The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2941   Message #240949
Posted By: GUEST,Banjo Johnny
10-Jun-00 - 09:58 PM
Thread Name: Bluegrass
Subject: RE: Bluegrass
The banjo techniques have been covered pretty well, so I'll just add this. Interesting the way, the minute Bluegrass was mentioned, the attention zeroed in on banjo. Does it still sound like Bluegrass without the banjo? The three-fingered, syncopated Scruggs style has certainly become part of the sound. But just as important is the FIDDLE, and the basic bowing is an alternating down--updown, up--downup. It's all in the wrist. Without the fiddle, you have nothing! As far as banjo, I combine frailing with melody picking. This divides the work equally between both hands. Your left does a lot of hammering and drawing off. This also makes the banjo a good accompaniment for singing. The drawback of the Scruggs style is that you just about need a band behind you. Otherwise it's hard for the average listener (non-musician) to hear the progression. It sure sparkles, tho. You can spend a lot of time mastering that, or you can spend time learning lots of songs in a simpler style. I'm basically a singer with a banjo, so that's what I do. Good luck with your banjo! -- Johnny in Oklahoma City