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Banjo Camp North 2019

Recent BHO - 9 hours 44 min ago


It's been a long time since I came by the Hangout, a lot has changed but the banjo nerds haven't. That's awesome!

If this post should be on another topic in the forum please let me know (I will also cross post on on the bluegrass)- but I'd like to introduce myself and let folks who don't know, I became president of Music Camps North Inc in May. We're a 501c non profit that primarily runs two camps, Banjo Camp North and Mandolin Camp North in Charlton MA. Banjo Camp North is May 17-19 this year, and it's our 19th year in operation.

We have a board consisting of all banjo players who all make this happen.

Link to the website, please come check us out, ask us questions, etc.

And our list of faculty for 2019 is:
Mike Munford, Bill Evans, John Herrmann, Joe Newberry, Janet Beazley, Bruce Molsky, Adam Hurt, Casey Henry, Tom Adams, Michael Miles, Jane Rothfield, Gabe Hirshfeld, Eli Gilbert, Allison de Groot, Tim Rowell, Rich Stillman, Bob Altschuler, Lorraine Hammond, Craig Edwards, Bruce Stockwell, Pete Kelly, Will Seeders, Frank Solivan, Lincoln Meyers, Patrick M'Gonigle, Beth Hartness, Ben Pearce, Phil Zimmerman, Bennett Hammond, Dick Bowden, Mike Rivers, Glenn Nelson

Best Wishes for 2019
Kelly Stockwell

How To Write Old Time Songs

Recent BHO - Tue, 2019-01-15 13:00

So I take courses on the greatcoursesplus. I'm surprised to learn that various kinds of theatre have an actual formulas to the write styles and plot outline, like Japanese Noh and Kabuki, ancient Greek, Shakespare etc.

I'm wondering 2 things, does anyone know any of the formulas that go into writing an old time folk songs, or ballad?

The other thing is singing style? What's the musical theory old time singing style? Just listening to Roscoe Holcomb today. His voice has a plaintive crying thing about it. While the same song sang by Ralph Stanely, or Johnny Cash, or the Kossoy Sisters will sound different. Is there an actually style that has been documented that I can learn about for old time?

I know that in Futurama the boorish robot Bender wants to be a folk singer, and eventually gives a comical formula to writing any folk song, which must involve a "bad hussy", a "train", "a bad man", a "vendetta", etc. It's really funny, and the parody song of "any folk song" he makes up is pretty funny, and not bad either.

Obscure tuning?

Recent BHO - Mon, 2019-01-14 09:58

Have you ever been so inspired by the performance of a song that it led you to switch from bluegrass to old-time and clawhammer and learn a couple dozen different tunings, but never quite able despite many abortive efforts to figure out what obscure tuning that original song was in, only to finally realize a full two years later that it was standard G? I HAVE. Banjo face palm.

Playing YOUR way and developing YOUR style...

Recent BHO - Sun, 2019-01-13 20:11

I've been noticing a few topics lately from new players who are unsure of exactly how to get to where they think they should be in their pursuit of becoming a bonafied clawhammer player.

Appropriate to that idea is podcast #123 on Cameron DeWhitt's enormously wonderful "Get Up In The Cool" show as he interviews Paul Brown.

"Get Up In The Cool" podcast #123

Paul's comments are VERY much worth listening closely to, and will be terribly inspirational to any player who just can't quite get that particular clawhammer phrase that they've been trying to copy from one of their favorite players.


Beginner's Melody or Malady?

Recent BHO - Sun, 2019-01-13 14:06

I've noticed that I play tunes really fast, such as Wildwood Flower. I have no sense of timing, and it really does NOT help that banjo music is written in tab. I can't help playing fast, I think every note is a 16th note. I've noticed other beginning players too.

Is that like a known thing? I mean that nubies don't have a sense of timing and just play tunes with every note being the same length and very fast?