Camilla (Chilean Dance) - Classic-style banjo

By Frank W Bone - this is in the Beginner section in the music library.

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Views: 112

Comment by Trapdoor2 on January 4, 2023 at 16:08

Well done! I've been meaning to attempt this piece for years. Love the "tango" rhythms...

Comment by carrie horgan on January 4, 2023 at 17:21

It's a work in progress!  I too love the 'tango' of my favourite recordings is 'Sans Souci' by The Fred Van Eps Orchestra.  

Comment by thereallyniceman on January 4, 2023 at 17:50

Excellent Carrie!  I have never been able to get a decent tune out of a zither banjo... I'm just too heavy handed I fear!

That sounded really nice! I particularly like the energy saving woolly hat too ;-)

Comment by carrie horgan on January 4, 2023 at 18:48

Thanks, Ian.  I am aiming for a different bobble-hat and banjo for every day of the week :)

Comment by Rob MacKillop on March 10, 2023 at 17:56

PS I've been told a few ZB players tune their instruments down a semitone to get what is for them a more pleasing sound. 

Comment by Rob MacKillop on March 10, 2023 at 17:58

Nice, Carrie! Love the hat, and look forward to viewing more of them. 

I’m often amazed at what gets described as a Beginner’s piece. You’d have to be a bloody good beginner to pull that off with the aplomb it deserves. You do a decent job, and it was enjoyable to listen to, but there’s no way I would call that a Beginner’s piece. 

You asked me about tone production on a zither banjo. Most of the books I’ve seen say it requires a different technique to the regular classic banjo. No need to plant a finger on the head, for instance, and play gently (for the most part) between the skin and the highest fret. Olly Oakley seems to have played it like a banjo – I’m no expert on his playing, but it does sound to me like banjo technique at work – but recording techniques of the day might not have been up to the job of discerning any difference.

So, I think there are (as there should be, imho) as many ways to play either instrument as there are players. I’m all for persuading the instrument to sing the way I like to hear it, rather than forcing it. Clearly there are other ways of doing it.

I also noted that – despite their cheese-cutter quality – thinner gauges for the treble strings (7 or 8 for the 1st) yield a better tone. I always prefer thicker strings for my various instruments, but the ZB is an exception.

Comment by carrie horgan on March 10, 2023 at 18:44

Thanks Rob.  Yes, Olly Oakley has a sharper, attacking sound but he also tended to record more lively, faster-paced banjo tunes and I think all the banjo and zither banjo players had to play with a full attack for recordings of the day.  I do love to hear Olly playing zippy tunes like 'Chinese Patrol' but is lovely also to hear the mellow-end of Cammeyer tunes played with a softer touch too.  Looking forward to hearing more Cammeyer tunes when you get your new ZB.

Comment by carrie horgan on March 10, 2023 at 18:49

p.s this zither banjo (a Houghton and sons) has a strong tone but I have a smaller Tilley zither which sounds abit thin/tinny - am going to try the ultra-light strings and see if it improves the tone.  Thanks for the tip.

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