Mudcat Café message #523356 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37503   Message #523356
Posted By: Jon Freeman
08-Aug-01 - 07:52 AM
Thread Name: Celtic music on 5 string banjo
Subject: RE: Celtic music on 5 string banjo
Hmm Charcloth, I'm not sure if I'm understanding you correctly but it is the percussive nature of the tenor played with the pick that I believe makes it such it a great tool for playing jigs and reels. The rythm is there and easily obtainible. The drawback I find is that I'm not particulary fond of it as a solo instrument. Even in the hands of players of Sully's ability, I find it usually sounds lonely (and at times even boring) without the support of other instruments. When it has that support, I believe it really shines and cuts through.

To expand on what I was trying to say before, I don't know what style Chris Grotewohl plays but I would imagine it has to be some form of 3 finger style - certainly not clawhammer. The only person I have met who could finger pick a 5 string and make it sound like a tenor used his own adaption of a 3 finger style.

UJ, I know you were joking but these sawed off things do have a big advantage for those of us who like the GDAE tuning. I prefer a 17 fret tenor to a 19 fret one because of the shorter scale length and the smaller stretches involved. Playing a plectrum banjo (or a 5 string minus the 5th string) in that tuning is hard work.