Before I got into early photography I was a musical instrument maker. Also restored many. Here is a classic 1890s S. S. Stewart banjo strung with gut strings. I'm playing what is now called "classic" finger style banjo as it would have been recorded by Fred Van Eps or Vess Ossman on Edison cylinder and diamond disc records well into the 1920s. It's neither jazz [as for tenor banjo] or bluegrass as there are no repetitive rolls. More like classical guitar. One reads actual sheet music to learn these tunes.
Sorry for the poor visual ... this video was made with my old phone a few years ago, but the audio is good.
Great video! Thanks for the posting. If I had any music talent whatsoever, Banjo is the instrument that I would choose to play.
Thanks. Well that is an odd style of playing on an odd instrument to begin with. Probably 10,000 guitar players for every banjo player. Kinda like model T enthusiasts.
Wonderful, thank you !
Thank you for sharing. I liked that. Bill
After my first listen, I was down in the woods putzing with the TT and it's a good song to have playing in one's head.
Thanks for posting!
Wow!!! Love it, the song and, the style! Thanks!
Duey, in your head is ok. Hearing banjo's in your woods, not so good!
Nice video Mark. My parents have played music all their life. I grew up with it. Played myself untill I had a fight with a table saw. Fingers just dont work the same.
Mark, Thanks, just thanks.
Thank you, bluegrass is a favorite around here.
Mark ... I also play bluegrass too. Here is a little sampler from my facebook page.
Would like to hear it but no facebook!
Hey Mark, check out Junior Barber's tune called "Sunflower" (u-tube). I play Dobro in a bluegrass band and Junior was a close friend. How about bringing a instrument to Hershey next year and we could have a few tunes. Cheers : Bruce
Very fine ! Thanks, Mark.
The classic banjo was very popular in England in the late 1800s through into the 1920s. Olly Oakley was a prolific recording artist, other famous names were Joe Morley, Emile Grimshaw & Clifford Essex. If you've read 3 Men in a Boat you'll know George tortured his companions with his banjo.
I have a fine c1930 English banjo by the best English maker Alfred Weaver but I play very badly so no videos!
For more info
Very cool. I love banjo music. Mostly blue grass
Mark: After you played I pulled up Merle Haggards Last tune Kern River, and it is a great song! Thank you for your Banjo playing Keep it going
Mark, that's great..... thank you for posting. I sent the link on to a few friends who loved it too.
Yes, the English banjo had a tunneled fifth string that allowed the instrument to look symmetrical since it had a guitar style headstock. I used to play one of these as a zither banjo with steel strings. That piece I played in the video was based on a version I first learned from a Grimshaw method book. Also subscribed to the British publication BMG back when I was in college. Do you play?
The zither banjo was said to be invented in 1869 by an English guitar maker to imitate the zither, hence the guitar head & neck.
My Weaver looks very like a folk banjo, friction pegs, nickel hoop. It was steel strung when I got it (a gift from my father about 50 yrs ago) and I was into bluegrass & folk. Sadly I proved to have little talent for making music, so only played for my own amusement. Hey,where's the challenge in doing something if you find it easy?
Life intervened so I didn't play for years then I found the Classic Banjo site and restrung the instrument with nylon so it sounds like yours Mark. I started relearning from the video tutorials - one of the first tunes I am learning is the one you played - Sunflower Dance.