The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #117426 Message #2530383
Posted By: Patrick_Costello
03-Jan-09 - 09:02 AM
Thread Name: Banjo Tab
Subject: RE: Banjo Tab
Original Poster: The Banjo Players Songbook is sorta-kinda like Outlaws & Scalawags. It is one of the few frailing songbooks available and well worth having in your library.
BHSC: Practice the basic frailing strum every day, and if you are not used to making chords go ahead and make up some simple drills like throwing in random chord changes. Other than that, your practice time is best spent playing and singing.
A book like Rise Up Singing is a fantastic resource for a budding frailing banjo picker. Instead of pointlessly trying to memorize tab note-for-note (and that never works) you can dive in and play rhythm while you sing the melody. When I was just starting out I was lucky enough to get an impromptu banjo lesson from Peggy Seeger and Elizabeth Cotten. Their advice was to keep things simple and sing.
Instead of pounding your head against the wall memorizing crappy fiddle tunes nobody but banjo geeks want to hear, just take the basic banjo skill set and start having fun. Get into jam sessions. Sing on the front steps. Go visit nursing homes. Do the stuff folk musicians used to do before they all got self-important. As you wander along making music your banjo skills will develop naturally. You will become a musician who happens to play the banjo.