A Frank Converse original from his Analytical Banjo Method, 1886.

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Comment by Paul Draper on November 25, 2016 at 18:14
A beginner's attempt... please forgive the obvious clumsiness and flubbed notes. My fingers feel like lead...
Comment by thereallyniceman on November 25, 2016 at 18:35

Very good indeed Paul. You get a great tone and obviously have quite considerable musical skill. I am sure that you will soon become an expert at playing Classic Style! My only suggestion would be to try alternating the RH fingering, particularly when playing on the 1st string. Repeating notes with the same finger may become awkward and slow you down a bit on the faster pieces.

5***** from me


Comment by Paul Draper on November 25, 2016 at 18:51
Thanks Ian. I will work on that!
Comment by Joel Hooks on November 26, 2016 at 15:18

One of my favorite FBC pieces.  I played it at the last Spring ABF Rally in the Round Robin.  Have you seen the version with lyrics?

RE: Alternating fingering.  All the early tutors ignore it completely.  I believe it was being used, but I have a theory on why it was not put into print.

SSS published George Gregory's series starting in 1895.  From that point "the cat was out of the bag" and one begins to see it noted in sheet music and other instruction books.  There are some differences in the way composers and arrangers handle certain passages but the basic exercises remain consistent for the most part.

For A notation, the Gregory articles are good, Weidt's stuff is fantastic, Jennings teaches it to a certain extent... there are others that I can't think of right now.

All good C notation books cover it.  I do not know if the tab tutors published by the New Clifford Essex covers it as I have not seen a copy (I have been off of tab for so long I have trouble reading it).

Because of it not being in the books I initially learned how to play from I completely ignored it and it held me back significantly.  I really began to tune into it when I started working on C notation from the Mel Bay Frank Bradbury book.  It was like flipping on the light switch!  Everything flowed better and sounded smoother.

When I get nervous I will drop the formula sometimes (not by choice) but for the most part I keep with it.

Comment by Paul Draper on November 26, 2016 at 17:17
Hi Joel - I haven't seen the lyrics, but I can imagine they end with "leaning on the garden gate". That's how I hear it in my head. Thx for the advice on the alternating fingering. Like most things that are good in the long run, it feels counter intuitive at the moment. But I'm working on it - trying to nip bad habits in the bud before they establish themselves. Just started Sunflower Dance, and paying attention to the AF.
Comment by thereallyniceman on November 26, 2016 at 18:11

Hi Paul,

If you are trying Sunflower Dance and want to use it as an aid to alternate fingering, why not check out my video LESSON

Video is here:  Sunflower Dance lesson

If you download the .zip file I have included (to the rhs of the video), there is a score (with TAB!) that demonstrates the use of Alternate fingering for every note of the entire piece. The LH and RH fingers are shown. Most notes are alternated where possible!

If you would like the piano accompaniment let me know and I will send you a midi file.


Comment by Joel Hooks on November 26, 2016 at 19:13

... and if you want the original version (we think) that was published by SSS it was called "With The Tide Schottische."  I scanned and posted it here--


"Garden Gate" with lyrics can be found in this book on page 24...


Comment by Paul Draper on November 26, 2016 at 23:41
Thanks to both of you - very helpful!

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