Hey Carl, as I am now a shareholder of the group I thought I had better have a go at posting a video ☺

I have, after a considerable struggle with my new Imac, uploaded my first homemade video. I was inspired to give it a try by Adam Latham’s request the music of Frank Lawes’ Syncopatin’ Shuffle.

I played this piece over 30 years ago when being taught classic banjo by Chris Sands here in the UK. I dug out the score and videoed my attempt. It is a bit rough but be gentle with me, I am an old man ☺

I particularly like the William J Ball version of this piece and I attempt to play the bass solo in the TRIO the way he does in his performance on the Humoresque CD. My Clifford Essex 11” Wood Hoop Special banjo is the same model as played by Bill Ball. It is fitted with a frosted Remo as suggested by Chris Sands. It gives it a great tone in conjunction with the wood hoop, but you can’t tell as the microphone inbuilt into the Imac is as much junk!! Also I subscribe to the Tarrant Bailey Jnr. style of picking, no girly picking here Marc S!

It would appear that I also need Rob’s “thing” right hand to help as mine has disappeared! The monitor display is not what you get from the inbuilt camera…so the bottom of the screen is cut off… crappy Imac.

It’s a great piece Adam. Get practicing and let’s see your version

Ian in the UK

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Comment by Jody Stecher on August 8, 2010 at 13:19
great stuff Ian. What kind of string are you using?
I've noticed that Lawes never allows the fifth string to be played. Makes me wonder if he played a plectrum banjo (with his fingers?).
Comment by thereallyniceman on August 8, 2010 at 19:34

Hi Jody, It was good fun making the recording. I played it a few times and then went for a recording..that was the first take! I am not too bothered about the odd playing glitch as we can now upload to the Ning site. I was reluctant to upload to Youtube... too may dimbats around to make comment :-) Our Ning site is a much more friendly place! As you said in one of your posts, here we can experiment and show "work in progress" without having to be perfect every time. It might encourage more people to post even short sections of pieces they are learning.

I have always use heavy gauge nylon strings. They last for ages and ages, even the fourth and take a real hammering here as I pick quite hard. You rapidly develop calluses on your calluses, particularly when using a thicker vellum! One problem with tough calluses is that your playing does tend to sound a bit fierce.
My CE Concert Grand has a Renaissance fitted and it really does make picking a lot harder for some reason but sounds more mellow than the Remo frosted.

But as we all know, the banjo is a REAL MAN'S instrument and not for wimps and girlies :-)

If Adam is reading this, have a listen out for Frank Lawes' Progressions it is a great piece. It is a bit harder than Syncopatin Shuffle, but worth the effort. I am still trying to get an acceptable tune out of it :-)

Ian in the UK

Comment by Adam on August 9, 2010 at 2:34
What an Ian-spiration! That was great!

Ian, one day, hopefully, I can play that as well as you - gaffs and all. I too love Wm Ball's version. It's his version that made me want to learn it. I think it will be a challenging piece for me, but that's why I want to tackle it.

I'll keep an eye (and ear) out for Lawes' Progressions. Thanks for the tip - and the video. I'm sure we all look forward to more contributions.

Best regards,
Comment by Trapdoor2 on August 9, 2010 at 14:13
How shall I say this...? AWESOME!

Nope, n0t a shred of girly pickin' there! Vess Ossman (and TBjr) would be proud of you.

That is a great tune and one that's been on my "to do" list since I first heard Mr. Ball's CD.

Thank you Ian, you've made my day.
Comment by Carl Anderton on August 11, 2010 at 0:21
Wow, that's real banjo music there. I hope you give us many more, Ian.
Comment by David Wade on August 13, 2010 at 11:12
Nice one Ian, are you going to come down and play for us at MBF?
Comment by marc dalmasso on August 14, 2010 at 16:43
fantastique ; encore !
Comment by Greg Adams on August 20, 2010 at 23:51

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