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Thread: beside the mandolin.

  1. #1

    Default beside the mandolin.

    how many people here also play the banjo. its ok to come clean here. I know the word banjo is a 4 letter word.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    I have enough trouble with one one instrument ( mandolin) to add another one !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  3. #3

    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    I hear you. but unlike most people here, I'm into pain. plus there is nothing like 64 year old fingers trying to do banjo rolls.

  4. #4

    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    how many people here also play the banjo. its ok to come clean here. I know the word banjo is a 4 letter word.
    I didn't realize that they allowed swearing in forum posts.

  5. #5
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    Used to. But none of that la-dee-dah three finger stuff. Swore it off, though, and got a mandolin. Haven't looked back.
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    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    I get enough abuse playing viola. No need to take up banjo and accordion as well.

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  9. #7

    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    oh you guys are funny. to me the mandolin & banjo are oh so sweet they are what makes bluegrass my favorite music. Ronda, Dell, the Gibson brothers, the Stanley brothers. Osborne brothers, I love them all.

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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    OK so I frail the banjo, fingerpick the guitar, play harmonica. I have played bass and fiddle, but not in a while. Just did my third solo gig on guitar and banjo after 35+ years of playing harp or mandolin. Surprised I remembered enough in such a short time.

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  12. #9
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    I play the tenor banjo and would actually rate it as my main instrument nowadays with the mandolin behind it in second place.
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    Make them pay at least double for Cafe membership. No, $200, wait, that's not enough ...


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  14. #11
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    I play "Celtic" music (Irish, Scottish and related trad) where the mandolin is usually the quietest instrument in a pub session dominated by fiddlers. The obvious next step in the volume wars is switching to tenor (plectrum) 4-string banjo.

    I've resisted it so far. I've also resisted the intermediate step of a resonator mandolin... which is loud, but seems like the slippery slope towards ending up with a banjo. Maybe I'll get there eventually. The main thing stopping me is that I like throwing in partial chords here and there in the music, and a mandolin just does that better, I think. You don't hear a lot of chordal + melody line playing in "Irish" banjo music.

  15. #12
    Registered User QCS's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    Been playing five string most of my adult life. Scruggs and Stanley style for the most part. Bluegrass,OT, Folk, Americana, or whatever the group wants to play. Came to Mandolin ten years ago, more musical colors to play with. No shame with the Banjo, nothing beats a fast fiddle tune on my Stelling!

  16. #13
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    I play banjo. Teach it.

    I wish I could do clawhammer. I do the Scruggs ok. And I have some licks in progressive.
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    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    Have been playing all bluegrass instruments (including Dobro) for over 35 years.

  18. #15
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    I play the mandolin-banjo. I also have a 6 string banjo tuned like a guitar
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  19. #16

    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    how many people here also play the banjo.
    Well, since you asked...

    • 5-string banjos: oldtime (clawhammer mostly, a little frailing, no bluegrass).

    • 5-string banjo, fretless, nylon strings: oldtime. Similar style as above, but fewer brush strokes, more single-note stuff.

    • 4-string banjo: GDAE tenor banjo for Irish fiddle tunes. Flatpicked just like playing fiddle tunes on mandolin or GDAE tenor guitar.

    • (formerly) 8-string mandolin-banjo, shrill little thing, I got rid of it years ago. I'd intended to use it for Irish tunes but I never took it to a session because I couldn't get it mellowed down enough to sound nice. (My main session instrument at the time was an old National steel-bodied GDAE resonator 4-string tenor guitar, very mellow tone, and adequate volume.) As to the mando-banjo, yeah I tried the usual things - towels in the back, adjusting head tension, using heavier-weight head, putting weights/mutes clipped onto the bridge, playing with a super light touch, trying different picks etc - but it didn't take enough of the 'edge' off the harsh sound. I eventually sold it to a collector who didn't play but he was delighted to have a Gibson trapdoor mandolin-banjo to add to his collection. If I had such a mandolin-banjo today, I'd probably want to experiment with turning it into a nylon-string 4-string, under the assumption that it might produce a more mellow tone.

    • (formerly) A wood-top round-rim open-back body that we'd bolted some cheap old junkstore 1920s/1930s full-length 5-string banjo neck onto. Strung with regular steel banjo strings. Used it for frailing. A pleasing mellow sound.


    At one point in my unenlightened youth I thought I'd already learned everything there was to know about banjo (I'd overestimated my playing abilities by quite a bit! Lol) so to alleviate boredom I briefly experimented with "classical banjo" which is a 5-string nylon-string banjo that's played sort of like a classical guitar. I was reading from all these funky old late-1800s classical banjo sheetmusic things. My classical banjo phase didn't last long though, a year or so (I don't think my renditions sounded very good anyway, and mercifully I never played any of the classical stuff in public), then I added other types of instruments to my "gotta learn how to play this!" group.

    An aside, I'm not sure why banjos get made fun of, and I'd never heard of such attitudes until seeing it on the internet (seems to be a regular feature on MandolinCafe as well). Maybe it's some leftover social caste thing which we can't discuss here.

  20. #17
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    I play banjo, both clawhammer, Scruggs and melodic. I've played a tenor, wish I had one... I also play a bunch of other instruments too.
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

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  21. #18
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    I've owned a few banjos over the years and played 3-finger Scruggs style, but haven't owned a banjo in about ten years. I've had a constant yearning but was just too busy to buy one. Last week I bought an open-back banjo, a Pisgah Little Wonder with gorgeous flamed maple, and am learning clawhammer style.

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    Doug Brock
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  23. #19

    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    there seems to be a lot of talented people here. Doug that banjo looks real fine.

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  25. #20
    Registered User Roger Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    The 5 string banjo is my "first" instrument. I have been playing the banjo for over 50 years now, mostly bluegrass, but I can "claw" some as well. I find the mandolin easier to port about....
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  26. #21
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    I like throwing in partial chords here and there in the music, and a mandolin just does that better, I think. You don't hear a lot of chordal + melody line playing in "Irish" banjo music.
    I'm with you there, but I do use tenor banjo quite often when I'm playing for dances. It's good for that.
    David A. Gordon

  27. #22
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    I'll stick with my tenor guitar....tuned like an octave mandolin. I also play: button accordion, penny whistles, harmonica.
    Jammin' south of the river
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  28. #23

    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    Yup 5 string. Been playing bluegrass banjo for 43 years and mandolin is my second instrument.
    Always kept my day job because a family needs to eat!

  29. #24

    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    ^^^^
    | | | |


    I'm with Homer above!

  30. #25
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    Default Re: beside the mandolin.

    [QUOTE=The main thing stopping me is that I like throwing in partial chords here and there in the music, and a mandolin just does that better, I think. You don't hear a lot of chordal + melody line playing in "Irish" banjo music.[/QUOTE]

    Don Reno would throw in a partial chord or just one note to fill a void when he was playing banjo, I've tried the same thing on mandolin but the effect is totally different.

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