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Whiskey straight will drive the blues away. If that be the case, I'll have me a quart today - Mississippi John Hurt, Got the Blues

Author Topic: Off-genre learning pursuits  (Read 2044 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Off-genre learning pursuits
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2011, 06:31:47 PM »
Very cool lindy, keep at it. I love that stuff but have never gotten my fingers around it. I like to dabble with Zimbabwe roots rock guitar party triplety stuff on a strat though. It's tough finding a band that is willing to get anywhere near it.

UB, so you have sold your soul to the clawhammer devil. You have inspired me to have another run at it. I got the clawhammer pattern down (it took ages) and love that percussive feel of bopping the thumb on the banjo head, but everything I end up doing is in sawmill tuning mainly because it's how I hear what I want to produce. Also I positively hate retuning it to different tunings all the time which is career-limiting in the banjo world. But I've got a good really clawhammer banjo so I should just get on with it probably and resign myself to doing my own thing.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Off-genre learning pursuits
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2011, 05:19:55 AM »
I'd say I am playing clawhammer around half the the time, and then playing other picking styles.

One can always acquire more banjos for dealing with tunings.  >:D But I guess I've gotten used to it and am more willing to retune the banjo, moreso than a guitar, because of the different tuning requirements of the songs I want to play. From G tuning, Sawmill is just a question of raising one string, C tuning to play Gus Cannon is a question of lowering one string, and even something like Dock Boggs' f#CGAD tuning is quick enough to get into, though does sometimes make me think "bring me another banjo."

Offline dj

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Re: Off-genre learning pursuits
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2011, 06:12:54 AM »
Quote
C tuning to play Gus Cannon is a question of lowering one string

Interesting.  I've been playing around a tiny bit with Gus' music in a totally uneducated way, and have been doing so with the banjo tuned as if the top 4 strings were Vestapol - DF#AD.  What do you use for the C tuning?

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Off-genre learning pursuits
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2011, 07:32:59 AM »
dj, the tuning Gus uses on a lot of his songs is gCGBD. So to get into it from standard G tuning on the banjo, you just drop the 4th string from D to C. I haven't check them all, but songs like Jonestown Blues, Wolf River Blues, Tired Chicken Blues, Riley's Wagon and others use this tuning at various pitches (sometimes pitched a bit lower, if I recall correctly). It is apparently less common to use it these days than it was back in the 19th century and start of the 20th, with Double C tuning (gCGCD) often preferred now, though I am no expert. C tuning means you have the root on the bass string, and your home position for the I chord is o0012.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 07:35:30 AM by uncle bud »

Offline dj

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Re: Off-genre learning pursuits
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2011, 07:55:58 AM »
Thanks, uncle bud.  You've just cleared up a lot of mystery and tripled my banjo knowledge.    :D

Offline eagle rockin daddy

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Re: Off-genre learning pursuits
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2011, 06:29:47 PM »
Interesting thread, my first instrument was clawhammer banjo, I have a beautiful old Gatcomb, and play it sometime, and sometimes (rarely) I learn a new song on it, because that's how I hear it in my head.  Most recently, Jim Ringer's Rose of San Jauqin, and Utah Phillips 'Ship Gonna Sail.'

I have a great dreadnaught guitar, with a high action, medium strings and I love to pound on it with a heavy pick and play bluegrass and real country, and I generally do this once a week with some friends. I recently have started going to a local old-time jam, and I really really love playing rhythm guitar for old time music.  Playing simple bass runs, and driving the groove is just so much fun, I sort of go into a trance.

O'Muck, I would dearly love to hear you interpret the classical pieces you mention through the lens of Rev. Davis, Son House, and all the greats that you channel so well.  Your technique is amazing, and you are so musical and musically creative in these genres that I know your would blow us away.  I mean if Rev. Davis can play Sousa marches, I am 110% sure you could play Beethoven.  You have already done the hardest part, you have the music in your head.

Mike

Offline Rivers

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Re: Off-genre learning pursuits
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2011, 05:43:59 PM »
I want to see O'Muck fingerpicking Beethoven's 5th on acoustic complete with cannon fire, smoke machines, fireworks, the Marseilles, the whole nine yards...

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Off-genre learning pursuits
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2011, 08:37:23 PM »
I think you just described Tchikovsky's 1812 overture there Rivers....hmmmmm now that's an idea!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Off-genre learning pursuits
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2011, 07:12:03 PM »
Well of course I totally knew that, in the back of my mind. 1812 O/T, of course, what a dope I am sometimes. Should listen to more CM on a regular basis.

Still into jazz standards here. I need more Cole Porter in my repertoire. Played informally at an informal wake after the service for a good pal who passed unexpectedly last week in Blanco TX. We got some really nice unsolicited comments during- and after which was touching and motivating. Played a bunch of blues, jazz and related forms.

People here don't know quite what to make of me, a Brit deep in the heart of Texas playing pretty eclectic material, but I seem to be accepted, so that's pretty cool. Really nice people. Texas rocks, it ain't all rednecks.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 07:40:07 PM by Rivers »

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