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Plectrum Banjo?

Henry Krinkle 11 Sep 12 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,BanjoRay 11 Sep 12 - 07:41 PM
Henry Krinkle 11 Sep 12 - 07:52 PM
Henry Krinkle 11 Sep 12 - 08:20 PM
Geoff the Duck 12 Sep 12 - 04:40 AM
Henry Krinkle 12 Sep 12 - 05:57 AM
Henry Krinkle 12 Sep 12 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,BanjoRay 12 Sep 12 - 07:03 AM
Henry Krinkle 12 Sep 12 - 07:25 AM
Harmonium Hero 12 Sep 12 - 08:08 AM
Stringsinger 12 Sep 12 - 01:13 PM
Henry Krinkle 12 Sep 12 - 07:38 PM
bill\sables 13 Sep 12 - 03:39 AM
Henry Krinkle 13 Sep 12 - 06:11 AM
Henry Krinkle 14 Sep 12 - 03:53 PM
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Subject: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 05:07 PM

Any good for blues? Old time string band music?
How's it tuned?
Who made the best?
Can't I just take off the 5th string and try it that way?
Do I need different strings?
How to get started?
I like learning new instruments.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 07:41 PM

The usual tuning for a plectrum banjo is CGBD (starting from the bottom).

I've slacked off the fifth string on mine and shoved it under the bridge as a temporary thing, when I played for a jazz band who's banjo man hadn't showed up.

Strings from a five string are fine, but I wouldn't use light gauge ones.

To get started, get a book of banjo chords, as plectrum banjo playing seems to be mostly chord based - at least it is when I play one for traditional jazz. Learn the inversions of each chord up the neck, which you can use for playing chordal melodies, where each melody note, played mostly on the first string, is accompanied by (and forms part of)a chord on the other three strings.

Who made the best? Good question! All the great banjo makers eg Gibson in the USA and Clifford Essex in the UK made plectrum banjos. Anybody know who made the best ones?

Ray


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 07:52 PM

I've been attracted to Vega instruments since I bought a couple of their lap steels.
The Vega Vox looks nice. I'm thinking of one of those if they have a good sound,etc.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 08:20 PM

Can you just fingerpick it? I don't like flatpicks.
And will it work well for Stephen Foster tunes?
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 04:40 AM

Just a few thoughts.
1) If you are finger picking, keep the 5th string. It comes in handy. 2) Then just call it a 5-string, not plectrum banjo.
3) Look up threads on tuning and playing 5-string banjo.
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 05:57 AM

Well, it looks like I just tune up the 4th string one step and see what I get.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 06:02 AM

Oooppps! Down one step.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 07:03 AM

Er - a plectrum IS a flatpick! So why go for a plectrum banjo if you don't like flatpicks?


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 07:25 AM

I know, but I want to try the tuning and chords . Try some minstrelsy stuff.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 08:08 AM

Info I've gleaned from somewhere is that the plectrum banjo started with some players in the late 19thC taking the 5th string off and playing with plectrum rather than fingers. When this became popular, makers started making banjos like that, and calling them plectrum banjos. Any of the 5-string tunings will work (minus the 5th string, obviously), which gives you plenty of choice - you wouldn't believe how many there are. Plectrum guitar is the same, but with a guitar body instead of a banjo pot. Not much point in playing it fingerstyle, though; you might just as well stick with the 5-string as do that.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 01:13 PM

I think the best banjos made are either Ome or Bacon and Day. When played at a loud
volume to compete with horns in a band, they don't break up.

Vega Vox is designed for solo playing ala Peabody.

The best exponents of plectrum banjo are Perry Bechtel of Georgia, Sleepy Hall,
Buddy Wachter, and well-known but showy and flashy, Eddie Peabody.

Eddie Condon of trad jazz fame played his tenor guitar in plectrum banjo tuning (CGBD)

Buddy Wachter has an excellent tutor on Homespun Tapes.

I think the chords on a plectrum are not as versatile for playing jazz as the guitar but
they have a distinct quality which is good for trad jazz.

Red Roundtree and Dick Roberts of the Banjo Kings have recordings with Red playing plectrum and Dick playing Tenor with the fourth and third strings tuned up an octave (a re-entrant tuning).

Plectrum enthusiasts have conventions in various parts of the country.
These "banjoramas" have players who tune the conventional plectrum CGBD,
the usual tenors CGDA, and the so-called "Chicago style" DGBE like the top four strings of the guitar. The tenor guitar also uses these tunings.

Harper Goff with the Firehouse Five Plus Two played plectrum and his
replacement, Dick Roberts played tenor.

It also should be mentioned that Elmer Snowden who has quite a history with the
Washingtonians (later to become Duke Ellington's band) tuned his banjo
like the Irish, GDAE.

Narvin Campbell formerly with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band played a tenor (CGDA)

Barney McKenna of Irish banjo tuned his GDAE.

This may be more information than you wanted to know.

All these artists can be YouTubed.


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 07:38 PM

Thank you. It's a new instrument to study. Almost. I have a Gibson RB-3.
I'll try the CGBD tuning on it.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: bill\sables
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 03:39 AM

Why don,t you try playing the fiddle without a bow, that should be novel and different.


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 06:11 AM

I have a mandolin,thank you.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Plectrum Banjo?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 14 Sep 12 - 03:53 PM

After watching Eddie Peabody I'm inclined to go for the Vega Vox.
Nice looking banjos. Chick magnets.
(:-( ))=


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