The tremolo is a playing technique often used by 4 string banjoists to help give the effect of adding sustain to a note. This effect can add a lot of excitement to your playing and students request this probably more than anything else when learning to play tenor or plectrum banjo. This effect is used on many other instruments as well. You'll hear it very often employed by mandolinists as well.
Learning how to play your arpeggios all the way up the neck of your instrument is one of the best things you can do to improve your playing on any instrument. Some teachers even recommend learning your arpeggios before your scales. I personally recommend learning your major scale, then learn all of your arpeggios, and then go back and learn all of your other scales such as minor, pentatonic, etc.
When it comes to Irish tenor banjo, it is hard to define exactly what type of banjo that is. Yes, it is a four string tenor banjo. But is it a 17-fret or a 19-fret? Does it have a resonator or is it open back? How is it tuned - standard tenor tuning C, G, D, A or Irish tuning G, D, A, E? After spending years playing and talking to Irish tenor banjo players, going to Irish sessions, even traveling to Ireland to watch and listen, I have determined that there is no exact standard although there are some generalizations.
We are asked regularly, is Bluegrass style finger picking more difficult than Clawhammer? Is Clawhammer more difficult than finger picking? Is plectrum/tenor style with a flat pick easier than Bluegrass style finger picking?
Our second installment of our Goodtime Styles videos. Find more at goodtimebanjos.com These videos will take you through some of the most popular ways to play the different styles of Goodtime banjos.
It is the night before the big day here at Deering! The early hours of Friday morning will see the arrival of not one, but three new machines that will help us take our production to new giddy heights and meet the ever growing demand for quality, American made banjos. This latest addition to the Deering facility in Spring Valley, CA only serves to highlight the fact that the humble banjo, more than ever is being accepted as a mainstream musical instrument.
We lost another banjo icon this week. Barney McKenna, the last surviving original member of the Irish band the Dubliners passed away unexpectedly in his home.