View Full Version : Banjos anyone?

11-03-2004, 02:21 PM
I remember from the old thread that a lot of you guys are into guitars. Anyone know anything about banjos? My cousin used to be a top-notch banjo player, until he was completely paralyzed in a car accident. I've always wanted to learn to play one, and I've finally decided to do something about it. Now I'm trying to educate myself based solely on what I can find on ebay. Yeah, I know what you're thinking; I keep having these "Deliverance" flashbacks too. :eek3:

east tx skier
11-03-2004, 02:31 PM
The banjo is supposedly pretty difficult to master. My mother tried to learn and ultimately gave up. Unfortunately, we no longer have the banjo or I'd have tried to figure it out by now. For amazing modern banjo masters (aka banjonators), check out Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Unfarkingbelievable.

11-03-2004, 03:11 PM
I second AND third Doug on Bela Fleck. That guy is insane. He was also in a group called Strength In Numbers, with Edgar Meyers on acoustic bass, Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas on Dobro and Mark O'Connor on fiddle/violin, acoustic guitar and mandolin (on one tune). Incredible playing and good songwriting, too.

I'm sure either Mel Bay or Hal Leonard Publishing has a series of books on learning the banjo, or just about any other instrument, for that matter. Hal Leonard may have bought Mel Bay, but either will be a good start.

Ever seen Steve Martin play? He has a 1923 Gibson Florentine banjo that's beautiful, and he can actually play well.

If you want to take lessons and there isn't a banjo teacher near you, you can find a guitar teacher who is into finger-style. Otherwise, there are DVD's and CD's that come with some instruction books.

Here's a couple of jokes I heard from someone in Tucson who owns/owned a music store that specialized in banjos.

Q-Why should you always keep a banjo in your car?
A-So nobody will put another one in there.

Q-What's the definition of perfect pitch?
A-Tossing a banjo into a dumpster without hitting the sides.

east tx skier
11-03-2004, 03:41 PM
If feels good to talk about music instead of politics. Good stuff, Jim.

11-03-2004, 03:55 PM
David Grisman et al have been known to pluck the 5 string.

east tx skier
11-03-2004, 04:43 PM
Knoxes, you seen "Grateful Dawg." Grisman is the man!

11-03-2004, 04:55 PM
Take a look at Rolling in the Hay! Lots of Banjo etc...


11-03-2004, 05:14 PM
Knoxes, you seen "Grateful Dawg." Grisman is the man!

I don't think I have. I'm not a huge fan, but I have some of his G5, and I've seen him in concert. I scored some front row seats in a really small venue a couple of years ago. The first part (mandolins) was fantastic, but they came back out and did a bunch of break-downs. It was a bit too much bluegrass for me. I like it and enjoy it, just don't love too much of it.

east tx skier
11-03-2004, 05:35 PM
Grateful Dawg is a documentary about David Grisman and Jerry Garcia. Just a lot of footage of them plaing at Grisman's house and some concert footage. Those two were great together. Lots of bluegrass roots. Love the stuff!

11-03-2004, 06:49 PM
Grateful Dawg was filmed around the same time they were doing 'Old And In The Way', right? I have seen a little footage from that. Pretty cool. Grisman has a lot of good music out there, and it's not all one type.

I don't know how many of you are into Fusion music (John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth, Chich Corea, etc), but there's a site called www.abstractlogix.com and they have links, discs for sale, concert info, interviews, etc. Since Bela Fleck plays jazz, too, he's on that site as well.

lakes Rick
11-03-2004, 08:05 PM
Talented people with music and musical instruments has always amazed me.. Just like art except with music....

Being from Eugene, U of O had Joey Harrington as the QB before he became the QB on the Detroit Lions.. He belongs to the church my dad goes to in Portland, and he is a concert pianist who plays at the church sometimes... Dad said he is good....

Tough duty huh... Good looking tall guy, Millionaire Football player, UNMARRIED ( smart), Concert pianist.. lucky guy....

11-03-2004, 11:26 PM
My brother, the affictionado and my music mentor, always thumbed his nose at Grisman's years with Garcia and the Dead. He referred to it as the time when Grisman was slummin'. :rolleyes: I'll check it out, tho - he's been known to lead me astray more than once! I have a few tracks of the two of them together doing some Dead hits that are pretty cool. One of the most beautiful songs I've heard is a duet he did with Bonnie Raitt. I also have a couple of songs he did with Doc Watson. Now that was a pair!! Another guy I'd toss into that mix that I like is Peter Rowan.

Jim - I like McLaughlin and Corea, but I don't know Holdsworth. Another one I'll check out.

While we're talking about kinda offbeat music, I've found a real affection for zydeco lately. I've never had so much fun listening to music before. It's just hard to listen to and be anything but jumping. We have this tiny little house and the poor dear wife will come home to Beau Jocque blaring and I'm bouncing off the friggin walls with excessive energy. She just rolls her eyes and tries to find her quiet place. :D

11-04-2004, 10:10 AM
I have seen Joey Harrington play piano on TV. Not too long ago there was some sort of contest where professional atheletes, who played a musical instrument or had some sort of musical talent, played in a band. I wish I could remember it more clearly. I do remember seeing Harrington though. It was very good. I also seem to remember Eddie George playing drums. Pretty cool stuff.

11-04-2004, 10:16 AM
too many images of gap-toothed inbreds.......scares the hell outta me......
"squeal like a pig boy"

east tx skier
11-04-2004, 11:08 AM
I don't know how many of you are into Fusion music

Sounds like something I'd like, although I don't own any.

east tx skier
11-04-2004, 11:14 AM
Knoxes, I think sometimes music affictionados thumb their respective noses at Garcia for no good reason. At his base, that guy had enormous natural ability and a very unique voice, far more talented than his bandmates. I enjoy listening to the Dead, but am not a deadhead. Grisman may have been more talented than Garcia, but I've never heard Grisman play guitar, so I can't say for sure.

11-08-2004, 10:24 AM
He's really known for the mandolin. I don't know if he plays guitar or not. Re: Garcia, I'm sure there's a bit of fan envy in people's opinions. I like some of their stuff, but was never moved enough to quit my job, stop bathing and thumb my way around the country. :D I do wish I had seen a show though - never saw them live, and I regret it. One of those things that has to be done, I think.

east tx skier
11-08-2004, 12:02 PM
I'm in the same boat. Never saw them live, and could've gone to vegas to see them before Garcia died. Wish I had. Oh well. I've got a big TV. I can rent the DVDs and sit close enough that I'll think I'm there. ;)

11-08-2004, 12:21 PM
Just stay away from the "extracurricculars" - we're too old for that now. :D