[Dixielandjazz] Sheik ~ Banjoists ~ Clarinettists ~ Tell Me Your Dream ~ ...

Gluetje1 at aol.com Gluetje1 at aol.com
Wed Oct 7 22:14:27 PDT 2009

It seems to me this depends more on your ears and brain deciding "what" you 
 hear and like better in Guesnon's sound.  On Wikipedia it says Guesnon  
studied with John Marrero and switched from ukulele tuned banjo to traditional 
 tuning.  Problem is there are at least 2 different ukulele tunings used on 
 banjos and I'm not certain what Wikipedia is calling traditional tuning 
since  that varies also.  Especially if one considers that both Marrero and  
Guesnon also played guitar.  A tuning variously called baritone uke,  guitar 
tuning, Chicago tuning is identical to the four highest strings of a  
guitar.  I think most would consider "traditional" banjo tunings for  jazz to be 
tenor or plectrum. Although I have seen claims that tenor tuning is  better 
for jazz I disagree that the tuning is even the crucial  element.
In photos I look at Guesnon seems to be playing on a tenor neck, wide  head 
of calfskin.  I like to hear Guesnon too.  He is crisp and  oh, so 
reliable.  But then I have a long list of other jazz banjoists I  also like.
It is also correct that the way a banjo is built and set-up makes huge  
differences in it's sound.  I suspect that many a potentially decent  banjoist 
is not paying enough attention to both set-up of the banjo in  his/her hands 
and the sound the particular band needs/wants.
In a message dated 10/7/2009 4:39:26 P.M. Central Daylight Time,  
richard.flecknell at ntlworld.com writes:

For the  banjoists, why to my ears, does George Guesnon's banjo sound so 
good compared  to other banjoists ~ different type of banjo, tuning, safety 
catch  on.

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