The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2941   Message #13586
Posted By: Bill in Alabama
30-Sep-97 - 10:45 AM
Thread Name: Bluegrass
Subject: RE: Bluegrass
I have played banjo for many years. For 18 years, I toured with my family as a bluegrass band. While I am proficient in most styles of banjo (Scruggs style, Keith style, melodic note-for-note fiddle tunes, etc.), the style I find that I am most comfortable with is the clawhammer style. You're right, Jon-- to play regularly in a bluegrass format, a banjoist must practice at least a couple of hours every day. I have one friend who practices on a strict and strenuous six-hour daily schedule. Needless to say, he's very good. For me, the beauty of bluegrass music is that it is so gloriously improvisational: I've probably never played a banjo break in a particular song the same way any two times. It's a lot like what I think dixieland music is like for other musicians. Clawhammer style is very demanding in that it requires much more left-hand work if one hopes to carry the melody. The family (minus our bass-player son) will be performing at the Museum of Appalachia annual Homecoming on October 8 through 12, in Norris, Tennessee. Others performing there will be Mac Wiseman, Doyle Lawson (great bluegrass), John Hartford, David Hope, Grandpa Jones, the Ramona Jones Band, Jeanette Carter (A.P.'s daughter), Sparky Rucker, and many, many others. pardon the commercial.