Our Plans Are On Hold

March 3, 2013 9:24 PM


For a recent Songfight.

posted by chococat (5 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I like the "dusty carnival" vibe, and the vocal harmonies and electric guitar that come in later are a surprise, but the whole thing works together nicely.
posted by usonian at 6:22 AM on March 4, 2013

That's some very "locomotive" banjo! It's especially striking once the harmonica comes in. Is there some traditional folk technique wherein you intersperse gallops into a riff to produce a train riff?
posted by ignignokt at 12:37 PM on March 4, 2013

I'm not sure how chococat did it in this song (I think I'm hearing two banjo tracks layered?) but the basic clawhammer banjo "bum-ditty" rhythm gives you that characteristic lilt. The so-called "round peak" clawhammer style incorporates an additional, alternating pull-off within that basic pattern - I've heard it described as "bump-a-ditty".
posted by usonian at 1:39 PM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the comments.
It's actually a 6-string; a banjitar.
I'm too lazy to learn clawhammer. I usually just use my index finger as if there was a pick in it and do sort of a hybrid strum/arpeggiate. My other fingers kind of scrape against the head, which is probably the sound you're talking about. Completely terrible form but I like how it sounds most of the time.
And yes, there's a second, more strummy track with a pick that comes in around the second verse.
posted by chococat at 1:55 PM on March 4, 2013

Nice! You make it sound like a five string. When people play them straight-up like a guitar, six-string banjos always sound not-quite-right to me; I mean, the notes have the right timbre but the picking patterns for clawhammer and 3-finger banjo are so characteristic that it often really sticks out when someone is strumming or flatpicking a banjitar.
posted by usonian at 2:12 PM on March 4, 2013

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