All Blog Posts (235)

109 Banjo Cylinders Free Free Free

Fred Bacon, Fred Van Eps, Vess Ossman, Olly Oakley

This is a great resource. Good music and a free ride on a time machine

Added by Jody Stecher on April 12, 2009 at 20:00 — No Comments

Thoughts on Tremolo.

In this journey (obsession) of historic banjo playing, I have turned to reading all of the period literature on the subject that I could find. An observation I made is that it seems most banjoists had a version of "Home, Sweet Home with Tremolo." I had read the instructions for how to play it, listened to Ossman and Eps, but really did not give it much mind.

Then, from Trapdoor's recommendation, I bought Douglas Back's The Banjo Goes Highbrow (if you don't have this get it… Continue

Added by Joel Hooks on April 12, 2009 at 17:36 — 16 Comments

6 strings ' banjo

i just want to share there what i have discover by myself and which is logic , i guess .

Unfortunaly , there are not many banjo players surviving from the gold era of the classic bj , but with Carl 's blog , we can re_ discover things .

There were many 6 & 7 strings banjos , most of them were English , but US , too ( henry Dobson for instance ) . I suppose there were made for acompagniements , to have a bigger sound . If you play solo in a banjo band , you can use the regular one… Continue

Added by marc dalmasso on April 11, 2009 at 20:30 — 3 Comments

Two mp3 files of Return of The Regiment

I've posted two sound files of Ernest Jones playing Return of The Regiment on zither-banjo. The first is at the pitch and speed heard when I play the cassette which is about a half step high. It's easy to tell that banjo is being played in C fingering; if nothing else, the open fifth string makes that plain. The second file has been slowed down so that the pitch is close to C (assuming A 440). I've never heard it that way before this evening. The banjo tone sounds convincing lowered to concert… Continue

Added by Jody Stecher on April 11, 2009 at 6:22 — No Comments

Joe MacNaghten and Return of The Regiment

"Return of The Regiment" was recently suggested as a tune of the month or season or something, (good idea I think) and music was posted by Dave Wade who today also posted a photo of Joe MacNaghten. This provokes a question that some of the English players here might be able to answer. It might be a case of UK and USA being "divided by a common language" but I've looked at the dots, listened to the recording of Ernest Jones playing Return OTR and read what "Mac" had to say about it and hit a… Continue

Added by Jody Stecher on April 11, 2009 at 0:48 — 5 Comments

The Eagle Has Unraveled: Frayed Aquila basses in Nylgut set

I use Aquila Nylgut sets on several banjos and am happy with the feel and sound but there comes a time when the winding on the bass starts unravelling and this is always before the plain strings have died. Has anyone else had this problem? I also use Aquila's D type copper wound on nylgut for zither-banjo bass and the problem exists there as well. I wonder if those here with an Aquila connection can put in a word about this?

I also wonder why the fifth string is a heavier gauge than… Continue

Added by Jody Stecher on April 8, 2009 at 15:49 — 9 Comments

Temlett Zither-Banjo

I've uploaded two photos of an old Temlett zither-banjo. It's going to my student Ken who says it reminds him of his grandmother. Who am I to deprive him of his grandmother? It needs a bit of work. It seems that over the last 120 years or so the wood of the neck and fingerboard have dried out and shrunk so all the frets protrude on both sides. The fret ends are sharp and can draw blood. It's a small, light z-b with a string length of only 25.25 inches (just over 64 centimeters). The sound is… Continue

Added by Jody Stecher on April 8, 2009 at 6:46 — No Comments

Champion Waltz

I've just uploaded an mp3 of a catchy little tune called Champion Waltz. It's from Winner's New School for the Banjo (1872). I learned it from the ABF quarterly 5 Stringer where it was transposed to C notation by Eli Kaufman. I'm playing it on a fretless banjo made in the 1890s by J Clamp in Newcaste-on-Tyne. It has a big pot and a short neck so it looks a bit like a skillet. Today it sounds like it has a cold. Calfskin head, heavy nylon strings, low tuning.

Added by Jody Stecher on April 5, 2009 at 18:12 — 3 Comments

A Banjo Revel

A Banjo Revel is a Joe Morley tune I learned from some very large sheet music I won on ebay. I've never heard a recording of it. It seems to be the only one of Morley's compositions to be published by Larking. (Larking's Banjo Budget #1). It anticipates "melodic" bluegrass technique by several decades not to mention the theme of The Ballad of Davy Crocket ("born on a mountain top in Tennessee....." ). I'm playing it on an anonymous American banjo with a 12.5 inch metal clad pot and a playing… Continue

Added by Jody Stecher on April 5, 2009 at 5:00 — 5 Comments

St. Louis Tickle

I'm not sure where to post info about mp3-s I've posted so I guess I'll do it here. I've just uploaded a casual recording of St Louis Tickle that I had made for a friend so he could get a feel for the tune. Imperfect as it is, I like the feel of this rendition. It was recorded on my mac using Garage Band and the mac's built in mic. No too bad at all. Sorry about the talking and interruptions. The "technical difficulty" was the banjo sliding off my lap.

St Louis Tickle was written for… Continue

Added by Jody Stecher on April 5, 2009 at 5:00 — 9 Comments

Some site

This site is really going places. Now we have Rob Murch and Mike Redman as members, both excellent players. This enthusiasm for the classic banjo is catching and we could be seeing a resurgence. Who knows.

Added by Ray Jones on April 4, 2009 at 0:40 — No Comments

too much noise ? your wife or neighbor is angry ?

Look at this : for practicing in the car , behind the TV , beach etc

Added by marc dalmasso on April 2, 2009 at 21:30 — 2 Comments

I was misled.

I was misled. That is a quote for Stephen King's "The Stand," I can't remember exactly where or from whom, but some guy had just been whacked by the devil and his last words were "I was misled..."

I spent the bulk of my years in the banjo world playing exclusively in the bluegrass style. And I enjoyed it immensely, no doubt about it. I used to read everything I could get my hands on about Earl Scruggs and the development of the banjo style. Everything I read told me the… Continue

Added by Carl Anderton on March 30, 2009 at 21:30 — 5 Comments

Concert march by S S Stewart

concert march.mp3Here ' s a Mp3 of Concert March by SSS with the piano and the cello ( from my CD album " country sur le volet " 2001 ); This tune had never been recorded before , i guess , we have find it anywhere exept on a sheet music .

Added by marc dalmasso on March 27, 2009 at 18:30 — 1 Comment

Calliope Rag

caliope_mix_acc.mp3Here 's a Mp3 of a real rythm section for Calliope Rag ( 2nd banjo + cello-banjo ) . Once you have learn the C banjeaurine part or another part , you can use it as a backup to practice .

Added by marc dalmasso on March 22, 2009 at 14:26 — 4 Comments

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