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JSBach

Clawhammer banjo may not be the born instrument for Bach´s music. But I love it anyway - both his music and my banjo. Now during Corona-times I thought to have time enough for practicing. Well, you never practice enough. But I now reached a point when my newest try on Bach seems to be (almost) ready. - and practicing more could mean mental cruelty to my cohabitant. I´m afraid this is all I can achieve. 
I always was fascinated by the famous Bourrée in E-Minor. Everybody knows it. It almost became lift music ;-) To play it in clawhammer style is not so absurd as it may seem because it´s lots of 8th-notes which lie so close together that some drop thumping should manage it. So I wrote the tablature with TablEdit following the notes I kept in my drawer since long (which were written for guitar). It took me some time as TablEdit really has some tricky points - but it worked. And then I had to spend hours and hours practicing the drop-thumbs, open pull-offs and all that favorite stuff.    Fi…

Online Workshops

No doubt, Corona sucks. A lot. On the other hand there never were more banjo workshops close at hand than now. Last weekend I joined the Rollick at Ashokan, this weekend there will be even more:
Workshops with some of the most admired Clawhammer players
And when this is over the next Ashokan Rollick is lurking around the corner, hopefully again with Rachel Eddy who did an amazing job at the last one. No date fixed until now, but I´m sure Debbra Clifford and the other guys will get it done.

Clawhammer Goes Zoom

For me last weekend was stuffed with clawhammer banjo 😉
Just a few days before the start I came to know that the famous Ashokan Festival has got an Oldtime version called "The Ashokan Online Rollick" (sorry to say but I found it on infamous Facebook 😟). I registered and via "Zoom" participated in great concerts with wonderful musicians and amazing clawhammer banjos. I even joined a workshop online. Rachel Eddy taught us "Over the Waterfall". She demonstrated a slow version and led us through the tune and then demonstrated an upspeed version with some really hot licks. Some day I´ll try to find out, which almost jazz-like licks those were, but that could take time... Applaudable how systematic and precisely she guided us through the tune. I think all participants have gained a lot. The Rollick-guys uploaded some videos and audiofiles to google drive which is open to participants, so we can repeat the great experiences.
Of course I would have loved to at…

Ashokan online

Big event next weekend - stop - have a look here - stop - Online Rollick 2020 - stop
Donate and have fun! 😷

Green Willis

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Bob Carlin published a great booklet in 1977 to his (et al.) record "Melodic Clawhammer Banjo, the Return of Clawhammer Banjo". It not only includes beautiful fiddle tunes for banjo but also some duetts for banjo. I gave it a try with "Green Willis". It took me some time to learn both melodies - and again some time to record this stuff. The smartphone microphone tends to exaggerate the tone of the steel strings of the right side banjo (builder Karsten Schnoor, Hamburg). I should have recorded it with another mic, but anyway. And again it took me some time to combine this video (through VideoPad) with the other voice of Doc Huff´s banjo. Hope you enjoy the result.


Concert

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The rivalry between three-finger-pickers and clawhammer-guys is said to have sometimes even led to breaking up old friendships (well, allmost so) and definitly ruined some jam sessions 😉.

But since years Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck are the role model for, uh, tolerance of these two genres. Blacky sent me a link to one of their fabulous concerts, TYVM






FOAOTMAD, Gainsborough 2020 audio podcast

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