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The blues is the roots. Everything else is the fruits. - Willie Dixon

Author Topic: Banjo Advice  (Read 11362 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #45 on: March 10, 2009, 08:43:02 AM »

I had no idea viola players were the butt of jokes. I mean, bassoon I can understand, singers, I'm with yuz. But viola? ...

Oh yes - and in the world of heavy rock, it's the drummers who get all the stick (no pun intended).  How do you know the stage is level?  Because the drummer drools out of both sides of his mouth ... etc. (oh bugger, just realised Richard is a drummer in his other incarnation ... ooops, sorry. Don't take offence, mate [take a brick wall]. Sometimes you just can't win).

Yes, I'm a recovering drummer, so am familiar with some of the drummer humour...  :D
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 08:44:21 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Richard

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2009, 04:27:05 PM »
 :o

I have to say this seems to be reaching the bounds of absurdity in that what started as bit of joke has now seemingly raised some strong feelings  ::) 

In the context of this thread I couldn't give a toss about extracting (or being the subject of extraction) the urine from banjoists, viola-ettes, guitarists or drummers or anybody else.

Does it matter?

Moving on.

On another note UB, as we are here talking drummers, do you still play?
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline frankie

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2009, 06:34:22 PM »
I don't really care about banjo jokes one way or the other...  they're pretty much interchangeable with other musician jokes.

I will say this to anyone who thinks that banjos are all about smiley-happy shit or that they're "annoying" in some general way:  you're probably not listening to the right stuff.  you owe it to yourself to get a hold of one or more of the following:

High Atmosphere on Rounder
Clawhammer Banjo (any of volumes 1-3) on County
Roscoe Holcomb (Untamed Sense of Control or The High Lonesome Sound)
Dock Boggs - His Folkways Years (I think I prefer him as an older man)
Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley - Original Folkways Recordings

Any one of these will set your mind right.

In my opinion, there's something damn near mystical about the banjo...  5-strings - drone string under the thumb.  It just invites you to make something out of it that's your own...  you have to tinker with it  - both the thing itself and your relationship to it - to make it sound right.  You can learn the basics of how to play in an afternoon and play the rest of your life without "mastering" it.  More than any other instrument (and I mess with a few), it seems to draw songs through me, into it, and out into the world.  It makes me feel somehow changed in the process...  anyway...  there's more to it than a bunch of hee-haw and corn-pone humor or hootenanny and protest songs...  if you don't see it, well...  that would not be *my* problem, at least.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2009, 08:30:44 PM »
Roscoe Holcomb (Untamed Sense of Control or The High Lonesome Sound)

And with the latter record, you can ease into things with one of the cooler versions of Trouble In Mind ever waxed.

(Richard, no I don't play anymore, though imagine I could after working out the creaks. I still got rhythm...)

Offline Stuart

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2009, 09:14:47 PM »
Gus Cannon a.k.a. "Banjo Joe"

Offline frankie

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #50 on: March 11, 2009, 03:32:51 AM »
Gus Cannon a.k.a. "Banjo Joe"

Gus is my co-pilot.

Dobro33H

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #51 on: March 11, 2009, 06:07:34 AM »

I'm not going to comment on the banjo jokes except to say that, in my experience, people who make fun of the instrument are just trying too hard to appear dismissive.

Anyway, in banjo related news we have a project in the works over at Tangier Sound to develop a braille-friendly tab system for frailing banjo.

http://tangiersound.wordpress.com/braille-friendly-banjo-tab/

-Patrick

Offline git-fiddle

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #52 on: April 20, 2009, 10:36:07 AM »
I just bought an open back banjo on Ebay myself and this thread was very insightful and funny. I am looking forward to the learnin' da gosh darn thang... Anyway It's amazing how well certain blues tunes will lead themselves to being played on the banjo...I use Banjo Chris' 'Skin Game blues' up on Youtube as an good example...sounds great to my humble ears...also in terms of a great 'blusey' sounding banjo player don't forget jimmie Strothers...his version of 'Cripple Creek' will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up!
''...My road is rough and rocky on my way...'' Cryin' Sam Collins.

Offline Richard

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #53 on: April 20, 2009, 12:34:08 PM »
GF you won't be alone, when I find something tastefully dereict I shall be there toooo  :P
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline blueshome

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #54 on: April 20, 2009, 02:47:56 PM »
Nowt worse than a convert!   ;D ;D ;D

Offline frankie

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #55 on: April 20, 2009, 03:58:32 PM »
so...  blueshome...  when are you going to give up on those glorified soup tins and get a decent banjo.

You know you want one...  what'll it be?  A Vega?  Fairbanks and Cole?  Something more primitive perhaps?  An old minstrel banjo, maybe?  There are some nice contemporary copies out there that won't break the bank...   how about a nice ball bearing mastertone?  Now there's a banjo even a guy's mother could love.

Offline dj

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2009, 05:29:03 PM »
Quote
You know you want one...  what'll it be?

There's an excellent question. 

I've been playing an old Sekova that somehow attached itself to me back in college, which was a long time ago.  I've finally started to play it like a banjo instead of like a guitar with a funny short string.  It's ok to beat about a bit on and practice frailing, but it's really not a good instrument.  What would people recommend for a relatively inexpensive open back small pot banjo? 

Offline banjochris

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2009, 07:11:27 PM »
If you can get to a good vintage instrument store or want to order online, I'd recommend some of the "no-name" or lesser-known-brand banjos made in the late 1800s early 1900s. As long as they're in tune all the way up the neck and have a good action, you can sometimes get a deal on an excellent banjo, just because it doesn't say Stewart or Vega. That said, I have an old Vega and an old Stewart both. The Stewart is an "American Princess" model and is small and relatively quiet, but is great for solo playing, lousy in a band. The Vega (the one I have is from the 20s and has a resonator) is a great all-rounder.
Chris

Offline frankie

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #58 on: April 20, 2009, 07:19:16 PM »
relatively inexpensive

We should probably start with your definition of that phrase.   ;)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #59 on: April 20, 2009, 08:43:32 PM »
I agree about Jimmie Strothers. I only really learned of him a year or two ago and was surprised I hadn't heard anything before. He's really wonderful, a rough-hewn force of nature, and a name that rarely comes up. If only there were more recordings of him.

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