PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!! To Thread - Forum Home

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148 messages

PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!

09 Jul 04 - 10:16 AM (#1222212)
Subject: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

Banjos have been under attack in so many threads at Mudcat that it's hard to belive. Here, then, is a place where those of us who love the instrument like it was our mistress or our master can come to it's defense.

PLEASE !!!

Art Thieme
I sympathize and all, Art - but this thread has 109 messages and really doesn't have music information. Guess it's time for it to go down to the bottom of the Forum Menu.
-Joe Offer-


09 Jul 04 - 10:21 AM (#1222217)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: JedMarum

As my good friend from Boston, Johnny May put it; "Mankind has invented a lot of wonderful instruments, but God created the banjo!"


09 Jul 04 - 10:24 AM (#1222221)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: el ted

Good man! I would love to hear Brandenburg Concerto No6 played by an orchestra of 30 or more banjos. What could be better? Who needs harpsichords, violins, woodwind etc, when you could have the plink, plunk plink of banjos en masse?


09 Jul 04 - 10:26 AM (#1222223)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Bert

Well I'll give it a vote. Even though I can't play one I just love the sound.

That will not, though, stop me from teasing banjo players.


09 Jul 04 - 10:27 AM (#1222225)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

Mankind either worships or ridicules that which creates awe within him - since GOD created the banjo and HIMSELF decreed 'Thou shalt not have graven images'- it couldn't be worshiped - therefore...


09 Jul 04 - 10:29 AM (#1222228)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: JedMarum

Well now, one must separate teasing of banjo players from denigrating banjos, surely!

The banjo is just one of those lovely instruments that always make an audience smile - even when it's played badly!!!


09 Jul 04 - 10:29 AM (#1222230)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Sir jOhn from Hull taxi driver

binjos ar rebbish


09 Jul 04 - 10:32 AM (#1222234)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: The Villan

Anybody that can play the Banjo, would be welcome at Market Rasen Folk Club. I like the banjo very much.


09 Jul 04 - 10:35 AM (#1222237)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Bert

...even when it's played badly...

Er, how would you know! *grinning fiendishly*


09 Jul 04 - 10:35 AM (#1222238)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,music lover

I may not agree with what you play, But I'll defend your right to play it.


09 Jul 04 - 10:35 AM (#1222239)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

I love playing and listening to the banjo.

I have also noticed negative banjo threads and comments here. It seems much of it comes from the Brits and not as much from Americans.

I have loved the banjo since I first heard it played by Dave Guard of the Kingston Trio on the MTA song. It is a well known fact that this song turned on a whole generation of American youth to the banjo.

At one time, banjos were an integral part of folk music, played by such well known acts as the aforementioned Kingston Trio, The Weavers, The Limelighters, Bob Gibson, Pete seeger and others. I believe that the ones who knock the banjo, more than likely are navel-gazing singer-songwriters, who have no idea how to interact with other musicians. I know this type. They are so full of themselves and their whiny lyrics and protests of so many things that they just can't relate to the reason why much so called folk music is ridiculed. These types might just feel threatened by the banjo. It's too much of a good time for them, and, seeing that the banjo works so well in an ensemble situation and they know that they can't.

So, Art. I'm with you. The banjo is a great American Instrument. The only Irish group that I would ever consider listening to was the Clancy Brothers because of Tommy Makem's banjo.

The world has changed. Folkies dissing banjos is a good reason for dissing folkies.


09 Jul 04 - 10:37 AM (#1222241)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Steve Parkes

Towards the end of the 19th century, the banjo (re)crossed the Atlantic, to land on England's shores. In a process that eerily foreshadowed the British Skiffle movement of over half a century later, the Brits took the banjo to their hearts and treated it like, well, a musical instrument. They used it for popular songs, minstrel songs, traditional songs, music-hall songs -- and classical music. Even the sainted Pete Seeger mentions having heard Offenbach's Can-can played on the banjo. It may have been rebbish, but, by golly! it was British rebbish (except for the Can-can, which was French -- or German -- rebbish).

The banjo: bringer of international entente!


09 Jul 04 - 10:37 AM (#1222242)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,weerover

I second the welcoming of banjos at Market Rasen Folk Club.

I have never been to Market Rasen and have no plans ever to visit.

The two preceding sentences may or may not be connected.

wr.


09 Jul 04 - 10:39 AM (#1222243)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Bert

Well said Martin Gibson.


09 Jul 04 - 10:42 AM (#1222246)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

British rubbish? Didn't Billy Connolly play banjo in a duo named the Humblebums? I rest your case... (even if the other half was Gerry Rafferty!)


09 Jul 04 - 10:42 AM (#1222247)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Steve Parkes

Gosh, this thread is growing rapidly! I started to reply to Art's plea, then changed my mind; then I read that other thread, and decide I should reply after all: only to find half a dozen folks had beaten me to it already. When I did respond (just after the Hon Lord jnHo of Hlu), I found even more folks had jumped in.

Art and Martin: if we Brits take the mickey out of the banjo, it's only because we love it and consider it our own (like the British Empire).

Steve "Flying Fingers" Parkes


09 Jul 04 - 10:46 AM (#1222251)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Geoff the Duck

O---'-::
Nuff Said?
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


09 Jul 04 - 10:46 AM (#1222252)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: rhoda horse

They are shite and you know it. No tone, sustain, subtlety. In

short they are obsolete. The world has moved on from these irritating

noisy frying pans.


09 Jul 04 - 10:48 AM (#1222253)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Blackcatter

I know I look forward to hearing one on occasion. A good friend known as "Fred the (Sweeny) Banjo Player" plays with us regularly, but we can't get him to allow us to turn up the volume on the sound system for his banjo.

Imagine, a self-conscious banjo player. . .


Somebody want to post a brief history of the banjo?


09 Jul 04 - 10:48 AM (#1222254)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Geoff the Duck

A king amongst instruments!
Quack!
GtD.


09 Jul 04 - 10:49 AM (#1222257)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,music lover

"I have also noticed negative banjo threads and comments here. It seems much of it comes from the Brits and not as much from Americans."


We're joking. When will you Americans understand irony?


09 Jul 04 - 10:50 AM (#1222258)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: sian, west wales

Well, I'd like to see all the primary schools over here, which invest in huge stocks of classical guitars to teach the kiddies guitar, invest in banjos instead. I think it's pathetic to see the end-of-year concerts with these little 7 year olds plunking away on the one string (high E) because their wee fingers can't reach anywhere else when they could be flailing away on a banjo and having a great old time.

Banjos Rule.

sian


09 Jul 04 - 10:53 AM (#1222262)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Cap't Bob

I can vividly remember the first time I heard a banjo. The year was 1941, I was eight years old and we were on a family vacation (I remember the year because the war broke out during our trip). Our first stop was at Renfro Valley, Ky. where we attended the famous Renfro Valley Barn Dance. I was elated by the sound of the music and especially the ringing sound of the 5 string banjo's. I knew at the time that one day I would have such a wonderful instrument. It turned out to be 22 years later and I am still thrilled by the sound of the banjo.

After a few years of frustration trying to keep the Kay in tune I finally ended up with a Vega 5 string (extra long neck) and a Vega tenor. I enjoy all styles of banjo picking but especially like the clawhammer sound.

I've spent many hours listening to your wonderful picking Art and even the jokes aren't all that bad. "lock moth nesters" hee, hee.

Cap't Bob


09 Jul 04 - 10:54 AM (#1222268)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Brian Hoskin

I'm a banjo player and I've never felt the need to denigrate anyone else's instrument. Why do so many non-banjo players apparently feel so insecure that they have to spend so much of their time knocking banjos?

Brian


09 Jul 04 - 10:56 AM (#1222270)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Uncle_DaveO

GUEST (of 10:27 a.m) said, in part:

GOD created the banjo and HIMSELF decreed 'Thou shalt not have graven images'- it couldn't be worshiped

Ah, but an image is a visual representation of something which exists, either in reality or imagination.

A banjo is not an image of anything, but an object in its own right. Therefore we can go ahead and worship it all we want.

Dave Oesterreich


09 Jul 04 - 10:56 AM (#1222271)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Ben Dover

Because they are awful.


09 Jul 04 - 10:57 AM (#1222274)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

guest, music lover

Your joking about this is another reason why British humor is not understood and hardly appreciated in America.


09 Jul 04 - 11:02 AM (#1222279)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Ben Dover

Oh dear, MG has spat his dummy out. A humour free zone I expect.


09 Jul 04 - 11:04 AM (#1222280)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Pete_Standing

Q. Why do so many non-banjo players apparently feel so insecure that they have to spend so much of their time knocking banjos?

A. Because sometimes it gets boring poking fun at melodeons and bodhrans!


09 Jul 04 - 11:05 AM (#1222281)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,music lover

"Your joking about this is another reason why British humor is not understood and hardly appreciated in America."

Lighten up dude. You're getting like way too heavy.


09 Jul 04 - 11:06 AM (#1222284)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Blackcatter

British humo(u)r is apprciated by plenty of Americans. What is not appreciated is what some British consider the ironic twist of picking on things that they like. Since we don't know a particular person from Adam and have no idea if they like or dislike banjos, how in the hell are we supposed to know what they're really saying?

Some humor is best left off discussion boards.


I suppose that we could just not take seriously anything the British say. For many Americans, British culture is rather silly anyway.


09 Jul 04 - 11:08 AM (#1222286)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: rhoda horse

And he mispelt "humour" He needs a happy pill.


09 Jul 04 - 11:09 AM (#1222287)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

Martin,

I am sorry I put you in my list of malicious thugs and dictators and heinous fiends in the thread about The Home Secretary And Folk Music. Your comments here, and your kind mention of moi, shows me how wrong I can be even when prvious actions by verbal sparring adversaries, with their previously displayed lack of taste in matters musical, might have made me a bit premature in my stridency. It is now clear(er) to me that you at least finished High School---but probably in the inferior Chicago public schools system of the 1950s---where I also, sadly, spent 4 useless years, except for one teacher, before discovering a drugged up Bob Gibson and the masmerizing night club folk music scene in that good city.

Please accept my heartfelt whatever.

Art


09 Jul 04 - 11:13 AM (#1222292)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Franz S.

Having recently emerged from 45 years as a closet banjo player, I'm having a wonderful time. I started with the banjo because my hero Pete played one and my local friends (Mel Lyman and Ron Brentano)were willing to help me get started. And besides, EVERYONE was playing a guitar. Banjos can be played softly, and I like them that way. They go well with fiddles, and a fiddle and a banjo can keep people dancing all night. They make really neat sounds. I look forward to another 45 years with mine.


09 Jul 04 - 11:14 AM (#1222294)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,banjo betty

to all those banjo lovers I say thank you, from the heart of my bottom.

banjo betty

another banjo lover


09 Jul 04 - 11:17 AM (#1222297)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

Blackcatter - ask any Brit what their culture is and you'll more than likely get a blank stare. Most Brits eat McDonalds burgers, drink Starbucks coffee, and wear baseball caps. Thanks for exporting American culture. We'd be lost without you (more irony.)

Anyway, back to banjos, a wonderful instrument played only by those who marry their own sisters (more irony - honest, and just to prove it here's a happy smiley :-))


09 Jul 04 - 11:17 AM (#1222298)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

Actually, I am probably getting you way too uncomfortable with my blunt truthfullness.

Fact of the matter, I do take the banjo seriously. I take the music that I play which is mostly bluegrass seriously.

when Art started this thread, I was glad to see it. There are some things that need to be said.

Hey Ben dover. I must have got to you. first of all, this british expression, "spat your dummy out" is slang I am sure hardly anyone here has a clue what you are talking about, including me. You should stick to your hobby that you always claim to be doing. the trouble is that you and your hobby namesake have made you cross-eyed already and not thinking straight in more ways than one. Watch out for that broomstick. Many here know that I do not live in a "no humor zone."


09 Jul 04 - 11:19 AM (#1222300)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Uncle_DaveO

Rhoda Horse (clever name!) said, in part:

No tone, sustain, subtlety.



Clearly Rhoda has not listened to the right performances.

As to sustain, it's not particularly necessary. Harpsichords have little sustain, for instance. That hardly makes them "shite". The point is that a musical instrument must be used with judgment, for music which needs the aural qualities of the instrument.

As to subtlety, I recommend that you listen with a careful and hopefully unprejudiced ear to Michael Miles' CD, American Bach. Half of it is Miles playing (in magnificent fashion) three Bach suites originally for unaccompanied cello. Wonderful! The music, originally for cello, with lots of sustain, translates, in Miles's arrangement, to a greate piece. And remember that Bach himself was very free to arrange his work for various instruments foreign to the instrument originally written for. And that included lute, which tends to have a fairly dry tone and relatively little sustain.

The other half of American Bach is Miles's composition, Suite for the Americas. Observing that Bach's suites were sets of contemporary dances, Miles sets out to do a similar thing for the Western Hemisphere (and thus the title "American Bach"). With wonderful compositional judgment and formidable musical technique, using dance forms like the tango, guaracha, and others, he succeeds in presenting a suite which keeps me listening for hours.

Now, if you hear "shite music" which happens to include banjo, I strongly suggest that it's the music which is shite, not the instrument.

Dave Oesterreich


09 Jul 04 - 11:21 AM (#1222301)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,music lover

"Fact of the matter, I do take the banjo seriously."

Are you being ironic?


09 Jul 04 - 11:21 AM (#1222302)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Moses

My daughter played in a youth orchestra. She tells me it was always the viola players who came in for stick. Seems we gotta have someone to pick on and Banjo players are big enough to take it!

They (mostly) don't sulk and their music just gets up and shakes off any bad feelings. Forget the valium - if you want cheering up, listen to the banjo for half an hour,(more jokes on the way I expect). It's the only instrument guaranteed to lift my spirits.


09 Jul 04 - 11:22 AM (#1222306)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

Art, no I went to high school in the rich north suburbs, but did go and graduate from Columbia College 69-72 when it was truly a cool, alternative hippie school and it was one of the only places you could get a copy of the Chicago Reader.


09 Jul 04 - 11:23 AM (#1222307)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Dave Bryant

Could we have another Mudcat category - like the BS one - especially for Banjo-related threads - preferably on a different server !

Just to prevent anyone of a nervous disposition going into it by accident, it should be password protected - minimun pw length 36 character - pw expiry 35 mins.

:-)


09 Jul 04 - 11:24 AM (#1222310)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

guest, music lover

No, but you're being moronic!


09 Jul 04 - 11:24 AM (#1222312)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

Yes, there are a lot of anti-banjo comments about, but other instruments also get slammed too. But a banjo in the hands of a tasteless person is indeed a dangerous thing. Banjos don't kill music, banjo players kill music. But why don't guitars fall victim to the same criticisms. I wonder why do guitars seem to get a pass?

Taking my cue from certain politicians leaders and the other guest Sir jOhn from Hull, I will act as if there isn't enough rancor already and ask a few questions:
1. Why does learning two cords make you a guitar player? Why do so many guitar players think that everyone wants to hear these two cord forms even if it means placing the capo over the bridge?
2. Why does learning one augmented guitar cord automatically make you a singer-songwriter?
3. When they learn that it is possible to play a melody on a guitar, why do guitar players assume that they absolutely must do it?
4. Why do flat-picking guitar players feel that any quiet spot must be filled with a descending scale played on the bass string?
5. Why does the additional of another rhythm guitar player increase the need for a percussion player to set the rhythm?
6. Why is that when guitar players finally decide that there are too many guitars going at once, it is always one that knows the tune being played that drops out?


09 Jul 04 - 11:25 AM (#1222314)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Pete_Standing

To be serious for a change, the banjo is not my cup of tea. However, the banjo playing on the first Steeleye Span album coutesy of Prior, Hart and Terry Woods, I reckon, is very nice indeed - I'm sure that the banjo afficionados would be happy to point out some more fine playing to ignorant folkies such as me. I understand banjo players getting sensitive about the derision hurled at them. It's kind of sad that we resort to being so jaundiced about our own loves and hates. There is beauty in music to be sought for, irrespective of instrument, artist or genre.


09 Jul 04 - 11:31 AM (#1222318)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Big Al Whittle

we understand irony - best stuff to make banjos out of


09 Jul 04 - 11:32 AM (#1222319)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: rhoda horse

What a ridiculous state this thread has got into.


09 Jul 04 - 11:34 AM (#1222322)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

"No, but you're being moronic!"

Irony - The mildly sarcastic use of words to imply the opposite of what they normally mean. Congratulations Martin, you've understood the meaning of irony at last!!


09 Jul 04 - 11:36 AM (#1222324)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

Rhoda Horse

to paraphrase a currently popular outrageous country song by a duo known as Big and Rich:

Save a horse
Ride a cowboy.

Rhoda, I think your butt is chafed already from all your riding.


09 Jul 04 - 11:39 AM (#1222326)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: rhoda horse

What a silly lttle man you are MG, to get so overheated about a subject so inconsequential as a banjo.


09 Jul 04 - 11:43 AM (#1222327)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Bert

Uh oh! thread drift.

1. Why does learning two cords make you a guitar player?...

It's the only way you get a chance to sing at a lot of song circles (e.g. PFSS).
If you don't have a guitar the next guy in the circle will jump in and take your turn.


09 Jul 04 - 11:49 AM (#1222333)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: ThreeSheds

Has wimbledon been rained off is that why theres a banjo thread


09 Jul 04 - 11:52 AM (#1222336)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

rhoda horse

I am not by any means overheated as you call it. I just am serious about what I like and i believe in. And I like banjos. And I don't really care for horses. They just produce horseshit.

You are behind silly. You are just plain stupid, foolish, and a complete fuckface.

Have a nice life, scrotum breath.


09 Jul 04 - 11:53 AM (#1222338)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

M.G.

I know your part of town. I went to summer camp in No Man's Land between Winnetka and the next even richer suburb where Chuck Percy's wife was murdered. And some of my best friends came from up there. ;-)

Art


09 Jul 04 - 11:57 AM (#1222341)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Frug

Your Honour, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, Are we all not in our own way similar to the banjo? A little highly strung, maybe just a little off beat and sometimes out of tune with others. Despite this we are entitled to our existence and I suggest, no demand, that this should be so for the banjo.

etc etc etc


09 Jul 04 - 11:59 AM (#1222342)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

(irony on) What a charming, intelligent and witty person you are Martin. (irony off).


09 Jul 04 - 11:59 AM (#1222343)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Steve Parkes

"We're joking. When will you Americans understand irony?"

When will you guests read all the posts before jumping into a thread?

(Only joshing!)


09 Jul 04 - 12:02 PM (#1222347)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Jo Ban

"You are just plain stupid, foolish, and a complete fuckface."

You are what you say Mr Gibson.


09 Jul 04 - 12:07 PM (#1222350)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

Guest, Jo Ban

that was about as effective as going, "nah, nah, nah, nah, nah."

You are truly most uninspiring. You are not nearly as bright as your brother Ray Ban.


09 Jul 04 - 12:31 PM (#1222367)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Russ

I like the fact that banjos and banjo players are maligned.

It means you've gotta be tough to play banjo.

The banjo playing community is no place the fragile and the needy:)


09 Jul 04 - 12:42 PM (#1222376)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Jo Ban

I forgive you for your cruel words Martin. You have so much anger inside you, so perhaps like all good Americans you should go into therapy to try and get to the bottom of your problem. No doubt you were abused as a child - but it's ok, we understand. It's probably what drove you to take up the banjo. Low self esteem and all that.

Let us know how you get on with the therapy *hug*.


09 Jul 04 - 12:51 PM (#1222383)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

Guest, Jo Ban

no anger at all. And I wasn't abused as a child. Had wonderful, loving parents. and no self-esteem problems.

I took up banjo because I love the sound of it.

You obviously just play the skin flute. And it looks like you got a terrible education, because everything you know is wrong, especially about me.


09 Jul 04 - 01:02 PM (#1222392)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: SINSULL

Banjo players are sexier.


09 Jul 04 - 01:16 PM (#1222400)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Amos

Martin:

Stop being such a boor, would you? You drag down the tone even further. I agree with you about banjos -- an upstanding and fine sounding instrument, and I wish I could play one.

A


09 Jul 04 - 01:18 PM (#1222401)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

"Had wonderful, loving parents."

And you still turned out to be the Fuckwit you are. So much for the abuse theory.

I think Jo Ban was being ironic Martin, but you wouldn't understand.


09 Jul 04 - 01:29 PM (#1222413)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,David Cass

I agree with Amos, the banjo is a fine instrument. And it might be a good idea if Martin Gibson were to drag himself away from the computer for a few hours and go and practice his banjo.


09 Jul 04 - 01:48 PM (#1222424)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

Frankly, the banjo does not need any defense. Just look at some of the people who have excelled at playing the banjo...Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs, John Hartford and many other folk/bluegrass icons. If the banjo is good enough for them, than it's good enough for anyone.

I've heard Bela Fleck play everything from classical to jazz on the banjo and all forms of music sound wonderful on it. A different interpretation than what one is used to hearing perhaps but excellent in its own right. Granted the banjo does not sound like a concert piano when classical music is played on it or like a sax or guitar when jazz is played on it or like a fiddle or guitar when folkbluegrass music is played on it but who has decreed that those instruments are the ones most acceptable for that style of music.

Nothing will ever convince a banjo hater to like the instrument so why even waste the time trying. I feel bad, however, for those individuals who are so close minded that they can't accept a wonderful sounding instrument for what it is. The banjo isn't going away no matter what they think so it's their loss.


09 Jul 04 - 02:08 PM (#1222434)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

To Amos and guest David Cass (elliott):

Please don't lecture me. I am not your child. Amos, go ahead and take up banjo. It might take your mind off of being so politically correct. If I'm a boor, you are a BORE.


guest, I understood everything.   Especially the part about you being the cowardly guest who can't post everything under his regular posting name. You are a phony. Your shorts are binding your brain.


09 Jul 04 - 02:19 PM (#1222445)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: bbc

Art, in honor of your birthday, I will state that I love banjos (&, as it happens, I really do!).

best always,

bbc (grinning in NY)


09 Jul 04 - 02:23 PM (#1222447)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Spot

Hullo to most of you.....just read all above stuff...cant believe the emotion!! All I can say is my Bellflower gives me so much pleasure and, personally , I couldn't give a stuff whether anybody likes or hates it. All you 'antis' ought to go read a bloody book.....

          Regards to all... (begrudgingly, in this case!)..Spot


09 Jul 04 - 02:29 PM (#1222450)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,David Cass

"I am not your child."

That misfortune goes to your wonderful, loving parents. You're Just childish.


09 Jul 04 - 03:15 PM (#1222478)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Big Al Whittle

As Bob Dylan said

theres no success like frailers
and frailers no success at all

I think that says it all


09 Jul 04 - 03:32 PM (#1222489)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Jeri

The first time I heard a banjo was...well, I can't remember. What I DO remember was going to a bluegrass festival in upstate NY with my mom and her friend. I walked around and listened to groups of people jamming, and fell in love with the banjo. Nothing else seemed to sound like it. I remember thinking it sounded like a waterfall of notes. I didn't get one right away, or I might have gotten serious about bluegrass. When I did finally get a 5-string, I learned to play clawhammer.

Banjos get bashed a lot, by both players and haters. No big deal, and some of the jokes are funny. Or they WERE funny the first 10 or 20 times I heard 'em. I do get irritated when someone asks a serious question (about anything) and someone else feels compelled to post a really stupid joke. (about anything, but there are more stupid banjo jokes than, say, stupid hammered dulcimer jokes.) Then I get over it.

Let people pick on banjos all they want - they aren't so frail they need defending.

(Jed, I almost bought one of those banjolin dealies like you recently got, but if I'd been in the buying mood, it likely would have been one of those resonator banjos, which sound INCREDIBLE.)


09 Jul 04 - 03:35 PM (#1222494)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Mappa Mundi

I play Banjo and i really enjoy it!
Probably as much as i enjoy playing Guitar!


09 Jul 04 - 03:36 PM (#1222496)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: burntstump

Any of you Banjo fanatics know about a Liberty Banjo called a Buckdancer? Any info please


09 Jul 04 - 03:39 PM (#1222498)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Jeri

Oh, and Sir jOhn (fhtd), whether you meant that ("binjos are rebbish"), it was funny. (Binjos are ditches/trenches in S. Korea that carry waste water and whatever floats in it.)


09 Jul 04 - 04:43 PM (#1222543)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Little Hawk

The banjo is a lovely instrument. Every bouncer should be equipped with one.


09 Jul 04 - 04:48 PM (#1222553)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

Guest, David Cass

I may be childish but I'm not an old smelly fool like you are.

May Roseanne Barr sit on your face on a hot summer night.


09 Jul 04 - 05:16 PM (#1222568)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: CarolC

I play the accordion, so I try to avoid making fun of other people's choice of instruments.

I used to know the most amazing banjo player. He was a confectioner by trade, but he could easily have played the banjo professionally. One of his signature pieces was one that involved re-tuning the banjo as he played it. It was stunning to watch and to hear.

On the down side, he was the only person I knew who could (and did) play 'Lady of Spain' ;-)


09 Jul 04 - 05:21 PM (#1222572)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Charley Noble

As master banjo manufacturer S. S. Stewart observed back in the 1890's, "If you must use your banjo as a snow shovel, do so; only don't wonder if it sounds dull afterwards."

5-String Charley Noble


09 Jul 04 - 05:23 PM (#1222573)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Big Al Whittle

The only thing some people understand is a banjo used as a snow shovel....


09 Jul 04 - 05:23 PM (#1222574)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

Martin Gibson you are making quite a fool of yourself. You should immediately go sit in the corner and strum your banjo. Then again, it's probably so small that it resembles a ukelele. Find yourself a nice woman and maybe you can figure out a way to relieve yourself of this pent up hostility. In other words if anyone ever needed to get L***d it's you.

Have a nice weekend.


09 Jul 04 - 05:57 PM (#1222587)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

Guest, you ignorant used tampon

My banjo is an RB-250 Gibson Mastertone. If you know anything about anything, you know that this is a pro model revered for years as standard as a Martin D28 is for a guitar. My wonderful, loving wife is the sexiest girl-woman on the planet. I have no pent-up hostility at all, just a low tolerance for bull-shit like Guests/phonies try to throw at me and a streak of cynicism that jerf-offs like you can only react to with a mundane same-old, same-old post such as yours.


09 Jul 04 - 06:17 PM (#1222599)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe_F

The guitar is beautiful; the banjo is sublime.

On a banjo should be written: This machine kills blue devils.


09 Jul 04 - 06:34 PM (#1222607)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

I just can't believe the amount of rubbish in this thread. Where is your sense of humour guys/girls ?
I play music for fun and relaxation guitar AND banjo as a matter of fact and I don't give a toss who likes it or not. I enjoy it.
So many of you are too ready to take offence and get really childish and some moronic with your insults.
I find a lot of interesting information on the Mudcat Forum and some interesting discussions but threads like this make me despair.
Please try and keep a sense of proportion and most of all a sense of humour.

Most of all keep on pickin' AND grinnin'


09 Jul 04 - 07:02 PM (#1222613)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: artbrooks

The banjo is ok, especially accompanying a real instrument...like a bodhran!


09 Jul 04 - 07:14 PM (#1222615)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Big Al Whittle

apropos nothing

Derek Brimstone had a beautiful new banjo last time I saw him - I think he said he had it made for him.

Me on the other hand I've just got one of these variax guitars that sounds a bit like a banjo - the instruction book says its modelled on a Gibson mastertone, plus you can add phase, flange, delay and distortion if you want to or put it through a wah wah peddle - well I never did like the neighbours.....


09 Jul 04 - 08:05 PM (#1222641)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: jacqui.c

One of the regulars at a session I go to plays the banjo and is a joy to listen to. He plays high camp with it sometimes, doing an old number called 'We'll never hear the banjo played again' which is appreciated by all the audience who join in with the chorus. He's also a dab hand at Duelling Banjos, which I love. I've even sung Early One Morning with the accompaniment of a banjo and guitar and the arrangement sounded really good.

Anyway, I agree with Sinsull about banjo players, well, one in particular.


09 Jul 04 - 08:08 PM (#1222643)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joybell

No Aussie input? Wonder why not?
I just want to say I wish my voice could sound as lonesome as my banjo does, or as happy. So many moods! Joy


09 Jul 04 - 08:18 PM (#1222646)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

"Fact of the matter, I do take the banjo seriously."

Are you being ironic?

Many banjos are ironic. They have that metal ring and that's as ironic as things get. Roy Clarke ain't half bad either.


09 Jul 04 - 10:03 PM (#1222684)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: MAG

"Many here know that I do not live in a "no humor zone." "

OK, everybody who has experienced "Martin's" humor take one step forward.

any takers?

Please note that any thread he involves himself in quickly degenerates into his name-calling shite, and learn to ignore him like the troll he is.


09 Jul 04 - 11:32 PM (#1222706)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

M.G.---You've chased me away from another thread I started seriously. And seriously, I've heard that "benjo" (with an e) means toilet in Japanese. Not sure if that's true or not, but here, because of your input, we've seen the similarity between the two sides of that equation turned into a valid pun. Some day I hope you wake up to the reality of your reverse Midas touch.

Love,

Art


09 Jul 04 - 11:42 PM (#1222708)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: CapriUni

This morning, Blackcatter asked if someone would post a brief history of the banjo.

A quick Google search yielded this: Thumbnail history of the banjo (though, if you ask me, it's a large thumbnail --it must belong to a picker!) ;-)

Just reading through it, it seems that people have been either hating 'em or loving 'em since the time they first appeared among us.

Personally, I love the sound of the banjo... it may not have sustain, but it has a bright clarity of sound that cannot be matched. It reminds me of sunlight on a running stream.


10 Jul 04 - 01:40 AM (#1222734)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Big Al Whittle

Favourite banjo tracks?
anybody else heard (remember hearing) blues skies played by Pete seeger on the Goofing Off suite album.
Funny little record, a ten inch lp
what a player!


10 Jul 04 - 04:38 AM (#1222764)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Dave Hanson

Martin Gibson must lead a very sheltered life if he thinks Tommy Makem is the best of British banjo players, has he never heard of the KING Barney McKenna, who can play ANYTHING.

I make a point of playing a bit of classical music on the tenor banjo in every session I go to.

All types of banjo are great.
eric


10 Jul 04 - 05:13 AM (#1222775)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Big Al Whittle

People are being very nasty to Martin. I think this is a shame as perhaps he had a hard life. You never know what criticism like this can do to a man. he might climb a tower overlooking the busy town centre, take out his Gibson mastertone and play Cripplecreek to innocent bystanders.


10 Jul 04 - 05:21 AM (#1222776)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

B-ad
A-cousticly
N-ondescript
J-inxed
O-utmoded
S-hite


10 Jul 04 - 05:28 AM (#1222778)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

Better still, he could climb a tower overlooking the busy town centre and jump.


10 Jul 04 - 07:52 AM (#1222810)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: InOBU

I have to say, when a fight breaks out in a pub, there is little to defend yourself against a broken off bottle like a banjo, the musical equivelant to a broad sword. Ever try to defend yourself with a fiddle or a set of Uillian pipes...? very valuble instrument.
Cheers
Larry
ps and they are loud? (is that good???) well... you CAN hear 'em... enven when a fight breaks out.


10 Jul 04 - 08:29 AM (#1222826)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: AllanW

My friend is a banjo player. He foolishly left his instrument on the back shelf of the car in full view and when he returned, someone had smashed the window and left another banjo there!

Seriously, I can't believe how lively some of these debates get. Why so precious? Like most instruments, they're crap in the hands of a novice. But we were all novices once. Played well, the banjo is fine, especially the 5 string bluegrass type. 6 string banjos tuned like a guitar on the other hand, are evil.


10 Jul 04 - 08:30 AM (#1222827)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Dickmac

YES- DEFEND THE BANJO
As a banjo player (with more enthusiasim than skill)I get lots of fun
picking away - so what's the problem. Other folks have hobbies that can, and do, annoy me but life's too short to worry about things like that.
I don't mind the jokes and some are actually quite funny.
What I can't stand are those musical snobs who think their instrument is the only instrument or their style of music is the only stlye.
Live and let live.

I can't believe that this thread has produced such a response in such a short time. Have some folk nothing better to do with their time?

I'll sign off with the blessing given by the late Danny Kyle
"May the skin of your arse never cover a banjo"


10 Jul 04 - 09:40 AM (#1222841)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Confederado

Most of you all have probably seen this, but for those of you who haven't here's a "canonical list" of banjo jokes. I suppose the humor is that most of them have roots in truth.
http://bluegrassbanjo.org/banjokes.html


10 Jul 04 - 09:50 AM (#1222844)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: CapriUni

Besides Mudcat, among the forums where I sometimes hang out are the usenet groups dedicated the British Sci-fi series Doctor Who. One of the regular posters there, a writer of DW novels (Dave Stone), signs his posts:

"Take care. Have fun. Bring your own banjo."

Seems like a good general motto for life, if you ask me! ;-)


10 Jul 04 - 10:50 AM (#1222868)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Dickmac

For our American cousins, just in case you don't know,my earlier e mail referred to "arse" - it's your "ass"


10 Jul 04 - 11:11 AM (#1222879)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous

eric the Red

you misread what I wrote about Tommy Makem. He was really the only Irish banjo player anyone in America really had any exposure to. He made the Clancy Brothers watchable and listenable on the old Hootenany show. If wasn't for his banjo, I wouldn't of even wasted my time with any Irish music. I never heard of the guy you mentioned.

Sometime some threads just need to degenerate.


10 Jul 04 - 12:06 PM (#1222897)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Franz S.

To add some weight to this discussion, there is a scholarly work on the history of banjo-making which has beautiful color plates of 19th century banjos. It's also interesting reading, but then I am both a bibliophile and a banjophile.
America's Instrument: The Banjo in the Nineteenth Century
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sorry, that was supposed to be a blue clicky, but I hope cut&paste will work. Or Google.


10 Jul 04 - 12:11 PM (#1222899)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Franz S.

Hey, it did work! Wow!


10 Jul 04 - 06:47 PM (#1223043)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe_F

Dickmac: Actually, if my corpse is ever fished from a river by a miller, he may feel free....


10 Jul 04 - 10:09 PM (#1223099)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: YOR

And who can forget one of the greatest banjo players of all times:

Pete Townshend!


11 Jul 04 - 01:28 AM (#1223151)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Blackcatter

Steve Martin! He's even won a grammy for banjo playin'!



And Art - you know better than starting a thread and expecting the idiots around here not to try to hijack it. It's predictable that they are sharing all the stupid old jokes. By the way - I always look forward to seeing your posts, Art. There's only a handful around here of which I can say that.



My good friend, who has played the sweney banjo since 1963, just did a short workshop on the banjo's history for a bunch of us last night. It was wonderful.


11 Jul 04 - 04:24 AM (#1223183)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

A banjo was the best door stop I ever had


11 Jul 04 - 09:58 AM (#1223254)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Mappa Mundi

I'm going to be giving banjo lessons soon, if any of you would like to learn.
Philistines welcome too ;0)


11 Jul 04 - 10:36 AM (#1223269)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: CapriUni

Hmmm... the flaming and insults have pushed this down to the BS section, I see...Shame. If banjos aren't musical, what is?


11 Jul 04 - 12:44 PM (#1223328)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: BaldEagle2

Why, Mr Bo Jangles:

    When plucking at your banjo, you sure should not forget
    You is suitably armed, and can deal with disrespect.
    Dance softly with joy - knowing this is stays true
    A banjo makes a good club, should some-one mock you.   
   
    Grip it firmly by the neck, as if it were a baseball bat
    Swing it high in the air and firmly down - just like that!
    Onto the head of that ignorant jerk in the crowd
    And his resulting silence will let your tunes ring loud.

    We banjoists can walk with head held high
    For with banjo in hand, no-one dare us decry:
    When persons mouth off to cause musical obstruction
    Then make your banjo a weapon of trash destruction.

At least, I think that is what my mommy once told me.


11 Jul 04 - 02:18 PM (#1223372)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Willa

Clipping from the local paper http://www.thisishull.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=136265&command=displayContent&sourceNode=136248&contentPK=10567894


11 Jul 04 - 04:31 PM (#1223406)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: The Villan

One of the great guys of the skiffle world, non other than Lonnie Donegan played banjo.

So do you guys want to criticise him?

That will certainly get things hotted up.

Lonnie Donegan was one of my heroes and a true pro.

All you anti Banjo players are talking up your a*** and are very selfish in your opinions. You are all probably pretty crap musicians yourself and are trying to divert the flak away from yourselves.

In this world, there is enough room for all musicians whatever they play.

I think it is all about how good you are as a musician, not what you play.

This only makes me more determined to offer a spot to a good banjo player at my club. Come on you banjo players, who is good enough to play at my club? You will get a sincerely warm welcome with no piss taking. you will be respected for your skills.


11 Jul 04 - 05:14 PM (#1223424)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: McGrath of Harlow

..."any thread he involves himself in quickly degenerates..

Shouldn't that be "exposes himself in"?
.........................

The default mode of converse for people in the British Isles tends to be ironic. So generally speaking, ostensibly rude remarks about banjos from this side of the water are best understood as really having a friendly intent.

If there really are people around who really dislike the banjo as an instrument, I'm sorry for them. Of course, like any instrument, it isn't always played as well as it deserves; and that is accentuated by the fact that, sometimes, people who don't play it too well set it up so that it is over loud. But that can apply to many instruments.

I think banjos sound a lot better without resonators.


11 Jul 04 - 06:08 PM (#1223436)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe Richman

Someone asked a lot earlier about the Liberty Buckdancer. Bob Flesher still makes the Buckdancer I think under his own label now. www.flesherbanjos.com I think


11 Jul 04 - 06:21 PM (#1223445)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe Richman

The banjo, like the guitar, is actually a family of instruments with a lot of different sounds within the group. I own a banjo strung with nylon strings that sounds a lot different from the common steel string resonator banjo ( which I also own ). I also own one of Bob Flesher's gut string fretless wonders, which has a deep thunderous tone. Very 19th century.   

I'm not going to list all of the different types of banjos made over the years, but those who post to this thread could come up with a list of banjos in these categories they own (or used to own) themselves. So much more for banjo haters to hate and banjo lovers to love!

Joe


11 Jul 04 - 11:23 PM (#1223564)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

Old friend, the late great John Hartford was fond of saying, "A banjo will get you through times of no money, but money won't get you through times of no banjo."

How true.

Art


12 Jul 04 - 10:19 AM (#1223852)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Blackcatter

Well, except with money you could buy a banjo which isn't exactly the same thing, but it would end the times of no banjo.


Sounds like an interesting song: The Times of No Banjo

or how 'bout: The Times of Noh Banjo

?


12 Jul 04 - 12:03 PM (#1223934)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST

What's the definition of Perfect Pitch ?
.....Getting the banjo into the skip without touching the sides

What's the difference between a banjo and a Harley Davidson?
.....You can tune a Harley.

What's the difference between a banjo and a chain saw?
.....The chain saw has greater dynamic range.

What's the difference between a banjo and a cattle grid?
.....People slow down before they drive over a cattle grid.


12 Jul 04 - 12:26 PM (#1223950)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Steve Parkes

Hey, that's the first time I've heard any of those jokes ... this week.


12 Jul 04 - 12:38 PM (#1223958)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

Well, the times of no banjo, for me, now, means not being able to play it any more because of illness and being unable to feel the strings. I've still got my good ol' banjo. I'm looking at it fondly as we speak. And I could buy several more if I was so inclined. ;-)

Art


12 Jul 04 - 12:40 PM (#1223960)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: bbc

Art,

Benjo or byan so does mean bathroom in Korean. I can't say whether it does in Japanese or not. Glad you liked your card, dear. Blessings on every year you're w/ us!

love,

barbara


12 Jul 04 - 12:50 PM (#1223963)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

BBC--thanks. I ought to be here a good long time. This malady pretty much don't kill folks. It just helps precipitate your coping mechanisms (i.e. philosophical spiritual growth ;-)

Art


12 Jul 04 - 03:48 PM (#1224068)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Ernest

Don`t worry about the banjo* jokes:
They** were all invented by guitar players who can`t stand the idea that there are instruments that are louder than their precious axes...
Regards
Ernest

P.S.: Another variant is the McCalmans Song "Bodhrans and Banjos" - I`ve posted the lyrics a while ago...


* = refers also to melodeon jokes & bodhran jokes
** = Yes, both jokes


12 Jul 04 - 04:40 PM (#1224092)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Arnie

Wasn't it King George Vth who, on his deathbed, spoke the immortal words "Bugger banjos!"


12 Jul 04 - 06:13 PM (#1224161)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: artbrooks

Perhaps so Arnie, but he was known for somewhat peculiar proclivities.


12 Jul 04 - 07:25 PM (#1224197)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Blackcatter

Why those would be immortal words is anyone's guess.


Question: Is the banjo the only truly American (U.S.) invented instrument?


12 Jul 04 - 09:31 PM (#1224234)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe Richman

Depends on what you define as an invented instrument. Weren't electronic synthesizers invented in the US? ( Like the Moog Synthesizer.) And are solid body electric guitars different enough from traditional guitars to be considered a separate category? Then I live only about 10 miles from the original shop that turned out the first such beasts.

Also, do you consider the gourd banjo to be a different instrument from the modern banjo? If not, then the banjo is an African (or maybe Arab?) instrument, and not American at all!

Joe


12 Jul 04 - 09:47 PM (#1224241)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe Richman

Oops, I guess I'd live about 10 miles from the old Fender workshop regardless of whether one considers solid body electric guitars to be a "noteworthy" invention.   Well, my typing got ahead of my thought processes there.

Biological taxonomy circles are divided into groups known as "lumpers" and "splitters". The same must be true of musical instrument taxonomy.

Joe


12 Jul 04 - 10:40 PM (#1224265)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: ex-pat

Heard "Washington Square", Pete Seeger and the Kingston Trio as a boy in in the 60's. Bought my first 5 string in 1964.
Picked up the guitar in '71. I find the guitar useful but nothing compares to the rhythm and melodies one can find on a good banjo.

As for banjo jokes, Hell, I tell them myself. I have no problem of laughing at myself. I grew up in the north of England, try being a banjo player there 30 years ago! Our band has a hammered dulcimer and button accordion too, we love to take the piss out of each other.
Lighten up some of you lot.

Banjos are special and those of us who know that smile confidently.

Deliverance gave us an image, just drool sometimes to freak people out!
Ollie


13 Jul 04 - 04:00 AM (#1224377)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Steve Parkes

I'm afraid that the eponymous Moog synthesizer was inspired by the equally eponymous Theremin, a Russian invention. The (also eponymous) Sousaphone was a differently-shaped tuba[?]. Not being American or Black, I'll hold my peace about the banjo.

And it's OK for banjo players to tell banjo jokes; the better you are, the more you can tell 'em: we know it's not jealousy!

Steve


13 Jul 04 - 04:59 AM (#1224413)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Dave Hanson

My banjo don't need no defending, it could fell an ox.
And no Arnie it was ' bugger Bogner '

eric


13 Jul 04 - 04:22 PM (#1224821)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Blackcatter

Hi,

I know the banjo came from the African gourd insturment, but it is still a pretty big departure from that instrument, isn't it?

As for electronic instruments, that's another venue for debate. Synthesizers and electric guitars are played essentially like their accoustic parents. I don't know.


13 Jul 04 - 11:42 PM (#1225078)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: The Fooles Troupe

Electric guitar techniques can be very different from acoustic guitar techniques.

'Real' synthesisers have no acoustic parents (Thermemin). Midi keyboards are what many people mistakenly think are a form of synthesiser. Think 'Moog'. If you want to hear 'real' synthesised music - look up 'Musique Concrete'.

I have done my share of large hand spliced tape loops run around chair legs...

Robin


14 Jul 04 - 06:06 PM (#1225592)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Frank

Reasons to like the banjo.

1. It's part of American history and culture.
2. It's a happy instrument that doesn't take itself too seriously.
3. It's fun to play and to listen to.
4. it's versatile. Bluegrass is one form, old time, plectrum and tenor jazz style, Irish style and now it is geing used as a classical musical instrument. Bach sounds quite good on it.
5. It's a wonderful accompaniment instrument for singing. it suits the voice.
6. In most cases, you don't need amplification. It is self-contained.
7. It sounds good in the hands of a beginner or advanced player.
(A caveat. It can be obnoxious in the hands of someone who thinks he/she is a better player than he/she really is.)
8. Old-time banjo is expressive with many different tunings giving the banjo many tonal "colors".
9. It sounds good with other accoustic instruments. Round-Peak, Bluegrass, old style jazz and others.
10. It is a highly rhythmic instrument which makes it suitable for accompanying dances.
11. it's distinctive style has been the impetus for many good songs and tunes.
12. There is a version of it that is popular all over the world. Samisen in Japan, Sarod in India, Griot's instrument in Africa, found in Chinese music to accompany the Chinese Opera, and at one time popular in England as a classical instrument. The famous maker who fashioned the channelled fifth-string (I forget his name now) made a lovely banjo and I used to own one.

Hope this helps the case for defense of a great instrument.

Frank


16 Jul 04 - 02:36 PM (#1227094)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Ernest

Why are we just defending ourselves & our instruments (the best in the world )???
It`s time to attack !!!!!!!!!!!
So let`s start making jokes about guitars...
there`s lots of them: viel Feind, viel Ehr!
Start now!
Ernest


17 Jul 04 - 07:24 AM (#1227564)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Tom Hamilton

I also like banjos but I wouldn't defend them just like I wouldn't defend borran players as I am one myself.


17 Jul 04 - 12:32 PM (#1227673)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Blackcatter

The worst thing about guitars: Some players who only know three chords consider themselves musicians and worthy of praise.

I've left more than one note on a napkin in the guitar case of these idiots letting them know that not everyone is fooled.


17 Jul 04 - 09:19 PM (#1227940)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: The Fooles Troupe

Some 'Three Chord & Capo' Guitarists are nice people, and even do make nice music, especially if they sing well, and use the guitar as a backing only; even though I do agree in principle with Blackcatter's comment.

But note that attacking other instruments does not defend any particular instrument any more than attacking other people defends the person doing the attacking.

Robin


18 Jul 04 - 04:40 AM (#1228064)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Dave Hanson

Guitars are good instruments, not as good as banjos or mandolins mind.
eric


18 Jul 04 - 01:54 PM (#1228264)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Big Al Whittle

why should we take your word for it eric, you were the one who discovered america?


18 Jul 04 - 02:37 PM (#1228291)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe Richman

Robin "Foolestroupe" has said some of the wisest things I've seen in this thread. We amateur musicians nowadays are constantly being held up to the glare of the studio-polished product of the professional recording artists, and of course we're usually found wanting. But music as a community art is not endangered yet because we just ignore our critics and go right on plunking and thwacking our bodhrans, guitars, banjos, zithers, squeeze boxes, etc.

I don't think it is very important to us banjo lovers whether they came from Africa, America or Antarctica. We just love the jarring sound the critters produce, and it gets better with time. More addictive than codeine! (At least for me.)

Joe


19 Jul 04 - 10:59 AM (#1228969)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Frank

The thing about the banjo is that it doesn't take itself seriously. If it does, it no longer is a banjo any more but has become co-opted by the corporate ruling class-ical music tyrants.
Arise ye banjo players. Shake off the shackles of conformity and morose long-faced depressive psuedo-academic pronouncements that bind you. It is truly the instrument of the People (whoever they are) and is the great equalizer in the music class-ical warfare.
It's time to revolt and give revolting music it's due. The vision for the banjo is that it's about having fun. It's a radical new idea in music that is never mentioned by the hidebound artsy press. and the critics whose job depends upon their inane profundity. There is no place for the banjo in the Pantheon of famous composers and serious musicians who have endeavored to impede the progress of music and send it back to slavish times. The banjo is   a jester, a lovely clown who delights children and makes the listener happy. It was King in the jazz Twenties and you could dance to it. It dances all by itself. I believe that even Michelangelo's output would have been improved by having his marble David play the banjo. Tschaikovsky would have elevated his music to a new level by the inclusion of this wonderfully abrasive and twangy instrument which in the hands of a great musician can laugh and cry at the same time. The banjo, although African is the epitome of Americana and when you hear it, it evokes lovely memories of mountains or stimulating rip-roaring times.

It's an instrument for all seasons and places. It especially sounds good in maudlin church functions or funerals. It is festive for all celebrations. I pity the poor individual who is not captivated by this wonderful instrument. They have been robbed of their soul.

Frank


19 Jul 04 - 04:06 PM (#1229204)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Ernest

Amen to that, Frank. One of the best remarks yet.
Regards
Ernest


20 Jul 04 - 03:07 AM (#1229628)
Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: The Fooles Troupe

Thanks Joe Richman. It's not often that people listen to what 'The Foole' says... :p