"Hi Trapdoor, Thanks for your great advice. I'm really grateful. I'm really thrilled to have joined this site and feel priviliged to be interacting with real banjo pros such as yourself. I feel inspired and really want to get into Classic…"
>I'm also experimenting with a couple of other tunes. One is an 18th >Century African tune called "Pompey Ran Away". Its very simple but >just a lovely tune. You probably know it. Its a clawhammer version and >a…"
"Thanks for your message Trapdoor, I love "Colorado Buck Dance" and i am almost at the point of playing it smoothly. When I've mastered it i'll post a video of me playing it. I'm also experimenting with a couple of other…"
"Oh, it is definitely a three finger style, Scruggs being an offshoot (though he developed his pretty much independently). There was some 'crossover' in method early on (1840-1870) but after that the three/four finger approach (called…"
"Hi Trapdoor. I've only got a couple of tunes in my Classic repetoire so far. I play bluegrass and clawhammer but I've discovered a beautiful song called Colorado Buck Dance which i'm learning currently. Classic style really opens up…"
"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…"
Oh, it is definitely a three finger style, Scruggs being an offshoot (though he developed his pretty much independently). There was some 'crossover' in method early on (1840-1870) but after that the three/four finger approach (called "Guitar Style" early on) took over completely.
"Colorado Buck" is a great tune. I want to hear it when you get it going!
>I'm also experimenting with a couple of other tunes. One is an 18th >Century African tune called "Pompey Ran Away". Its very simple but >just a lovely tune. You probably know it. Its a clawhammer version and >a song called "Juba" which is a minstrel piece.
Yes, great tunes. I also play Minstrel Style (and there is another "ning" forum for it, you'll find me there too). All these styles are addictive but each one you add just extends the time it takes to master 'em. I should know! ;-)
>I think classic banjo is the best stlye i've so far come across. Are a lot of >Classic pieces in drop -C tuning ?
Yes. Actually we consider gCGBD to be "normal" and gDGBD is called "raised bass" tuning.
>What are your views on single string banjo.
"Single-string" is just another technique for getting certain notes out of the banjo. It has its roots in the Classic style but you would never use it exclusively to create a whole tune (like some Bluegrass people do). You find it used in the Classic style to get chromatic notes and short passages. Very useful technique.
>Do you think I'd benefit from more lessons now to help me up to >the "next level".
I think "lessons" are great if you can find a good teacher to match what you wish to learn. Some people do better on their own, some do better with regular lessons. I started with Bluegrass and took lessons for a couple years. After that, I have been essentially self taught. What has helped me the most (once I was happy with the basics) has been taking occasional "master classes" that target specific techniques.
However, if I had access to someone who taught classic style, I would not hesitate to jump in and go for lessons...even though I've been playing it for years.
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