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Wednesday, 12 October, 2011
Animated GIF From Video
Today I learned how to create an animated GIF from a video, using Photoshop Elements. I had never noticed the File - Import - Frame From Video command. You just need to import several frames. Start with one, and then copy/paste the others as layers. Then File - Save For Web.
Sunday, 09 October, 2011
This is from last weekend's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco. Click through and watch it full screen in HD.
Friday, 07 October, 2011
A painting by Mark Weakley called Pawhammer.
There are several others in the series, including one of him playing a resophonic guitar.
Monday, 03 October, 2011
Another Banjo Newsletter Review
No, this isn't a repeat from three months ago.
I gathered them all together for a group portrait.
Clockwise from upper left, the makers/brands are: Jason Burns, Doc Huff, Will Fielding, Johannes Bonefaas, Mike Ramsey, Vega (Lo Gordon neck), H.C. Dobson, John Bowlin, Chuck Lee, Brooks Masten, Slingerland baritone uke, no-name soprano uke, unknown minstrel, no-name 5-string, Jeff Mezies gourd, Bisbonian gourd.
Sunday, 02 October, 2011
Banjo Uke For Sale
Who wants an old banjo uke? It's a no-name soprano banjo uke, probably made in the 1920s. Skin head, and (I believe) all original parts, except for the bridge. This instrument may have been played by a flapper in a speakeasy. It's playable, and it sounds pretty decent. Listen to a sample.
Even if you have no interest in playing it, it makes a nice wall decoration.
I paid $117 for it in 2009. It's yours for $100, including shipping in the U.S. Send me an email if you're interested.
*** UPDATE ***
The banjo uke, she is sold.
Thursday, 29 September, 2011
Banjo Named Steven
It's some kind of a show running in Australia: Anne Edmonds in My Banjo's Name Is Steven.
I put a wig on my banjo and I called it Steven. Geez I'm lonely.
Some people give names to their banjos, but I've never done that because I don't believe in it. Nor do I believe in putting a wig on a banjo
Friday, 23 September, 2011
Girl In Red Dress Dances
What do you think of this dancing style?
She's Martha Spencer, and she kicks up her heels.
Thursday, 22 September, 2011
I've been working on this tune for almost a week. I'm finally getting there, and I can play it much better when the recorder isn't turned on.
It's a pretty little waltz written by Dawn Petty, of Birdseye, Kansas. It sounds old, but it's not.
It's played on a Chuck Lee Prairieville banjo (with no tone ring), strung with nylon strings. Standard G tuning, capo at the 2nd fret. These chords work, but they are a note lower than the banjo:
G// Bm// Em// G// G// G// D// D// D// Am// D// D// D// D7/ G// G// G// Bm// Em// G// G// G7// C// C// G// A7// D// E7// A7// D// G// G//
It even has words. Listen to a snippet sung by Judy Coder here.
Tuesday, 20 September, 2011
Old Man On A Bench
It's not often that a single comic strip panel covers banjos and blogging.
Sunday, 18 September, 2011
Rooster Banjo Art
At Miami Craiglist: roster playing the banjo (one of a kind).
Up for sale is my one of a kind 52inches tall and 48 inch wide roster hand made out of paper mache
the roster is playing the banjo this is the only one made like this in the world like i said before
this is a one of a kind art peace my asking price for it is $2,000 obo if you are interested give me
a call at 786-226-5811 thank you for reading
Yeah, the guy can't spell, can't write a sentence, and he doesn't even know how to rotate a photo before posting. But like he says, it's one of a kind.
Saturday, 17 September, 2011
It's an "art" banjo, made of cardboard: an experiment in artistic exchange- the firebrand banjo.
i have been sculpting with cardboard for sometime now. i decided to create a cardboard banjo sculpture with the intention that the only acceptable legal tender for the artwork would ba a real banjo. i am offering to trade art for something that creates art, but also will encourage my artistic process. not to sound pretentious, but i feel there is a purity in the exchange that extends beyond money.
i brought this banjo sculpture to the milwaukee avenue arts fest in chicago and exhibited it. someone asked if they offered $7000 would i take it. i told them they could take the $7000 to chicago's old town school of folk music and buy me an american banjo, then we would trade. pretty serious about that fact.
It includes a cardboard case.
Sunday, 11 September, 2011
This "2 Cows and a Chicken" comic appeared to today, but it's recycled from 2000:
Sunday, 04 September, 2011
Iowa Beef Experience
This looks like quite an experience. It's rare to see a rabbit and a cat play a banjo duet.
Found at Flickr.
Thursday, 01 September, 2011
Jeeze, if you're trying to sell a banjo, take a photo without your feet in the shot!
And remove the duct tape from under the bridge, which says "this banjo doesn't sound good unless I muffle it."
Monday, 29 August, 2011
Me And Whitey
Recorded last night, a great tune called "Walking The Dog," written by Arnie Naiman.
Lots of banjo playing mistakes, because I'm still working on it. Give me another 5-6 months. That's wormpicker on vocals at the beginning and end.
Here's what it's supposed to sound like (at YouTube): Walking the Dog.
Sunday, 07 August, 2011
Fiddle And Banjo
A perfect example of how nine strings can sound when played together.
Sunday, 24 July, 2011
Someone here has suggested that I need to get out more. Last night, I got out. My friend Whitey urged me to attend a contra dance put on by Tucson Friends of Traditional Music. It wasn't a date (although we did go out for pizza and beer). He wanted me to play in the "open band" with him.
So I went, and it was very fun. You never know how many musicians will show up, and how many dancers will pay to dance. Last night, I was playing on stage with about 15 others -- most of whom were real musicians (but no bass!). They even put a mic in front of my banjo. We were entertaining about 30-40 dancers, led by JP (who I met a few weeks ago).
Here's a photo of a random open band from their web site.
It was very different from the old time jams that I normally play at. The main thing is that it's not banjo friendly. In an old time jam, they stay in the same key for a long time, because banjo players (and sometimes fiddlers) need to retune for every key. I heard about this, so I brought two banjos. I was able to play in four keys with minimal tuning.
But the the problem is, a single contra dance lasts a long time and the band often plays a medley of tunes for a single dance. So last night, I had my first experience of: (a) quickly retuning from A Sawmill to A Standard in the middle of a medley, and (b) actually switching banjos in the middle of a medley.
It was fun. But hotter than hell. They had a few fans in the room, but I was sweating like a pig. Probably just stage fright.
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