Allow me to explain my recent absence of content contribution to this wonderful site for a minute. I know you've all missed my amateurish attempts at banjeau pickin'. :)

I decided to buckle down and kick the tablature habit. It is, indeed, a fine learning tool (I probably wouldn't have started earlier this year if Rob hadn't offered up the tab that he did, thanks Rob!), but as you gents have said before it cripples your repertoire. I'm glad to say I'm trying my darnedest to quell the stereotype of the banjoist who can't read music, how did that nasty rumor start anyway? I'd like to thank Joel for making the awesome, old banjo books available for free on his website. I printed off Converse's book, the Eclipse book, and some of the smaller ones at my local library (don't worry I followed the printing cost regulations, $0.10 a page after the first 10) and that new one, the "Banjo school" looks promising. I'll have to give it a look-see.
I've even gone so far as to delete my old youtube channel and dedicate a new one to guitar style, and more than likely stroke style too since my frailing experience lends itself incredibly well to it. (account name TCBanjeau)

If you have any helpful hints or advice, I'm all ears (eyes?)

best regards,

today's my birthday! I got some 78s and two sheets of music from my Mom. The shop didn't have any banjo solos, they're mostly Roy Acuff and his acc. Smokey Mountain Boys string band, good stuff :) The sheet music is of "Pins & Needles (In my heart)" by Acuff in 1943 and one that I think is in Swedish called "Nog var jag dum som gifte mig" from 1902 which translates to (via "Enough, I was stupid as married" (Haha!) and has drawings of a minstrel and some lovely ladies on the front.

Views: 40

Comment by Sylvia on October 6, 2010 at 22:34
Happy Birthday Tyler
Comment by Adam on October 6, 2010 at 23:06
Yeah, happy birthday, Tyler!

I think you'll find with reading notation that one day, unexpectedly, you'll suddenly realize you just played a tune in notation without having to stop and figure out the notes ... It happened for me a month or so ago (on an easy piece, to be sure!) and I have to say, it's a good feeling.

Hang in there, it'll come quicker than you think!
Comment by Carl Anderton on October 6, 2010 at 23:14
Happy Birthday, Tyler--have a quality micro-brew beer or three today--that is if you indulge--good luck with the dots, it'll soon be like "letting down the bars" as one old-timer put it.
Comment by Trapdoor2 on October 7, 2010 at 11:20
Happy BD, Tyler. Glad you're working on your dotage. ;-)

That Roy Acuff..."Pins and Needles" is a hoot.
Comment by Claude L. Medearis on October 8, 2010 at 4:03
Happy birthday.
I'm sorry to hear that you deleted your old Youtube account. I wouldn't mind seeing it. I'll have to look up your new account.
I'm trying to start with standard notation, but the banjo is so easy to play it's hard to stop picking out old show tunes and focus on the lessons in the book. Good luck with your studies!
Comment by Joel Hooks on October 11, 2010 at 2:48
Sorry I've not posted sooner.

Congrats on quitting the method.

With me, learning the notes forced me to begin from the rudiments. Using the method, one can jump right in and try to play a difficult 6/8 march. The problem is that learning a difficult piece with the method without the basics is doing a disservice.

One does not learn right and left hand fingerings. The ones given may not always be the best, but with the knowledge gained from understanding the exercises will let you decide why.

The method also forgoes scales and keys, and how they work. Much theory can be gained just from the rudiments given in the tutors.

Sure, one can simplify the exercises, written under the notation, but they are given to help one learn economy of movement as well a reading. That is lost with the method, I know because I used it for a long time and walked around in the dark (I'm more in the dim now). Also how the notes work together. Lets not kid ourselves, does anybody buy a book with tab under notes planning to read the notation? I'd think that they'd just get one with notes as there is less page turning.

Converse's book is sneaky. The pieces are graded, adding bits and pieces as one works their way along. Each piece is a lesson. It is a great change from the typical "here is the scale, here are the chords, now a few lines for exercise and finally a bunch of random short pieces." The ABM is tops.

But the best part is the endless simple method jokes you can make!

Now I leave you with some fine poetry...

"Then good-by to "Ham!"
Good-by to Sham!
Good-by to Simpleton's Gall-
The Fakir and Fake
No longer will rake
In the shekels that may chance to fall.

For the "Ham" and the "Clam;"
The Goat and the Lamb,
Have shorn and been sheared quite enough;
And the "Tub" has grown leaky,
And looks rather streaky,
From having to carry such stuff.

The old "tack-head's" gone,
(Has been quite some time)
The iron bound Banjo as well;
The boys sometime say that it should keep on,
Until at last it brings up in *******.

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