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5 string banjo question

The Sandman 25 Dec 08 - 04:12 AM
Mark Ross 25 Dec 08 - 11:22 AM
Leadfingers 25 Dec 08 - 11:57 AM
olddude 25 Dec 08 - 01:04 PM
The Sandman 25 Dec 08 - 01:14 PM
oombanjo 25 Dec 08 - 02:42 PM
The Sandman 25 Dec 08 - 03:07 PM
Mark Ross 25 Dec 08 - 04:04 PM
Stringsinger 25 Dec 08 - 05:34 PM
The Sandman 25 Dec 08 - 06:25 PM
Cap't Bob 25 Dec 08 - 07:51 PM
JedMarum 25 Dec 08 - 10:53 PM
Cap't Bob 25 Dec 08 - 11:36 PM
The Sandman 26 Dec 08 - 06:08 AM
oombanjo 26 Dec 08 - 06:15 AM
Patrick-Costello 26 Dec 08 - 06:45 AM
The Sandman 26 Dec 08 - 08:32 AM
banjoman 26 Dec 08 - 08:39 AM
oombanjo 26 Dec 08 - 08:53 AM
Patrick_Costello 26 Dec 08 - 09:16 AM
Mark Ross 26 Dec 08 - 11:27 AM
Mark Ross 26 Dec 08 - 12:54 PM
bald headed step child 27 Dec 08 - 04:36 AM
Cap't Bob 27 Dec 08 - 08:34 PM
Stringsinger 27 Dec 08 - 09:08 PM
Cap't Bob 28 Dec 08 - 12:18 AM
Farley Buckwheat 28 Dec 08 - 12:20 AM
alex s 28 Dec 08 - 08:36 AM
bald headed step child 28 Dec 08 - 02:47 PM
The Sandman 29 Dec 08 - 08:33 AM
The Sandman 30 Dec 08 - 05:38 AM
The Sandman 30 Dec 08 - 06:09 AM
Patrick_Costello 31 Dec 08 - 07:32 AM
The Sandman 31 Dec 08 - 08:00 AM
Patrick_Costello 01 Jan 09 - 07:46 AM
Guy Wolff 01 Jan 09 - 12:11 PM
The Sandman 01 Jan 09 - 02:02 PM
The Sandman 07 Jan 09 - 01:23 PM
Mark Ross 07 Jan 09 - 02:01 PM
GLoux 07 Jan 09 - 03:12 PM
bald headed step child 07 Jan 09 - 07:50 PM
The Sandman 08 Jan 09 - 07:54 AM
Patrick_Costello 08 Jan 09 - 09:53 AM
bald headed step child 08 Jan 09 - 11:03 AM
The Sandman 08 Jan 09 - 01:47 PM
Guy Wolff 08 Jan 09 - 02:55 PM
BanjoRay 08 Jan 09 - 08:39 PM
The Sandman 09 Jan 09 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Banjopicker 30 Nov 11 - 05:22 PM
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Subject: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 04:12 AM

I have recently obtained one,my instinct is to use a four finger method,ring covering 1 string,middle covering 2 string,index covering3 string,thumb covering 1 AND 5 STRING.
In various tutors,there is a mention of three string[T Index Middle]but never four,it is, that I find this easiest for up picking,because its what I use on the guitar.what do people recommend.
with frailing,does it make any difference using index or middle.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Mark Ross
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 11:22 AM

Whichever one is comfortable. Some people prefer the index(as I do).
Pete Seeger uses the middle because he used picks, index & ring finger for up-picking, middle finger, with metal pick turned backwards, for striking down. I am told that Pete can use that middle finger with its' backward pick for up-picking also.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 11:57 AM

Dick - there seem to be as many styles as there are good pickers ! AS Mark says ,whatever 'feels' right !
But whichever you choose , enjoy it ! And Learn ALL the Jokes so YOU can give the Punch line !


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: olddude
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 01:04 PM

I use my index but I know a lot of people who don't
I think the best advice is what feels right for you.   There is some great rolls all over the web that you can look at and various styles.
I do the bluegrass rolls but I want to learn the clawhammer .. that is my next project. I have only been playing about 6 months


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 01:14 PM

Thanks,I just want to avoidding anything, that might restrict me later.
having played tenor banjo a bit,I reckon the plectrum is easiest for irish trad,but I am really trying to explore it for song accompaniment and old thyme tunes.
the only advantage for irish trad[that I can see]is the nice high g,for g chords,in the key of g.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: oombanjo
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 02:42 PM

Captain if you can find a plastic finger pick that fits the finger that you are comfortable using,put it on backwards over your fingernail when frailing, it takes a bit of getting use to but saves a lot of pain in the long run. Also try a few, plastic, metal, celulose, ect till you find one that you are happy with as each will produce a different sound.cheers Oombanjo


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 03:07 PM

oom banjo,I have been trying a light metal pick for frailing,but with the curved metal part extending like a claw inwards,are you suggesting that the pick should be like a j,excuse me for being thick,I just want to understand what you meant exactly.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Mark Ross
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 04:04 PM

If you are using a pick to frail you have to straighten it out, easy to do with metal, a little harder with plastic. Then you have to heat it in water until it softens enough to allow you to bend it without breaking.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Stringsinger
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 05:34 PM

Yes, Mark, Pete does use a straightened pick on his middle finger to frail and uppick which he wears backwards. This is true.

When you wear picks, using the ring finger is cumbersome on fast tunes. What Pete used
to do was to wear straightened picks on both his middle and ring and he could uppick with these on backwards. I haven't seen anyone else able to do this effectively.

Erik Darling always used curved picks on his first and second finger and frailed with his ring finger.

I find the plastic picks harder to use. These are the new ones, I forget, Kelly or someone.
They are clear plastic. The best sound is either metal or no picks at all in my opinion but
everyone has a sound they like the best.

I have a Lucite resonator on my RB175 long-neck that gets a good volume without picks at all.

Frank


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 06:25 PM

Frank,I play the guitar without any picks,I cant grow my finger nails because of concertina playing.
I am used to fingerpicking guitar,with thumb index ,middle ring,the natural thing for me to want to do is to use index for third, middle for second, ring for first[up picking] thumb for fourth downpicking[as I do on guitar].
however I understand,that would alter the emphasis, particularly in bluegrass eg if a thumb is meant to pick down and it is replaced by an index picking up.
a lot of the bluegrass rolls are coming easily[Ironically I dont like bluegrass much,but prefer old time].any suggestions would be welcome.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 07:51 PM

Clawhammer, frailing, drop thumb frailing use down picking with the nail of either the index of middle fing and are best for the old timey sound. I prefer the nails to pick but I tend to have trouble with fingernails so I use either index or middle finger depending on which nail is in better shape. If they are both bad I use the Fred Kelly Freedom Pick. These can be customized with a file or sandpaper if you want a softer touch on the nail part of the pick. If you use the pick for up picking its best not to sand it to thin.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: JedMarum
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 10:53 PM

I'd be damned if I know what fingers I use for what strings! I am totally undisciplined about it, and only get into trouble when I try to think about it!!

I play some in "3 finger" style finger picking - that is rest the ring finger on the head of the banjo and pluck with three fingers and the thumb. I use my thumb, index finger and little finger for most of the picking and my middle finger for down stroke (back of the nail) brushing. But I do a lot of downstroke with the index finger for melody or bass lines too, and the back of the thumb nail on the upstroke brush. These techniques give me a mix of 3 finger and frailing sounds.

It works for me. I do very much the same on the guitar, but the left hand is more complex on the guitar.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 11:36 PM

I tend to do the same thing Jed. On the banjo I like to mix the three finger bluegrass style with either frailing or clawhammer. In the summer time I like to set along the banks of the AuSable River and play Dueling banjos one part Old Timey and the other Bluegrass. It gets quite a reaction from some of the canoeists.

I've found that Old Timey players don't think much of Bluegrass and visa versa. Then some of the folks I play with sort of enjoy the mix. One break Old Timey and the next Bluegrass. Both styles also work good on the Guitar or Ukulele. Blues, well that's a different story.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 06:08 AM

So is the idea in Bluegrass that the thumb plays the melody?.
what do people think,of the four finger style[my ring is pretty strong].thumb5 .4.index 3.middle 2, ring 1.?
am Imaking life difficult myself,would i be better using a more conventional style?.
thanks for all your help.
incidentally, Icame across an old article byDave Cousins[Strawbs].he talked about something called the ripple.,the melody is never played on the first string,but on the other strings,and the player plays a pattern,i[up] m [up] thumb,a melody followed by two drone strings, ist and fifth,in a triplet to get a flowing sound,he was using sawmill tuning and calling it the English Ripple.,any thoughts/?


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: oombanjo
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 06:15 AM

Good morning Captain, good morning to you, away from flippancy and
back to the subject. I use my index and strike the edge of the pick to the melody string just as if you were frailing without one on. I don't try to straiten them, as you said when putting them on back to front, covering the nail, the j of the pick curl's round towards the inside of the finger/hand, you will always when starting out strike the sting to hard and it will sound hard and brash. In time you will learn to back of it. My favourite pick, and I only have one left is one of the old thick black Dunlop's, these give you a full round tone. Try to pull up Adam hurt on Utube he also uses one all the time. Hope this helps. Cheers Oombanjo


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Patrick-Costello
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 06:45 AM

It really depends on what you want to do with the banjo.

If all you want to do is own a banjo that you can occasionally drag out of the closet, fumble through half a song and then post endlessly on banjo forums about the music you would make if you had any skill (all while handing out definitive advice on music you don't understand on an instrument you can't play)then go right ahead with your own home-brewed version of frailing.

If you want to make music - not a style or genre but good old fashioned all-around "music" - then you need to sacrifice a few hours to learn basic frailing and then have the intestinal fortitude to practice a little bit (less than half and hour a day will do) every day for a few months.

I know the above probably sounds a bit cynical, but I am typing this with a straight face. The internet is chock full to the brim with bozos who can't play a lick but are convinced they can find some sort of shortcut around the basics of frailing - and the comedy of it all is that frailing is so bleeding simple that there is no need for the workarounds and downright stupid alternatives.

If you want to frail, here is literally everything you need to know all free for downloading:

Videos:
Old Time Banjo
Frailing Banjo
Frailing The Blues

Audio Workshops:
Virtual Frailing Banjo

Books:
The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo
A Book of Five Strings
The Outlaws and Scalawags Songbook

Plain Text:
Basic Frailing Banjo
Easy Bluegrass Banjo
Calloused Ears
Frailing Banjo Backup

In addition to all of that, there are 188 workshops (mostly 5-string banjo, but there is also stuff for guitar, ukulele, tenor banjo and harmonica) on my Youtube page (my YouTube handle is dobro33H) and you will also find a lot of student-generated workshops and performances on my blog: http://tangiersound.wordpress.com/. http://ukfolkies.proboards107.com/index.cgi.

For face-to-face help in the UK, post a note on the UK Folkies forum. THe group is less than a year old, about 100 pickers strong and having a lot of success stating up jams and workshops to share music.

If you pick up the basic frailing skillset as it is taught and spend some time practicing faithfully you will be a strong banjo player in a pretty short period of time. Playing whatever you want with whoever you want without being bound by the moronic nastiness of any given genre or "scene".

-Patrick


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 08:32 AM

patrick,I have been playing concertina for 32 years,and have written two tutors,.
http://www.dickmiles.com
I am well aware of the necessity of practice.
since some players frail with the index and some with the middle,logically there should be no reason,why a player cant frail with both is there?or perhaps there is.
as regards playing Irish music on the 5 string,for me it is definitely easier to use a plectrum,as I have acquired that skill with the four string,hence my question regarding four finger style,having acquired that skill on the guitar, it is thus easier
what I am asking before I go down that route],is there a logical musical reason for not doing this,other than it has not been done before,after all no one was using three finger blugrass style before 1938 were they?
or does it produce the wrong emphasis because I am using an index [up]instead of a thumb down,on the third string.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: banjoman
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 08:39 AM

Hi Dick - there are so many different ways of playing the five string banjo that its almost impossible to separate one player from another. The advice given by most of the contributors is good - basically play the way that you feel comfortable with, or like me develop your own style. I play mainly melody and use my thumb to play most of the melody lines and augment with index finger either brushing up or down to play the full chord. I have limited use of the other fingers due to arthritis.
I also found some new style picks from the old tyme music company that will fit the fingers either way round so you can use them in a variety of ways. I find them great

Have fun and a good New year
Pete


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: oombanjo
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 08:53 AM

Captain check out Dwight Diller his method and his emphasis to the tune and his rhythmic style has attracted banjo players worldwide to try and emulate the method. There are many more but Dwight is up there with them. Hi Paul all the best info on the picks are they the type that covers the full finger end if so from where cheers john


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Patrick_Costello
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 09:16 AM

"since some players frail with the index and some with the middle,logically there should be no reason,why a player cant frail with both is there?or perhaps there is."

In the beginning, you really need to pick one - I strongly recommend the middle - and stick with it.

Once you have mastered the basics the finger issues goes out the window - but for the first six months you really need to focus on getting the basic motion down and the only way to do that is to be consistent.

Picking up and down is going to limit you. Alternative fingerstyle approaches will work for a song or two, but that is it. Every song will have to be arranged and memorized individually.

Get the frailing strum down cold - get it "right" - and everything you know from the concertina and your other musical pursuits will fall right into place on the banjo.

-Patrick


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Mark Ross
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 11:27 AM

Actually you don't have to pick one. Stu Jamieson sat me down at the Smithsonian Festival in '76 and showed me a whole bunch of different techniques he'd learned over the years, including brushes he gotten from Rufus Crisp.

One thing he showed me was to hold your hand like you were cupping a toilet paper roll, but instead of just brushing down, holding your fingers perpindicular to the strings and frail a tune by striking all the strings at once. A lot of tunes (Old Joe Clark works well with this technique)lend themselves to this rhythmic, percussive style. And it works well in a situation where the banjo has to play the melody and the rhythym at the same time.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Mark Ross
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 12:54 PM

The advantage of doing it this way is that you develop the muscle memory for frailing, and don't have to worry about hitting individual strings. That can come later.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: bald headed step child
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 04:36 AM

I think I would have to agree with Patrick on this one.

I am reminded of a thread from awhile back where a person trying to learn banjo decided that a tab of Bela Flecks Sapporo would be a good starting point. NOT.

When learning a new instrument it is important to learn the basics of how other people have successfully played it. It doesn't really matter which style, but pick someone whose style you like and try to learn the basics of what they are doing. Then practice it. It won't be long before the lessons from other instruments work their way into your playing.

I myself am a pretty fair three finger player who has recently started learning clawhammer. The first book I got was a little advanced so I got one that was more for beginners and within just a few days the three finger and guitar tricks started working their way in.

And yes people were playing three finger way before Earl "invented" it. Earls method is the one that works best for him, but it is not the only way.(Sorry if that offends anyone. Actually no I'm not,cuz only bluegrassers would be offended.)Earl actually learned from Snuffy Jenkins and then adapted it to the style that he uses now.

If you try the basics you might find that there are reasons why different players use certain techniques and you might end up using them on your other instruments.

OK I'm done ranting.

BHSC


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 08:34 PM

A little over a month ago I developed what is called "trigger finger" in the index finger of my right hand and the middle finger of my left hand. This has certainly played havoc with my bluegrass picking. One web site dealing with "trigger finger" said that one cause was playing stringed instruments, Hmmmmmmmmm. I've been trying to do three finger picking with the second and third fingers of my right hand. Not a hole lot of luck so far. Luckily I can still do the clawhammer and frailing.

Last week I went to an ortheopedic surgon and he is going to perform some kind of operation that will loosen up a point of constriction that usually takes care of the problem. Wonder if anyone else has had this problem or surgical procedure?

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 09:08 PM

I have the Fred Kelly picks but I prefer the natural nails.

As for clawhammer, there are three-fingered traditional styles that sound good too from North Carolina and Virginia. Obray Ramsey, Mike Seeger, Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Charlie Poole. Clawhammer isn't the only trad banjo game in town.

Banjo requires that people find their own style. Pete and Peggy are unique with their picks.George Pegram adapts a bluegrass type style without being bluegrass but traditional.
George Grove of the KT has his own style based on Dave Guard's approach with picks.
Derroll Adams has a unique style, non-bluegrass or picks.
Pete Steele from Hamilton Ohio, a coal miner who influenced Pete Seeger uses up-picking with his fingers as in "Coal Creek March" and "Pay Day at Coal Creek".

With clawhammer, you can use different fingers I think depending on the sound you want to get. The index finger is the most trad I think. Once you frail, you can use any finger.

Interesting question here:

"as regards playing Irish music on the 5 string,for me it is definitely easier to use a plectrum,as I have acquired that skill with the four string,hence my question regarding four finger style,having acquired that skill on the guitar, it is thus easier
what I am asking before I go down that route],is there a logical musical reason for not doing this,other than it has not been done before,after all no one was using three finger blugrass style before 1938 were they?

Bluegrass banjo really is a product of the late Forties. The two main guys to bring it on were Scruggs and Don Reno. Reno was in the army at the time Scruggs popularized his style. There is no logical reason for using any fingers one way or another except that this has been a cultivated style. Bluegrassers anchor the ring and pinky on the banjo head.
If you can play the banjo with your teeth successfully why not?

As for Irish, the frailing style doesn't seem to lend itself to the music. Kevin Burke has been accompanied by a clawhammer style but in order to play the "chunes" with the Irish musicians, you need the attack of the flatpick unless you develop an accompaniment style for them. Even then, I think accompanying Irish "Chunes" is tricky. Some chords don't work well. And you have to stay with the "lilt" which clawhammer doesn't get too well.

Back to the question. Whatever works. But it seems as though with the three fingers, this is a "classical" banjo style which was in it's heyday in the late 1800's. Fred Van Epps, Cammemeyer and others developed this. Capt., you might want to look into this. There is an American Banjo Society that does "classical" pieces much in the same way as "classical guitar".

My feeling about banjo accompaniment is that it is best when sparse.


"or does it produce the wrong emphasis because I am using an index [up]instead of a thumb down,on the third string."

The ideal banjo picker can probably do it all. I don't think there is a formula for this.
Pete Pardee's banjo book covers this by presenting some unorthodox patterns.

Uncle Dave Macon could do both clawhammer and three-finger up picking sometimes
interchangeably. Pete and Peggy can as well.

Frank


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 12:18 AM

Frank ~ whenever I play Irish tunes they seem to work best with the tenor banjo.
However there are some Irish tunes that do lend themselves to the clawhammer style.
"Coleraine" works out nicely in "G" modal tuning.
"Little Beggerman" works in standard "G" tuning.

For the melodic style tunes like "Flowers of Edinburgh", "Irish Washerwoman", "Philadelphia Hornpipe". "Sailors Hornpipe" are a lot of fun.

I use the Fred Kelly picks when playing the melodic and bluegrass style. They seem to work better for me than the regular metal finger picks. The sound I prefer for clawhammer and frailing styles are the fingernails.

If you have a friend who plays melodic style there is a wonderful little book by Harold Streeter "IRISH JIGS FOR MELODIC STYLE 5 STRING BANJO" arranged for solo and duet. Melodic duets have a great sound and are a lot of fun to play. The book may be hard to find these days.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Farley Buckwheat
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 12:20 AM

.

music on the 5 string,for me it is definitely easier to use a plectrum,as I have acquired that skill with the four string,hence my >>>. ..question regarding four finger style,having acquired that skill on the guitar, it is thus easier...is there a logical musical reason for not doing this,other than it has not been done before...>>>

The four finger style that guitarists use has been tried lots of times on 5 string banjo. What you will get is a banjo being played in the style of a guitar, not a style that is characteristically banjo-istic.

As noted above, there are a zillion styles of banjo playing. Pete Seeger's book will make this clear. While it is true that you can do anything you want, I urge you to learn one of the traditional styles - 3-finger, frailing or similar. This is the only way to understand the particular approach to syncopation that has been preserved by 5-string players ever since the early Africans brought the banjo to these shores.

.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: alex s
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 08:36 AM

anyone supply fred kelly picks in the UK?


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: bald headed step child
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 02:47 PM

Cap't Bob, I suffer from the same type of problem as you describe.

Before letting a surgeon cut you open I would urge you to seek a competent chiropractor or massage therapist. The problem usually is the muscles and ligaments that go up to the elbow, or so I've been told by more than one doctor.

In my case massage and stretching of the muscles near the elbow as well as icing the top side of the forearm near the elbow has given a great deal of relief.

Your case may be different, but I like to question the motivation behind reccomended treatments. Surgeons almost always reccomend surgery. I like to avoid cutting whenever possible.

I would just like to suggest getting several opinions before surgery. It doesn't hurt to try other treatments first. You could still have the surgery later, but with surgery first the other treatments may not work if the operation doesn't.

BHSC


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 08:33 AM

thanks everyone for your help.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 05:38 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 06:09 AM

Patrick Costello,your videos were very useful,and thanks for all the advice.
I have several books,the art of the mountain banjo[-art rosen baum],and how to play the 5 string banjo,by a mr Jumper.,plus two of Sullys books,I shall come back to this thread from time to time to refresh my memory,on different points.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Patrick_Costello
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 07:32 AM

You shouldn't need a whole lot of stuff. The thing that makes frailing so cool is the fact that you can learn everything you need to make music for years in a couple of afternoons.

Get the basic frailing strum down cold, pick up a few chords and start singing folk songs.

-Patrick


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 08:00 AM

yes,thanks and I must get a strap on my banjo,my left arm was starting to ache last night through over enthusiasm,andnot being so used to such a long neck.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Patrick_Costello
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 07:46 AM

I had to get used to working without a strap because of all the video work I was doing - but it is a good idea to use one in the beginning. A guitar strap will work just fine.

If you run into trouble with anything there are some really strong frailing banjo pickers over at the UK Folkies forum. I always push the people who get tips from me to learn how to teach so you should be able to meet up with somebody who can help you over the rough spots - and the cool thing is that you could help some of them with the squeezebox.

-Patrick


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 12:11 PM

HEllo Dick,
       Great thread . If you are used to three or four fingered up-picking its interesting to talk a bit on a few different kinds of up-picking that relate back to blue-grass banjo .. I remember you asking me in one of my guitar clips on youtube if I was using my thumb to lead the melody. Thumb lead in three finger banjo playing always leads back to conversations on Earl Scuggs . All bluegrass picking combinations come back to a kind of sped up version of the rhythms in ragtime .. :say a simple three finger roll Thumb Index Middle sped up would be a straight jig rhythm but if you break up the shape by adding an extra thumb it all becomes syncopated . as in TMITMIT OR TMITMITMITMIT . Different Banjo players have made famous using EITHER Thumb Middle or even Index fingers as their strong lead of in these rolls . Earl Sruggs for Thumb lead Don Reno liked Index lead and so on (Scruggs playing sounded a little heavier then Renos because of this)   ..I am over simplifying ...I used index finger rolls in Joy To The World in my clip of three christmas songs for banjo on youtube(I wanted Lighter attack on the melody )..
            DIck as you know I love clawhammer and I hope you get a chance to use it in some songs . Three drunken Maidens would be a good one to try in gDGBD or black-legged minor in gDGCD or Sausie Sailor Lad in dDGAD... I would make you a clip on YT of anything to be of help here . Let me know what song and what key you would like to sing it in and I will work something up for you to try . All the best , your friend in Connecticut . Guy
         
             PS I have so enjoyed your concertina and voice on youtube and would recommend all here to have a look .


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 02:02 PM

hi, Guy,happy new year.I am busy over the next few days getting prepared for recording concertina,but next week,I will be picking up the banjo again,so I may well, be in touch.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 01:23 PM

anyone use charlie pooles style to accompany songs?


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Mark Ross
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 02:01 PM

I do an archaic 3 finger style that is close to Poole's.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: GLoux
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 03:12 PM

Pete Peterson, who posts here every once in a while, is into channelling Charlie Poole's banjo style.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: bald headed step child
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 07:50 PM

Here is an interesting Youtube I stumbled across the other day.

Poole style

David Holt interviews Kinney Rorrer who is descended from Charlie Poole and plays Pooles banjo in the same style.

It's a really good interview and gives some real insight into Poole's style.

BHSC


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 07:54 AM

thanks ,I love it,this is much easier for me,I am going to give it a go,but am going to persevere with frailing too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmqpgT0ClK4
here is a version of a song CharliePoole recorded which Irecorded back in 1981,Ihope Charlie would have liked it.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Patrick_Costello
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 09:53 AM

The fingerstyle stuff is fun - but if you want to "get" frailing my advice is to work on it exclusively for a little while. Down-picking is counter intuitive and it is all too easy to fall into the trap of switching to something easier like fingerpicking whenever you run into a rough patch. Give it a few weeks to get used to the motion and rhythm before you start jumping from technique to technique.   

-Patrick

PS: Loved your take on Bald Headed End Of The Broom. I use a simple version of that song for drop-thumb practice here.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: bald headed step child
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 11:03 AM

cool video

BHSC


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 01:47 PM

yes ,all the David Holt interviews are good,Wade Mainer 101 years young.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 02:55 PM

Hello Dick . Charley Poole's style is a great place to start if youve had a bit of blues finger picking guitar playing .. The thumb bass lines in the double C tuning really show up in his playing .. Good luck , Guy


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: BanjoRay
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 08:39 PM

Guy, according to Kinney Rorrer, Charlie didn't use double C tuning, he used standard C tuning - gCGBD. You'll get the same thumb bass lines, though - lovely stuff. I went to the Charlie Poole Festival in Eden NC back in 06, and lots of people entered the Poole style banjo competition, including Kinney and our Pete Peterson. They sounded great.
Ray


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 04:37 AM

yes, that is exactly how I play guitar in the style of JohnHurt,melody picking,with bass on every beat[although I adapt it to play english trad],and use dadgbd and other modal tunings].
I think I am going to work on three styles, Pooles and frailing and also clawhammer.,its just finding time,still., playing the banjo or the guitar in the evening beats watching the tv,then I practice concertina,for an hour during the day.
I have tried double c thats fun too.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: GUEST,Banjopicker
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 05:22 PM

If you want to get a idea of different banjo playin techniques Id suggest to anyone to watch " Give me a Banjo" by steve martin.


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