The banjo is a remarkable instrument in so many ways. Lots of people I know, who are more into pop music, associate it with one thing only and that’s Scruggs style bluegrass playing but there is a lot more to it than that. It’s old time clawhammer playing which attracted me to the instrument. Even within clawhammer there are many approaches or attacks from super-rhythmic to melodic, and old time players use lots of tools to get at different moods.
I came across an excellent little video by Cathy Fink in which she talks about some old time approaches, tunings and moods. If you’re ever wondering what I see in the instrument, give this video your attention and you’ll start to get an idea why I’m so drawn to it.