The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59934   Message #957841
Posted By: Frankham
22-May-03 - 04:06 PM
Thread Name: Banjo Talk - Long Neck and Head Tension
Subject: RE: Banjo Talk - Long Neck and Head Tension

"Just looking to understand the instrument a bit more - after all, what does aguitar player know about banjos?"

You were kidding but you know there is an answer. Guitar players deal with counter-lines and bass runs in backup arrangements. Pete Seeger differentiated his style of banjo playing from the more traditional players by bringing these musical elements to banjo accompaniments. Usually, a trad banjo player would play the tune on the banjo and sing it simultaneously. Pete approaches the banjo more like a guitar with a bass line, counter-line or descant or even playing a harmony on the banjo under the singing of the melody. This was Pete's major contribution to the banjo. Before him, banjo players pretty much stuck to playing the melody on the banjo as they sang it.

A different guage of string might help those lower keys. Heavier strings could bring out the bass frequencies or it might be that a lighter string could cut them. When you hear Pete's earlier recordings, he plays the banjo in F and E below the customary G and it sound great Check his record "Darling Corey" on Folkways. In my opinion, this is one of the best recordings he ever made.

Frank Hamilton