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Topic: OT: Banjo picking patterns

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  1. #1

    OT: Banjo picking patterns

    Hey all,

    I have a couple of cues (songs) on this indie that needs the banjo to back up guitar (ala early Dixie Chicks meets O Brother Where art Thou). I have got some tracks that I have keyed in that sound OK but always looking for improvement.

    I will not be offended if your replys are \"get some Dixie Chicks and \'brother\' tracks and listen to them\" - I am planning on that for sure, but just thought there was some other \'keyboard\' players out there who have been donw this road and have come up with a solid formula or two to pull it off.

    If my guitar playing wasn\'t so lame I would use a guitar controller, but [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

    I have Kips tenor banjos and really dig them.

    Thanks for any help.

    Rob

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Banjo picking patterns

    Hi Rob,

    I\'m actually helping a composer get ready for an upcoming bluegrass session. Here is a banjo link you might find helpful.

    http://www.banjosessions.com/aug03/oldtime.html


    good luck,
    jaime

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Banjo picking patterns

    Hi Rob,

    Great topic. Although I play a real guitar and not completely clueless on transposing to keyboard technique, it\'s strange how maximizing the true potential of banjo on tracks is so hard. And it\'s particularly frustrating because as you say, the realism for some of the banjo libraries is wonderful.

    Along with providing banjo specific tips, it might be helpful to hear from people who play both guitar and banjo talking to the differences.

  4. #4
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    Re: OT: Banjo picking patterns

    Originally posted by purplememer:
    Hi Rob,

    I\'m actually helping a composer get ready for an upcoming bluegrass session. Here is a banjo link you might find helpful.

    http://www.banjosessions.com/aug03/oldtime.html


    good luck,
    jaime
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Thanks for the link purplememer...I\'m very partial to Bluegrass now and again. BTW, I like your beard!

    Rob...if you PM me I can send you some MIDI file snatches which the US \'Keyboard\' magazine kindly sent to me. The files supported a Bluegrass article which they published years ago. It\'s only 24kb zipped but it may help. I notice I also have a MIDI file of \'Duelling Banjos\'...but who hasn\'t!!?? [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] There must be loads of Banjo Picking MIDI files on the Net.

    Also \'Band in the Box\' have Banjo \'styles\'....That could save you a LOT of time. Put in the chords and it will give you something pretty decent to embellish to your taste. There have been, unfounded, rumours that some of the great Classical composers (like Beethoven) used the \'classical\' styles module from \'Band in the Box\' So that shows you just how good they can be! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Frank

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Banjo picking patterns

    I use Banjo licks a lot, and I agree Band in a Box is one of the easiest, best sounding ways to get realistic patterns. Take a look at Jammer, too. It has even better banjo patterns IMO.

    Sometimes you can get good sounding patterns by just slowing down the midi tempo and putting in 16th or 32nd note arpeggios, and then setting the tempo back to speed. This works especially good on up tempo, double time tunes.

    For great sounding banjos, check out Bardstown Tenor Banjos. I used them on a recent country/gospel project with Jammer doing the \"driving\" and everyone was commenting on how good the the banjo player was. Also, the American Heartland CD has great sounding country style banjos with a few licks thrown in as well.

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Banjo picking patterns

    Hey thanks a ton for all the input. I have heard the Band in the box demos but wasn\'t too impressed (too sequenced sounding) - perhaps Jammer would be better.

    Thanks again.

    Rob

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Banjo picking patterns

    Rob,

    Here\'s a little test I put together with Jammer Pro and Kips guitars and banjos.

    http://www.cdsol.com/cdsol/downloads/strums.mp3

    -- Martin

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Banjo picking patterns

    Originally posted by mschiff:
    Rob,

    Here\'s a little test I put together with Jammer Pro and Kips guitars and banjos.

    http://www.cdsol.com/cdsol/downloads/strums.mp3

    -- Martin
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Sounds like a machine is playing it. I like rednecks playing my banjos. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Banjo picking patterns

    Get some Dixie Chicks and \'brother\' tracks and listen to them. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Sorry I couldn\'t be more helpful but I couldn\'t let that one go. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Re: OT: Banjo picking patterns

    Also, check out every last thing that Bela Fleck has ever recorded, both with and without the Flecktones.

    This may not help with the traditional patterns, but it\'s some damn fine listening nonetheless. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

    Seriously, drop everything and pick up their \"Live at the Quick\" DVD for a quick reminder of what music\'s supposed to be about. There\'s much to be inspired by.

    (Actually, the man does have an instructional video (VHS only, no DVD) specifically dedicated to banjo picking styles. But you probably won\'t be able to find a copy without special-ordering, and that\'s not going to help while you\'re on deadline)

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