Joseph Morley (1867-1937) composed a number of fine pieces for "guitar style" banjo. I enjoy discovering little gems, like this sweet melody.

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Comment by Michael Neverisky on January 15, 2012 at 22:38

One more for today. Experimenting with technology, I recorded the audio with a separate device which works better I think.  

Comment by Adam on January 16, 2012 at 0:22

Another really good video, Michael - you get a great sound out of that Stewart.  I hope you buy it!

All the best,

Adam

Comment by Adam on January 16, 2012 at 0:23

Oh, and yes the audio is much better with whatever separate device you're using.

Comment by Trapdoor2 on January 16, 2012 at 1:12

I like that a lot! Very well done.

I'll pass on the comment Eli Kaufman made on my recording of "Cannon Jig". "Double your speed and you'll be playing just like Joe." ;-) More a comment on "The Lightning Banjoist" than on the tunes, of course.

Comment by Michael Neverisky on January 16, 2012 at 1:32

Thanks fellows. I've been playing this one quite a bit around the house.  So much so, that I think in the interest of domestic harmony it's time to move on to a new piece.

I have bonded with this banjo and I am happy to report that the owner and I have agreed on terms. It is such a delight to have the inspiration of a new instrument.  Going to see about some setup work next week.

I am certain that I can not play as fast as Lightnin' Joe, but as you know there are specific challenges to playing a piece at a slower pace.  Keeping time and rhythm... but also allowing the harmonies to bloom, if you will.  The sustain on this Nylgut strung banjo is short - compared to a nylon or steel strung guitar anyway.  So I find that I like to deliberately hold down fretted notes slightly longer than the duration specified by the score - so one tone overlaps with the next.  Hard to explain, easy to demonstrate.

Comment by Adam on January 16, 2012 at 2:01

I'm happy to hear the banjo will be yours - excellent news!

I'm also VERY happy to hear that you've been playing this around the house "quite a bit" - I was afraid you were knocking these out in an afternoon and I was not looking forward to hating you.  :)

Best,

Adam

Comment by Trapdoor2 on January 16, 2012 at 2:06

Absolutely spot on. Those of us 'raised' on the banjo (American bluegrass, etc.) often have difficulties playing slowly (I certainly do). We're trained to avoid legato, stick with staccato and, of course, louder is better. ;-)

Slower tempos are very hard to articulate and are less forgiving of durational, attack and dynamic error. As you push the limits of dynamics to the lower end, p, pp, etc., you'll find yourself losing the sharp attack and that there is more sustain than you expect...even in a lightly built instrument like the Stewart.

I find pieces played at slower tempos often find a singing voice previously lost in the rush of notes. Certainly the push and pull of emotion may be further enhanced. No finer example of that than the playing of Rob MacKillop.

Mazurkas are some of my favorites. Back about 30 yrs ago, I was a "New England Country Dance" addict. Mazurkas were often part of the programs, good exercise and lots of fun (especially with a pretty girl for a partner). I default to those dance speeds most of the time when playing them. Not as fast as Mr. Morley might play, but fast enough to break a sweat!

Comment by thereallyniceman on January 16, 2012 at 11:15

A lovely nice bright tone and attack even in this slower piece. Really nice playing again. What recorder did you use? Something like the Zoom H2?  Also what software do you use to splice the digital audio to the video? I use the video microphone and it is not that good at all and would be interested to hear what you do!

Ian

Comment by Michael Neverisky on January 16, 2012 at 12:12

Good guess Ian!  Yes, an H2 - which is an amazing little gadget.  The splicing was done painstakingly with and old version of Nero.  I had to guess about sub-second trimming and then eyeball the line up between the tracks.  Good results, but not a process I would necessarily recommend.

Comment by Alan Sims on January 17, 2012 at 20:41

lovely tune are you using some sort of reverb great sound

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