I enjoy banjo blues and swampy thump and twang. Looking for a blues jamming CD with published lyrics and banjo tablature. I pretty much stay in open G tuning on my five string, confusing different finger positions. Trying to learn how to walk bass notes between chords. As a beginning player, tablature pushes me up the neck. Any banjo blues players out there? I'd appreciate some instructional direction. Gary

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Well Gary, as I feared there hasnt been much response. Partly, theres just not a great deal of Banjo player activity here at CBN unfortunatly. Maybe in time we can change that a little.

I find that many people dont even know that the Banjo has a role in the early days of blues style music. And what makes it worse, most people associate Banjo with the later bluegrass picking style, unaware that it came along much later.

More specific to your question, If any such material exists, I am unaware of it, and would be interested as well.

But...... There is some hope. Maybe this will spark some idea, as a picture (or a youtube link) can speak a thousand words. Maybe this will start a good thing!

To get your juices flowing, heres a friend Mandy from Banjobandits.com with a blues excercise in clawhammer style banjo.

 

Now, heres a lesson from Tim, (also from banjobandits.com) on tips to figuring out a song starting with the basic chords and figuring out the melody.

 

I'd also recommend doing a search at youtube.com for more examples, there are quite a few good videos on the subject there.

I know Patrick Costello has done some lessons on playing the blues on the Banjo, and he has quite a collection of videos posted. Heres an example, that while it is on fretless banjo, it also has some content and clues on playing the blues on the banjo.

 

And actually, the closest thing I know of, book wise to what you are asking about might be from Patricks offerings. You may want to check out "the outlaws and scaliwags songbook" among others.

http://www.funkyseagull.com/books.html

Hi Gary,

I'm pretty sure that if you are into banjo blues, then "claw-hammer" (aka "frailing") is the picking style for you. What few blues players I recall seeing in the movies/videos all used claw-hammer.

The best tip I've heard for learning to play claw-hammer style is the idea of holding a credit card in your right (picking) hand while you practice your "bum-dit-ties". Seems to help me a lot with hand and finger placement. I guess I just need to practice, practice, practice.

What I need is a book, video, web-site or person that can teach banjo tabulature reading & playing for the brain dead. Any suggestions??? 

 

-Rand

 

Hello Mark, Thank you for the reply. I'll follow through with your suggestions, I'm sure they will be helpful. Learning clawhammer style. Joined the Oregon Old-Time Fiddlers mainly because of the opportunities to jam with others. Fiddles are king (of coarse) and not many banjo mentors. Planning to transpose guitar blues notation into banjo tablature. Yikes!
Challenging!


Mark Bliss said:

Well Gary, as I feared there hasnt been much response. Partly, theres just not a great deal of Banjo player activity here at CBN unfortunatly. Maybe in time we can change that a little.

I find that many people dont even know that the Banjo has a role in the early days of blues style music. And what makes it worse, most people associate Banjo with the later bluegrass picking style, unaware that it came along much later.

More specific to your question, If any such material exists, I am unaware of it, and would be interested as well.

But...... There is some hope. Maybe this will spark some idea, as a picture (or a youtube link) can speak a thousand words. Maybe this will start a good thing!

To get your juices flowing, heres a friend Mandy from Banjobandits.com with a blues excercise in clawhammer style banjo.

 

Now, heres a lesson from Tim, (also from banjobandits.com) on tips to figuring out a song starting with the basic chords and figuring out the melody.

 

I'd also recommend doing a search at youtube.com for more examples, there are quite a few good videos on the subject there.

I know Patrick Costello has done some lessons on playing the blues on the Banjo, and he has quite a collection of videos posted. Heres an example, that while it is on fretless banjo, it also has some content and clues on playing the blues on the banjo.

 

And actually, the closest thing I know of, book wise to what you are asking about might be from Patricks offerings. You may want to check out "the outlaws and scaliwags songbook" among others.

http://www.funkyseagull.com/books.html



Hello Rand,



Thank you for responding. I am learning the clawhammer style and working on solid technique. Listening to Taj Mahal's "Maestro". I like the melody in his song "Slowdrag".  Also trying to mimic Otis Taylor's "Recapturing the Banjo". They don't play in the key of G much. I need to reluctantly change my tuning, perhaps to a D. Afraid I'll get confused with finger positions. Like you say--Practice, Practice, Practice!

Found a guitar blues book of 50 most common jamming songs, simple melody notation and lyrics that I'll change into banjo tablature. Big time taker and low accuracy! I'll continue to search for a clawhammer blues tab, lyric, and CD jamming source.

Your buddy from the Beaver State, Gary



Rand Moore said:

Hi Gary,

I'm pretty sure that if you are into banjo blues, then "claw-hammer" (aka "frailing") is the picking style for you. What few blues players I recall seeing in the movies/videos all used claw-hammer.

The best tip I've heard for learning to play claw-hammer style is the idea of holding a credit card in your right (picking) hand while you practice your "bum-dit-ties". Seems to help me a lot with hand and finger placement. I guess I just need to practice, practice, practice.

What I need is a book, video, web-site or person that can teach banjo tabulature reading & playing for the brain dead. Any suggestions??? 

 

-Rand

 

Hi Gary, I play a simple clawhammer style on a 3 stringed banjo that seems to work for me. http://jerusalemmules.bandcamp.com/album/jerusalem-mules-lofi-and-l... you can listen to it here if you like. I base all my chords on the info I found in a great chord book that is here on the nation. I tune my strings a little differently though. Mostly it is like all these other folks are saying, if you get that bum ditty feel going the sound you want is in there. Good luck to you

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