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The Early Minstrel Banjo

Technique and Repertoire

By Joe Weidlich

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Technique and Repertoire. Banjo. Softcover. With guitar tablature. 272 pages. Published by Centerstream Publications (HL.325).

Item Number: HL.325

ISBN 1574241338. With guitar tablature. 9x12 inches.

Featuring more than 65 classic songs, this interesting book teaches how to play the minstrel banjo like players who were part of various popular troupes in 1865. The book includes: a short history of the banjo in the US in the antebellum period, including the origins of the minstrel show; info on the construction of minstrel banjos, evolution of the lower-pitched minstrel banjo tunings, and idiomatic techniques peculiar to the minstrel banjo; chapters on each of the seven major banjo methods published through the end of the Civil War; songs from each method in banjo tablature, many available first time; info on how to arrange songs for the minstrel banjo; a reference list of contemporary gut and nylon string gauges approximating historical banjo string tensions in common usage during the antebellum period (for those Civil War re-enactors who wish to achieve that old-time “minstrel banjo” sound); and an extensive cross-reference list of minstrel banjo song titles found in the major antebellum banjo methods.

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