[Dixielandjazz] What is a banjo?

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Fri Mar 4 12:52:20 PST 2005

In a message dated 3/4/05 12:25:23 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
john at pembery.co.uk writes:

> Four string banjo's include tenor banjo's the preferred rhythm 
> instrument in Dixieland and New Orleans jazz, and the longer plectrum 
> banjo, which is better for chord melody.
> Five stringers have no place in jazz unless you do away with the fifth 
> string .
> Best wishes,
> Ols Fenland banjo player.

Hi John:  

Aha!  But wait, mate that brings up the main premise of Jazzing no?

For them what can play a lot more notes why not have five strings to do it on 
rather than be fettered by the limitations of only four strings.  ?  :))

And those that can't figure out what else to do with the fifth string can 
always take their teeth out and floss them during drum breaks, or use it as spare 
"G" String if they are playing for strippers.  Or in the worse case keep 
attached as a handy spare string in case they break one of the others.  :))

Another good use for it might be as a shoulder strap in case they want to 
stroll, or a Garrote to use on the Drummer when he gets fidgety feet and runs 
away with the tempo.
Besides it's one more to be out of tune all the time. 

Heck I have a jazz friend who plays a Seven String Violin, and very well too, 
and I have also witnessed Fiddle players like Doug Kershaw play great shows 
when he had played so hard he had broken all but two strings on his fiddle, and 
 when the Bow hairs broke loose from one end of the bow he just flung the 
hairs around the body of the violin from underneath, grabbed them with his hand 
and played the rest of the song with the hairs stretched across the two strings 
in a triangle.   What a showman, and he played the right notes too.

It ain't what you play so much as it's how you play it ain't it?

The only Banjo I ever played around with was a young lovely lady banjoist 
many years ago,it turned out to be a very lovely instrument once I got it off her 
lap.   :))

Well, it is a Slow rainy silly Friday in California. !   Might as well have 
some sport with the Banjo players.  :))


Tom " Mama don't allow No Banjo playin around heah! " Wiggins
She don't tolerate much Washboard playin' either. :))

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