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Clawhammer Banjo


Art Rosenbaum is one of America's foremost performers and teachers of traditional five-string banjo playing. He has a long-time interest in the myriad old-time tunings that give breadth and richness to mountain and old-time banjo picking, and has learned first-hand from old-timers in the South and Midwest. Pete Seeger (whose pioneering book How to Play the Five-String Banjo gave Art his start in the 1950s) praised the inclusion of 23 tunings in Art's 1968 Oak Publications book Old-Time Mountain Banjo. This book and 2-DVD set doubles (plus one!) that number of tunings. Art groups the tunings into 'families' and shows how they can be used, with various picking styles, in playing banjo tunes and string band music and in song accompaniment. Experienced players will broaden their knowledge of unusual and interesting tunings and styles, and novice players can get started with 'common' tunings for easy pieces like 'Cripple Creek' and 'Shout Lulu'-the first tunes many old-timers learned. 240 minutes.

Counterpoint is a collection of banjo duets, where Miles has taken traditional melodies and created a second banjo part in counterpoint harmony. Counterpoint harmony (vs parallel harmony) has a rhythm and melody of its own, distinct from the main melody. The result is an exquisite sound that enriches these ancient melodies and breathes a revitalized life into them. When Pete Seeger heard it he said, 'this is one of the most beautiful recordings I have heard in all my 70 years....it's enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.

Old Time Stringband Workshop for Banjo is one in a set of four books, each with a matching collection of 40 traditional type fiddle tunes arranged to develop ensemble and jam session playing skills with other acoustic instruments, as well as to expand your repertoire of tunes. The music is presented in Tablature with annotations for playing techniques and variations. A bonus arrangement of Star of the County Down is available as a free download. See www.melbay.com/21762.

Open-Back Banjo Anatomy and Mechanics' is a comprehensive visual map of the 5-string open-back banjo. The poster includes a large diagram of the instrument and detailed views of its components. Descriptions of all the major parts explain their functions. This poster is a great visual for anyone interested in the banjo.

Here is a book of tunes from the Elizabethan era-the great period of English song-set in tablature for the clawhammer banjo. At first glance, it is true, the songs of Shakespeare-s day and the mountain banjo seem to be worlds apart. But the musical traditions are, in fact, related, as Elizabethan songs are the old world cousins of mountain tunes. As a result, Elizabethan tunes are a natural way to extend the mountain banjo repertoire for intermediate and advanced players. Their pedigree, their modal feel, the lilting rhythms, and the ease with which they can be adapted to the banjo argue the case. At the same time, they open the possibility for new sounds-in particular new rhythms-for the old instrument, pushing the banjo beyond unnatural limitations and giving it a new voice. Each section of the book is organized around a traditional mountain tuning, with a mountain song serving as a model of that tuning, illuminating the relationship between the two musical worlds.'The Bard-s Banjo' is the first banjo instruction book devoted to the repertoire of Elizabethan song. Free audio downloads are available for use with this title.

Art Rosenbaum is one of America's foremost performers and teachers of traditional five-string banjo playing. He has a long-time interest in the myriad old-time tunings that give breadth and richness to mountain and old-time banjo picking, and has learned first-hand from old-timers in the South and Midwest. Pete Seeger (whose pioneering book How to Play the Five-String Banjo gave Art his start in the 1950s) praised the inclusion of 23 tunings in Art's 1968 Oak Publications book Old-Time Mountain Banjo. This book and 2-DVD set doubles (plus one!) that number of tunings. Art groups the tunings into 'families' and shows how they can be used, with various picking styles, in playing banjo tunes and string band music and in song accompaniment. Experienced players will broaden their knowledge of unusual and interesting tunings and styles, and novice players can get started with 'common' tunings for easy pieces like 'Cripple Creek' and 'Shout Lulu'-the first tunes many old-timers learned. 240 minutes.

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