The Star-Spangled Banner on banjo–don’t get much more American than that! Let’s let loose on this one with liberty and justice for all. God bless America!
Thank you for this lesson and the many hours that you have put in to it @BanjoBen I’m very grateful for this site!!
Thank youu Ben! I love this song and always wanted to play it. I will enjoy the lesson and playing it for family and freinds .
Did you get a new banjo @BanjoBen??
Yep, this is a Nechville Classic. I received it to sell, haven’t put it in the store quite yet. I really like it!
I own a Nechville Classic and absolutely love it. I like to play around with setups and this Nechville allows for a broad range of sounds very quickly. For example, I have standard, wooden, and hybrid (brass hoop on wood) tone rings. I can change those out in minutes. The action is also quickly adjustable. But best of all, it simply feels and sounds great. Okay, now I’ll admit I’m a mediocre player, but here’s an example of the sound I can get out of the hybrid tone ring. This is my best attempt at one of the camp songs:
That banjo sounds awesome and that is some mighty clean playing!
Thanks @BanjoBen ! I have to admit that was one of a few tries for that video. I’m having fun with the camp songs, and looking forward to meeting y’all in person next week.
Love it Ben.
So a couple of things have me stumped. At 1:29 when you place your finger over the 12th fret, does that technique have a name (cause I love it)? (Edit: I found the answer in video 2, “Harmonics”, right?) Also, I can’t figure out why the pitch gets higher as you move down the fret when making that really cool sound. Why is that? Oh, 1 more question (I’m like Columbo here) is there a video that teaches that technique?
Banjo Ben is doing what you call harmonics
To do it, you put any finger lightly (very lightly) over the 12th, 7th, or 5th fret.
As for why it goes higher or lower, I think it has to do with your action (distance between your strings and your frets)
Hope that helps!
“When you use your finger to produce a harmonic , you modify how the string vibrates. When playing open string harmonics , you divide the string into halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, and sixths. So playing harmonics at the twelfth fret divides the string in half.”
When you divide it into smaller fractions it vibrates faster producing a higher pitch…just like shortening the string by fretting it…
I’d say that’s note for note, as to how Ben teaches it. Excellent! I look forward to seeing your next vid, when you modulate to the next key.
That puzzled me to as to why the tone gets higher. Nice insight Dave.
As far as the technique, very lightly position your finger dead center over the fret, (usually 5, 7, or 12), and pluck the string. I try to lift at the precise moment, I pluck the string. Seems to me that it helps it ring a little better.
I Always knew how to do harmonics but never knew how they worked…
This arrangement was really challenging for me. I took some time away and recently revisited it only to find I had somehow forgotten all of the fingering. Here’s the video from back in the summer. At this rate, and assuming I practice daily, I might have it ready by the time the Fourth rolls back around! https://youtu.be/elQEHz60sxA
Oh, and what I forgot to say was how much I loved this arrangement (esp when Ben plays it) and how favorably people with whom I shared it responded. Thanks, as always, Ben for putting this out in the world.
Often a bit loathed to make observations particularly in areas around Anthems and anything that has the potential to offend. So in advance I am just sharing information.
My folk playing over the years went back centuries in study so am aware of this song under another name:
The Anacreontic song
Ran this past Ben yesterday. I do this level of study to add nuances to my playing so actually you would never hear originality from me but you might hear original parts.