for a more 'up to date' learning experience, in my opinion.

What a good question and what a good answer.  I concur.  The Ellis book has a lot of "atmosphere" to it. It feels like the late 19th century. Open the pages and there you are. The Grimahaw books are even better for learning to play the banjo but they are certainly 20th century documents. Now that we are well into the 21st century the Grimshaw books style of layout  is certainly of a bygone era. But the content is just as valid now.

Thank you for your replies.

As well as the deeper and more complex discussions on the development of instrument, music and technique, I like the simplistic notion of 'man hears banjo, buys banjo, learns banjo'. I have the Ellis and will make a start today.

Kind regards.

I advice you to wait for the 90' for better fun and crazy stuff

Hi Remi, can you give me an example please?

I've certainly enjoyed playing through the first sections of the Ellis most of the day. For various reasons, I have made a few false starts with classic banjo in the past but feel that now the time is right to apply myself. I do like the late 19th century pieces and from those few tutors I have so far seen, the Stahl is particularly appealing. I have seen a copy online dated 1916 but wonder if it is a reissue, as the tunes seem to be of an earlier period. Can anyone clarify this for me?

There are two editions of the Dallas tutor which are worth a look at also the Barnes and Mullins is a belter.

I have some repro editions and some originals in my "For Sale at Rallies" box.

Thanks for that David. I really enjoy working on exercises and the Barnes and Mullins certainly does have a lot. 

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