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Thread: Banjo tunes?

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    Default Banjo tunes?

    I play both fiddle and mandolin and when I get into a jam with more than one banjo I feel bad that I only know fiddle tunes and that I donít know banjo tunes. What are some of the popular banjo tunes that youíve learned? The only ones I know are Fireball Mail, Pike County Breakdown, and Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

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    Default Re: Banjo tunes?

    Cripple Creek seems to be the goto banjo standard anytime a banjo player sits in with us
    I like this version of Foggy Mountain Special for mandolin guitar. Double the speed for banjo I guess
    Last edited by Mark Wilson; Nov-25-2018 at 12:08pm.

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    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Banjo tunes?

    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Banjo tunes?

    The first banjo tune I learned a long time ago was Old Joe Clark, which just happens to be Tune of the Month for this month in the Newbies social group.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Banjo tunes?

    As a banjo player,when i came to mandolin,i did play many of the tunes that i'd played on banjo for so long. Clinch Mt.Backstep / Sally Goodin / Sally Ann(e) / Big Sandy River / Dixie Hoedown / Old Joe Clark /Pike County Breakdown & several more. I worked them out as ''mandolin instrumentals'',not just taking the mandolin break from an inst. like 'Big Sandy River' & using that,but playing it as though it had been written for the mandolin - as per the second part of Bill Monroe's break - about 55 seconds into the tune.

    Just take any tune that you think might work on mandolin & work it out - if it sounds ok to you,use it,if not..................!,
    Ivan
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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Banjo tunes?

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoMN18 View Post
    I play both fiddle and mandolin and when I get into a jam with more than one banjo I feel bad that I only know fiddle tunes and that I donít know banjo tunes. What are some of the popular banjo tunes that youíve learned? The only ones I know are Fireball Mail, Pike County Breakdown, and Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
    Fireball Mail is a song, and Monroe first recorded Pike County Breakdown as a mandolin number (although Flatt&Scruggs recorded it before Monroe). Seems to me that Monroe alternates between an open strings apporach and playing from the chop chord formation.


    FMB to me seems to be a tune that works on banjo only, i.e., your main concern would be what to contribute besides the "melody".

    The one banjo tune I play on the mandolin is Crossing the Cumberlands, which I believe is the only Monroe tune conceived as a banjo tune from the very beginning. It's in g minor. I play the first part mainly in 3rd position, locking my index on the g note of the d course (assuming the role of the fifth string), and the second part in first. Of course, with a banjo in the band I would play something else altogether.

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Banjo tunes?

    Hi Ralph - I play 'Pike County Breakdown' on mandolin exactly as i play it on banjo. However,that's when i play it 'solo'. If i were ever fortunate enough to play it with a group of other instruments ie.banjo / guitar etc.,i'd maybe consider playing one break a different way,using a few more chords in it. Until that day arrives - i'll banjo it !,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

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