Sunday, May 29, 2011

Photo and Video from Friday's Concert

Played a shindig this Friday and Matthew Grapengieser happened to take some video and some great photos. Thank you Matt!

Here is one of the photos (that's my banjo and Jacob Russell's head in the background)...

There are 17 photos from the night posted on Matt's Flickr page at

Here is a video of Crowchild Ramble played by The Tishomingo String Band...

And here is Fantini, Wood & Wells with 'Yellow Moon'...

Will post the next 'Golrush' installment soon...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Exploring The Gold Rush - Part II: Single String Break

Here's a little single string arrangement to shed light on another way of approaching this chestnut.

Only the A section is truly single string, the B section takes a more melodic/ Keith style approach with a bit of bluesy tonality.

If you're interested in injecting some blues flavour into your playing try messing around with this down the neck G blues scale (starting on D)...

On to the arrangement; here's the video...

And here is tablature for the arrangement...

As usual let me know if you have any questions, suggestions or ideas (or if you have your own banjo creations you want to plug).

NEXT: Exploring Gold Rush Part III: Up the Neck

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Exploring 'The Gold Rush' - Part 1: Straight Ahead Bluegrass Break

Last month I wrote a series of posts on Blackberry Blossom, one of my favourite fiddle tunes and a solid vehicle for exploring new vistas in banjo arranging. It was suggested on the site that further entries in the exploring series covering other songs might be fun so here we are with the second song in the exploring series: Gold Rush.

If you are not familiar with Gold Rush see if you can find a version or two played on fiddle (just pop gold rush fiddle into a search engine or check out Bill Monroe's version with Robert Bowline on fiddle at

It is a powerhouse of a fiddle tune. Generally it is played in the key of A and for this first arrangement I've kept things simple capoing to the second fret and playing as though we were in comfortable old open G. The style for this arrangement is 80% straightforward Scruggs. The bits that stand out are the hammered triplets. I love these and you can throw them into a ton of playing situations. They may be difficult to play clearly at first so try running through them alone a little bit (preferably with a metronome) before diving headlong into the tune.

Here are the triplets...

Ok, feel comfortable with the triplets? Let's dive in ...

(click to enlarge)

As usual let me know if there are any things giving you grief or that you might like to have clarrified.

NEXT: Gold Rush: Part II - Single String Break

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Songs from Fantini, Wood & Wells

Sorry I haven't posted in a while; was off visiting my inlaws in Toronto.

Anyway, I have some great news for all you fans of banjo, piano and voice combos; my new trio Fantini, Wood & Wells have just done some recording and I've posted a couple songs up you can listen to.

The first one is called 'Once, Twice'. It is slow and melancholy and quotes lyrics from 'The Sound of Music'.

The second song is Yellow Moon which is a little faster and features alot of piano/ banjo interplay.

You can find them here...

Next: Exploring 'Gold Rush'