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help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method

Pawpecked 07 Jun 99 - 10:53 PM
gargoyle 08 Jun 99 - 12:26 AM
gargoyle 08 Jun 99 - 12:28 AM
Brian Hoskin 08 Jun 99 - 02:54 AM
Roger in Baltimore 08 Jun 99 - 08:12 AM
Steve Latimer 08 Jun 99 - 09:22 AM
Songbob 08 Jun 99 - 11:13 AM
Herge 08 Jun 99 - 02:55 PM
DonMeixner 08 Jun 99 - 10:57 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 09 Jun 99 - 09:57 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 09 Jun 99 - 09:59 PM
DonMeixner 09 Jun 99 - 10:15 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 10 Jun 99 - 12:50 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 10 Jun 99 - 01:07 AM
10 Jun 99 - 01:59 PM
Jon W. 11 Jun 99 - 12:46 PM
BSeed(CharlesKratz) 11 Jun 99 - 03:00 PM
GutBucketeer 12 Jun 99 - 11:47 PM
pawpecked 14 Jun 99 - 01:36 PM
14 Jun 99 - 02:34 PM
Guy Wolff 14 Jun 99 - 07:47 PM
Banjoman_CO 15 Jun 99 - 12:50 AM
Songbob 23 Jun 99 - 11:15 PM
Banjer 03 Jul 99 - 10:46 PM
Songster Bob 12 Jul 99 - 04:19 PM
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Subject: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Pawpecked
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 10:53 PM

I've purchased a banjo, but I'm not sure exactly how to get started. Is there any method, book, etc that you would recommend for a total beginner? Any guidance will be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: gargoyle
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 12:26 AM

Mel Gibson's books worked great for my bro.

AND a decent instructor, it takes a LIVE person to give immediate feedback and correction.


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: gargoyle
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 12:28 AM

And Scrugg's books for a hammering style.

You deffinately need LIVE interaction/instruction the first year. If you don't like the person/style SWITCH, quick.


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 02:54 AM

Mel Gibson plays banjo?!! That brings a whole new meaning to lethal weopon.


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 08:12 AM

Just what the world needs. Another banjo player!

My guess is that it is Mel Bay not Mel Gibson.

Pawpecked, you did not tell us what kind of banjo. There are two basic kinds: 5-string or 4-string (tenor banjo).

The tenor banjo is used primarily in jazz and celtic music.

If it is a 5-string there are two basic styles, old-time and Scruggs-style (most bluegrass banjo).

Go to Homespun tapes and look through their catalog. I heartily recommend getting a video tape instruction. They are not as good as live instruction, but one tape is as cheap as two hours of one-on-one instruction.

Check with your local music store and see if they have any group lessons. These are cheaper but you gain the benefit of meeting other beginners with whom you can play and practice.

Good luck.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 09:22 AM

This thread came up not long ago and I will give the same advice again. Check out The Murphy Method, it worked for me, I can't recommend it highly enough.

http://www.murphymethod.com

Good luck,

Steve


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Songbob
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 11:13 AM

If it's traditional-style five-string banjo instruction you need, I have a book I wrote back in 1976, called "The Old-Timey Banjo Book." I still have a few hundred around the house, and will sell 'em for $6.00 ppd. each (quantity discount for teachers or stores is available). I had lots of success with it, as did some others in the old-time music scene. If I recall, Elderly Instruments used to even carry it. It's even useful simply as a tune-book, with 25 tunes in various styles: up-picking ("Seeger style"), down-picking (frailing, clawhammer, rapping, etc.), and two-finger styles (thumb-lead or index-lead) are included. I avoided 3-finger styles, but there are good books on those, too.

Email me if you'd like a copy of the book. Though a live teacher is usually the best way to learn, a good book and good ears can get you started either with or in place of said teacher.

Sorry to make this sound like an ad, but I have to clear out these books somehow.

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Herge
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 02:55 PM

Whatever instrument your starting make sure its in tune before you start messing about!

Herge


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 10:57 PM

I tried for six years to learn to frail. I had every book I could find, except Bob's. I fellow I picked up hitchhiking (because he had a banjo case) showed me in twenty minutes the basics. I drove him out of my way and bought him a meal. I then taught my brother over the phone.

What I'd like to learn is the Pete Seegar style or the one Tommy Makem uses. Any ideas.?

Bob, I'd buy a book, contact me at DonMeixner@aol.com or Old Eerie@aol.com

Don


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 09:57 PM

Don, Pete Seeger's book is a good intro to up-picking, including double thumbing--both styles. Fair on frailing, not so hot on three-finger picking. --seed (it's where I started--after years of lousy ukulele playing I finally got into something I could actually play lead riffs on.


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 09:59 PM

Oh, and it has a really nice picking style for calypso in it, which I still use (although I mostly frail or three finger pick these days). --seed


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 10:15 PM

Charles,

I have the Seegar book, a third printing, but I am not able to learn much from it. I tend to be very visual and learn best by example. All I know are Scruggs pickers (yawn) but I want to be able keep time when I play so they are no help at all.

By the way, are you an heir to the Kratz Harmonica fortune?

Don.


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 10 Jun 99 - 12:50 AM

What Kratz harmonica fortune? The only Kratz harmonicas I know are Tombos, mostly Lee Oskars. I did inherit 1/32nd of a share of the oil rights to a few acres of land near Bakersfield (I don't know how many shares were sold, but my grandfather paid a couple hundred bucks for one share back in the 1920s. It hasn't added a penny to the vast Kratz fortune yet (that fortune is waiting for a big lottery win). --seed

Is there really a Kratz harmonica? (Kratz is a very common name in Germany)


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 10 Jun 99 - 01:07 AM

Also, Don, once you've got the basic boom-titty boom-titty rhythm ("boom" is up pick with index finger; "tit" is strum down with all fingers, and "ty" is pick fifth string with thumb--in a ONE TWOand/ONE TWOand/ rhythm down pat and recognize how easy the up the neck chords are (particularly in C and double C tunings) it's quite easy to start finding melodies in the strings--particularly when you start adding the doublethumb: (ONEandTWOand/ONEandTWOand/.

In double thumbing, the down stroke becomes another up pick: UPthumbUPthumb, and both the up picking finger and the thumb (particularly the one after ONE) can move onto other strings.

If you want, I could send you some tabs for some simple songs--I think I started with "Hard, Ain't It Hard?" --along with a tape illustrating it, if you'd like (I have the summer off, and none of my independent studies students took banjo lessons from me--only guitar, which is my fourth best instrument after harmonica, banjo, autoharp--and I wouldn't mind at all putting together a beginning old timey banjo program, starting with up picking and moving into frailing/clawhammer and some slow three finger stuff.

seed


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From:
Date: 10 Jun 99 - 01:59 PM

Sell the banjo and buy a guitar or mandolin


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Jon W.
Date: 11 Jun 99 - 12:46 PM

To the anonymous poster above:BOOO! Okay, I know your just kidding. Besides I have all three. But it's funnest to play the banjo.

To Bob Clayton: Please email me details on buying your book at jdwhitney@mmm.com. Thanks


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: BSeed(CharlesKratz)
Date: 11 Jun 99 - 03:00 PM

SongBob--I'd like five of your books: one for me, others for my students in my independent studies folk music class. --seed (BSEEDKRATZ@aol.com)


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 12 Jun 99 - 11:47 PM

Songbob:

I would be very interested in your Banjo book. I live in Silver Spring so I could pick it up. Could you send me the details by e-mail to jabunch@cais.com?

Thanks


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: pawpecked
Date: 14 Jun 99 - 01:36 PM

Bob - I'd be very interested in your book. My e-mail address is hlp@airmail.net--let me know where to send the $.


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From:
Date: 14 Jun 99 - 02:34 PM

pawpecked? is this Karen with a new name? --seed


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 14 Jun 99 - 07:47 PM

I want Mel Gibsons book !I would hope theres a self protection chapter after or maybe before the chapter on tuning..>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Banjoman_CO
Date: 15 Jun 99 - 12:50 AM

To Bob Clayton

I would be interested in one of your books. Email me at fwafbc38@ria.net

Banjoman Fred


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Songbob
Date: 23 Jun 99 - 11:15 PM

I've just gone through this thread and have posted emails to everyone even remotely interested in the banjo book. I apologize profusely for my brain cramp (not including contact info AND forgetting to check the thread). I'm a better player than I am a businessman.

Contact info:

Bob Clayton 8401 Cedar St. Silver Spring, MD 20910

Cost: $6. ppd

Thanks, and, again, my apologies.

Bob (Homer Simpson) Clayton


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Banjer
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 10:46 PM

I received my book today. It is a good book for learning different styles. Most of them I had a passing knowledge of, but seeing it in print and tab form makes it all that much more understandable. Thank You, Mr. Clayton...It is well worth the price!! Banjer


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Subject: RE: help? beginner banjo--whats best start/method
From: Songster Bob
Date: 12 Jul 99 - 04:19 PM

I've sent books to all that I have received orders from -- I think. If you know you've ordered, and haven't received your book by, let's say, week's end, email me and I'll try to track it down. I have checks or money orders to cash from three folks in my pocket right now, but that may not have been all. Someone wanted multiple copies for students, but I didn't see an order. If I should have, please let me know.

Bob Clayton


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