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Ralph Stanley Banjo

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The Sandman 03 Nov 09 - 01:08 PM
Songbob 03 Nov 09 - 03:12 PM
kendall 03 Nov 09 - 08:51 PM
The Sandman 04 Nov 09 - 08:24 AM
Dave Hanson 04 Nov 09 - 08:47 AM
The Sandman 04 Nov 09 - 10:14 AM
deadfrett 04 Nov 09 - 01:20 PM
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Subject: Ralph Stanley Banjo
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:08 PM

So he uses a three finger style,but does he lead[play melody] with his index up picking,and just fill in the sound with his middle and thumb,unlike Earl Scruggs,who plays most of the melody with his thumb,I hope I have that correct.
he say he use mainly a forward roll,any banjo experts out there.


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Subject: RE: Ralph Stanley Banjo
From: Songbob
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:12 PM

Ralph pretty much uses rolls, instead of the alternating pattern (TITMTITM) Scruggs often uses. As for which digit plays the melody note, it depends on where the note is, both on the strings and within the measure. You can play a forward roll (TIMTIMTM) starting with the 3d string, 4th string, or even 5th, and a modified forward roll (TMTIMTIM) allows for the 2d string to be the thumb note. You can also play the melody note with the Index or Middle finger, too, or employ backward (MITMITMT or MTIMTIMT or variations thereon) or inside-out rolls (TIMITIM or similar variations).

And, being bluegrass, who needs melody, anyway? The melody is "in there somewhere" among all the notes of the rolls. Listen to Ralph's playing and you'll see that he has his cliches, but also his inventions, and it all fits together.


Bob (the-older-timier-the-better) Clayton


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Subject: RE: Ralph Stanley Banjo
From: kendall
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:51 PM

He can also switch from bluegrass style to clawhammer in an instant. Don Stover did that too.


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Subject: RE: Ralph Stanley Banjo
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 08:24 AM

thanks Bob,your book is great.


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Subject: RE: Ralph Stanley Banjo
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 08:47 AM

Ralph doesn't play much any style of banjo now due to arthritis.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Ralph Stanley Banjo
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 10:14 AM

are thereany players that employ a system like thisfor melody playing,ring covers 1,middle covers two ,index covers three and possibly four,or index 3,thumb covers 4 and 5.
the disadvantage being double thumbing is not possible when playing melody on 4,but this could be overcome by playing 4 with index.
so is the idea in bluegrass that a melody note is always followed by another note generally but not necessarily on a different string,to create a flowing sound.
the ring is obviously a weaker finger[but surely it can be strengthened],but this sytem I find much easier because its what i use on guitar for finger picking.


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Subject: RE: Ralph Stanley Banjo
From: deadfrett
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 01:20 PM

Dick- I've enjoyed Dr. Stanley's music for many years now.But as they say often copied never imitated. If possible,watch the rainbow quest DVD of Pete Seeger with the Stanley Bros. It has Ralph playing Clinch Mountain Backstep. There are some good closeups. Dave


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