I just signed up for the lifetime membership and I think I am going to get a lot of info from this site. I found out about your site while Googling for info on removing the finish from my banjo’s neck. I own a Deering Saratoga Star and I find that with a bit fatter neck, it also is more sticky; my hands tend to be wet versus dry.
As far as experience, I have been playing for about 4 1/2 years. I stopped for two years and started back up again about 5 months ago.
Let me know what you think of my playing with any constructive criticism would be appreciated…
First of all I just want to thank Martin for being humble enough to ask for some constructive criticism. I’m sure we all (myself included) could take a very valuable lesson from Martin.
Here is his audio clip. I encourage you to comment at the end of the post with your own remarks.
Hello, I’ve listened to your audio clip and it seems like you have worked very hard on obtaining a smooth and timely roll. Your timing sounds great and your transitions between different chord positions are very smooth.
I would work towards a more dynamic sound (volume shifts in the music) with this song. This is the perfect tune to add some more feeling too. Try to make it sound more like an emotional communication (you choose the fitting emotion).
People respond well to a piece of music that relates to them. They like to hear something that pulls or twists their emotions. It will lead them to want more of your music.
Try emphasizing the higher pitched notes and relax back off of the lower register notes. These little details will add a whole new dimension to your playing and people will love it.
Just a quick question: How did you record this clip, transfer it to your computer and then ultimately email it? I’m sure others would be interested to hear how it’s done.
Thanks for your feedback – I agree, it is time to start working on adding feeling to my music.
What I use is a digital MP3 recorder. I recently went to a private lesson with Alan Munde and did not have one. Another banjo buddy of mine strongly suggested that I get one. The one that I purchased doubles as a thumb drive. Mine is about twice the size of a normal thumbdrive and easily fits in my front shirt pocket.
The one I have has 1gb of memory – that is days of recording. It can record at slow speed for longer playing, or at higher speed for better sound resolution. I purchased mine for $99.00. Depending on the name brand and amount of memory and features, they can go up to over $200.00.
The other great feature is that it has a play back feature at reduced speed without pitch differentials. This is great if you want to pick apart a really fast banjo lick to add to your armament.
Using this device is a breeze. I plug it into the USB port on my computer, it automatically recognizes my recorder as a thumbdrive/storage device, and from there, I am able to easily attach files to emails.
These devices are great for banjo workshops, recording your private lessons with instructors and for recording your practice sessions. Recording practice sessions allows you to not only analyze what you want to improve on, but is a great measure for progress.
You’d be surprised what improvement 3 months makes if you are playing every day. This is encouraging whenever you get the feeling that your music is not coming along quick enough – this happens to all of us! Of course, this is just my opinion, but I hope it is helpful.
BTW – I also do some cool things with my iPod – using shareware, I can convert YouTube to play on my iPod with video. I have the Classic iPod with 80gb.
What do you think of Martin’s version of Molly Bloom?
Do you have some advice on how to share audio clips via the internet?