Banjo Books by Rob MacKillop

FOUR Great Banjo Books with CD Recordings

EarlyAmerican

Here is the Forgotten Heritage: Great Banjo Music!

Discover the birth of the American fingerstyle banjo in this collection of 28 of the finest tunes culled from banjo publications between 1860 and 1887. Learn amazing banjo music by some of the early leading players, James Buckley, Albert Baur, and the great Frank B. Converse, the greatest virtuoso of his day.

From folk-style dances to parlor dances such as the Polka, Mazurka and Schottische, to advanced Romantic-period classical-style solos.

Can be played on modern banjos or period-style instruments.

The CD recording by Rob MacKillop features a gut-strung banjo, and is played with the flesh of the fingertips, in the old American tuning. For modern instrument players, Rob has provided TAB and a Standard Notation stave at modern banjo pitch.

Clawhammer players will find many of the pieces in the book suitable for their technique, and bluegrass/fingerstyle players will be able to play all the pieces.

Rob MacKillop provides a fascinating introductory essay, placing the music in its historical context, while his CD of performances can be viewed as a stand-alone recording by a leading player in the revival of this great American banjo heritage.

Available as a hard copy from various retailers, or as a download copy (with mp3 files) from the Mel Bay website [see website for full contents]

 

Irish

Here is the Lost Heritage of the Irish-American Banjo!

The Irish-style Tenor banjo has become immensely popular of late, yet the roots of Irish influence on American banjo music extends right back to the 1840s, when the legendary Joel Sweeney picked up a gourd banjo from Black American banjo players, and proceeded to perform ‘jigs, reels and breakdowns’. Other Irish-Americans played a leading role in the development and popularity of the banjo in America, and Rob MacKillop has collected 27 of their finest pieces in this collection, the first of its kind.

TAB for 5-string banjo as well as Tenor Banjo. The Tenor Banjo arrangements are in two tunings: GDAE and CGDA.

Can be played with either a flat pick or fingerstyle.

The CD recording contains brilliant performances of all 27 pieces by Rob MacKillop, a leading performer of historical banjo music. Rob performs fingerstyle, with the flesh of his fingertips on gut strings, on a period-appropriate banjo, in the old American tuning. This CD is a treasure in itself.

Tunes included: St Patrick’s Day; Rocky Road To Dublin; Savourneen Deelish; McCormick Party Reel, Sheridan’s Hornpipe, Connaught Man’s Rambles, and many others.

Available as a hard copy from various retailers, or as a download copy (with mp3 files) from the Mel Bay website [see website for full contents]

Two Texans having fun with the book. The tenor banjo part is here played on a mandolin, and the banjo player is playing on a, 1890’s 5-string banjo:

 

50 pieces from Albert Baur’s late 19th-century publication, The Banjoist’s Budget, newly transcribed in standard notion and TAB for modern banjo, with every piece recorded in free sound files.

From the Mel Bay website:

This book contains the 50 late 19th century tunes in Albert Baur’s 1883 anthology, The Banjoist’s Budget. The collection has roots in four main sources: minstrel songs, Irish popular and folk traditions, clog dancing tunes, and Gilbert and Sullivan favorites- all expertly played by Rob MacKillop on the accompanying online audio recording.

The music is clearly typeset in standard notation and tablature for the 5-string banjo in Baur’s original eAEG#B tuning; observing the tablature, however, this music can be played in modern-day concert C tuning, gCGBD. While Baur provided no technique instructions, the music can be played in the old minstrel stroke technique, the modern melodic clawhammer style, or fingerstyle. By contrast, MacKillop provides ample performance notes and a few tips within the notation.

These melodies constitute an authentic audio window to a past century, when the five-string banjo was a classical instrument studied and played by serious students and expert musicians who read standard notation rather than tablature. In any case, here they are in notation and modern banjo tablature, together with a delightful online recording. Includes access to online audio.

Bach’s cello suites are among the most famous solo instrumental works of all time. The cello and the tenor banjo share the same tuning, and banjo players might be surprised at how well this great music fits on the fretboard. Rob MacKillop has provided tablature for the first three suites.

Here is a chance for tenor banjo players to explore Bach on their instrument, which could be tuned to either regular, CGDA, or Irish tuning, GDAE.

Includes online accompanying audio using three different tenor banjos: a regular tenor (Deering Eagle II), a gourd tenor (Jaybird Banjos), and a cello banjo (Gold Tone) which has the same low pitch as the cello.

A `suite’ is a collection of dances of varying speeds and time signatures, conceived to be performed as a whole, and preceded by a prelude. Bach’s Prelude to the 1st Suite is magnificent and justly famous. The Bourree from the 3rd Suite is also very popular. Enjoy playing Bach on the Tenor Banjo!

Videos and sound files about this book here: https://robmackillop.net/banjo/bach-on-the-banjo/

Book available from all Mel Bay outlets, including their website, where it can be purchased as either a hard copy or eBook download: https://www.melbay.com/Products/30430M/bachs-cello-suites-iiii-arranged-for-tenor-banjo.aspx

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