Things I learned at Midwest Banjo Camp during the Thursday "pre-camp".
Bluegrass Slow Jam with Greg Cahill:
- Foot up: The old-timey players will raise a foot in the air to indicate that this is that last verse.
- Playing with fiddles: When you're playing with a fiddle, you'll often capo the banjo to A since that's what the fiddle's probably tuned to.
- Abbreviate D chord: When you're rolling and you don't have time to switch to a fully-fingered D chord, you can use this abbreviated version:
- Humming: It helps your accompaniment to hum the melody as you practice.
- Playing tags with vocals: Often, when someone is singing you won't start your tag at the usual time (which would be after they finish singing). Instead, you'll probably want to start your tag as they're singing the final words.
- Following the guitar player: Learning some basic guitar chords will help you follow the guitar player during a jam.
Late night chatting with some of the staff:
- Stink bombs: For homemade stinkbombs, try ethyl mercaptan. Stores in Canada sell the Fart Bag – an excellent stink bomb packet that's about the size of a pack of trading cards. When you activate the pack the chemicals get mixed, it will start to grow in size and after about 30 second it will explode into stink.
- Banjo puppets: Cathy Fink and her banjo puppets demonstrate that the banjo can be played with only one finger on your left hand.
- Flip video: The Flip Video camera is totally cool.
Update: Some pictures: