Mountain banjo

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SeilerBird

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gwcowgill said:
Yea, I forgot, many cannot read the scores.... :)
Nope, that's not it. Most guitar players can read music. The problem is that it is really impossible to translate what a lead guitarist does to the written page. There are too many tricks and too many notes that aren't one of the 12. Listen to Stevie Ray Vaughan play Little Wing and you will see what I mean. And many lead guitarist play with their eyes closed. Lead guitar is more about mood and feeling than the actual notes.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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One of the major differences between a world-class musician and a competent one is the "extra" sound they impart while playing the same notes. The subtle difference in technique that makes you hear/feel the emotion in the sound.

Another thought: Many popular entertainers aren't particularly good musicians, at least not in the sense of pitch accuracy or correct technique with instrument or voice. Using just some basic competence, they put together an often unique style package that is hugely attractive to an audience without being technically good at all. Willie Nelson is a classic example.
 

Tom

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I'm neither world class nor even remotely competent, but anyone note (no pun) the error on the printed 'yellow card'? It was obviously written by someone who hasn't played a fretted instrument.
 

Tom

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I know you know Tom, but let's see if someone else spots it.
 

Molaker

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The only possible error I see is it says the frets are "pressed on".  Technically, I think you actually press the strings above the desired fret, not on the fret.  Pressing on the fret would produce a muted or deadened tone.
 

Molaker

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About a hundred years ago I used to plunk around on a guitar.  I never was worth 2 cents though and eventually handed off my two cheapie guitars (a standard and a classical) to my boys.  Once in a while I pick one up and remember why I put it down.  It's funny how my manual dexterity has always been very good when it came to doing stuff like doing mechical work - even tiny stuff, but my fingers seemed not to be directly connected when trying to play a guitar.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You press your finger between the frets, forcing the string to press cleanly on the fret, shortening its effective length. That technique makes a clean "stop", whereas placing your finger on the string directly over the fret would dampen the sound slightly as well as being a bit imprecise (depending on player skill). I would guess a fretless mountain banjo is a bit more mellow and less crisp in sound for that reason. Would be interesting to hear fretted and fretless instruments played side by side.
 

Luca1369

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Gary RV Roamer said:
One of the major differences between a world-class musician and a competent one is the "extra" sound they impart while playing the same notes. The subtle difference in technique that makes you hear/feel the emotion in the sound.

What constitutes "music" will always be argued by musicians and non-musicians.  There is a quote about jazz, credit is usually given to the great Miles Davis as the originator, that it is all about "the notes you don't play." 

Musicians are varied in their soloing.  Some improvise, some don't.  Pickers like Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia NEVER played solos the same way twice.  Sure, they might have a pattern to go by, especially one made familiar to their audience via a recording, but it was always used as a starting point, their solos soaring off into space from there.  On the other hand you had someone like Louis Armstrong who practiced and practiced his solos and they would be the same every time, a matter of pride to Armstrong.  To me, if I want to hear the song I can play it at home, if I want to see and hear the musician do what he/she does, I go see them live.

Personally, I hate to use the term "lead" guitar, you are either a guitarist or not, "lead" is an arcane term used more as an ego boost for musicians (many of whom are known for having fragile egos).  I play in a blues band with another guitarist.  Someone once asked me if I played lead guitar and I replied I played guitar.  He asked if I was a "better" player than my bandmate.  I replied that he did not understand music as it is NOT a competition.

To some of us, the magic of the music is to get lost in it, to get into that place where you don't think about what you're playing, your fingers are transmitting the notes in your soul without you thinking about each and every one of them.  It is a truly magical place, probably as close to living in the "now" as one can get.

 

Tom

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You press your finger between the frets

Dunno about a banjo or guitar but, on a uke, the sweet spot is immediately behind the fret. Still technically "between frets", but closer to the upper* end of the space than the middle.

* Upper, as in musically 'higher' up the fretboard (closer to the body).
 

Wizard46

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Just a little bit of banjo info.

Saw a program on television a few days back about the young boy who played banjo in the movie Deliverance. Seems he couldn't even play a banjo, they only wanted him for his looks and is now working as a maintenance man at the local WalMart.

 
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