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You're here to learn to play the whole guitar, not half the guitar. Take that capo off. Throw it away - Larry Johnson, Port Townsend 98

Author Topic: Will Slayden - When The train Comes Along  (Read 1149 times)

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bayrum78

  • Guest
Will Slayden - When The train Comes Along
« on: May 01, 2011, 05:58:24 AM »
Will Slayden was a self described "drag-thumb" banjo picker in his 60's when recorded by anthropologist Charles McNutt in 1952. Although it may be a bit of a stretch to post this as country blues it is at least a proto-blues with many stylistic elements in common including the topic of the song. I adapted it over to 3 finger to bring something new to the table. I hope you like it!

« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 06:02:12 AM by bayrum78 »

Offline BlueInGreen

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  • Posts: 40
Re: Will Slayden - When The train Comes Along
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 05:36:31 AM »
Very authentic sound. Loved it. Sounds like something right of the Anthology of American Folk Music.

What type of banjo is that? Beautiful instrument.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 05:38:19 AM by BlueInGreen »

Offline Gumbo

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  • Posts: 873
  • So Papa climbed up on top of the house
Re: Will Slayden - When The train Comes Along
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2011, 11:16:13 AM »
Nice! and also curious about the banjo.

bayrum78

  • Guest
Re: Will Slayden - When The train Comes Along
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 12:04:19 PM »
Thanks Guys! The banjo is a fretless mountain banjo that I made years ago using some traditional and non-traditional methods to get the results I was looking for. The neck is walnut with a bocote (central/south american) veneer overlay. The pot (body) is made from wenge (african hardwood). The friction tuners and nut are made from ebony. The bridge base is ebony and the top half is notched bocote.The same with the tailpiece. I wanted a stripe on the tailpiece but since I didn't have a router, I sandwiched the bocote between two veneers of ebony all of which was then glued to an ebony base.  I used the same method on the headstock but flanked the bocote with walnut. The head is made from calf skin that is stretched over a stovepipe. I tacked the head using furniture tacks to the inside of the pot. Although you can't see it in the video, I closed the back using spare sheet metal that has a star pattern punched into the back using cut nails.  IMO this brightens the tone. The strings are store bought along with the brass escutcheon pins that anchor the strings to the tail piece.  Since it needed a home, I made a case for it out of a pair of my siter-in-law's blues jeans (please don't tell!). One pants  leg has foam padding inside and is folded over lengthwise and sewn together. The bottom of that leg is stitched to the other leg which has a batten stuffed silk lining. Using an old blue embroidered curtain (mother-in-law's please don't tell!) a button up decorative cover was fashioned. Several velvet blackbird silhouettes in flight were stitched onto the curtain. The banjo rear mounts into the waist part of the pants leg and is secured by buttoning the pants waist closed.  It works fine, looks great and has really held up over the years, but has a tendency to throw my friction tuners out of whack. If you guys would like to see some close up pics, I'd be happy to share.
 Best,

Nate

Offline Gumbo

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  • Posts: 873
  • So Papa climbed up on top of the house
Re: Will Slayden - When The train Comes Along
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 12:35:24 PM »
I wondered if it might be fretless - you get a lovely slide from it.

I'm not surprised your tuners get out of wack if your banjo is rear-mounting a pair of button up jeans! mine would too!!!  >:D

bayrum78

  • Guest
Re: Will Slayden - When The train Comes Along
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011, 01:58:18 PM »
LOL -Bell bottom jeans might have minimized the tuner's going out of tune dilemma  - hindsight is 20/20 ;)

 


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