- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Mel Bay Publications, Inc (November 4, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786665602
- ISBN-13: 978-0786665600
- Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 8.6 x 0.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,183,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mel Bay Christmas Songs for 5-String Banjo Paperback – November 4, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
I am writing this in October of 2005. I tell you this to let you know how old this review is and that at this point I have only been playing the 5-string Bluegrass banjo for four months. I just received this book a couple of days ago, and I am already playing Joy To The World from this book. I especially like this book because Janet Davis (the person who arranged the tabs in this book) teaches about the same way my banjo instructor does. Her tabs are clearly written, and make sense. She also plays the songs right from the tabs on the included CD, so you know how it is supposed to sound, which is also what my banjo instructor does on a tape. At the beginning of the book, there are instructions on how to read tablature. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is just because she doesn't show the fingerings for the different cords. I only know a select few, so I have a hard time when I am supposed to be in an A chord when I don't know what the fingerings are supposed to be. I can figure it out though. She even adds very simple one string tabs in this book, assuming for little children who just started the banjo.
I think this is a very good book, with plenty of learning to be gained from it. Janet Davis is a very good banjo player and knows what Bluegrass ought to sound like.
Oh, and for those of you who want more than the Bluegrass sound for these songs, she arranged some tabs for melodic style and tripelet. I don't have the book in front of me, so I can't say which songs are arranged in that style.
Anyhow, great book for the price.
The other songs in this book are:
Jolly Old St. Nick
Hark the Hearald Angles Sing
Deck the Halls
O Come All Ye Faithful
Angles Fron the Realms of Glory
O Christmas Tree
O Little Town of Bethleham
Go Tell it on the Mountain
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Good King Wenceslas
O Holy Night
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
What Child is This?
The book is organized well, with a melody only and scruggs style arrangement for each song, and a third arrangement for many of the songs as well.
The actual arrangements are well thought out and enjoyable, they are distinctly bluegrass and the melody is prominent and easy for a listener to identify.
I personally enjoyed the chord-only arrangement of "it came upon a midnight clear"; it's great for getting to know some additional chord positions past the 5th fret.
The best part of the book is each song fits on its own page, or on 2 facing pages. NO PAGE TURNING MID SONG!
I would say the songs are novice difficulty... not exactly beginner, but certainly easy enough if you put some repetition into the practice.
The CD is helpful to listen to especially for the songs based on triplets but not essential. Of course, you can listen to the full speed versions of the songs just for fun!
Thank you Janet!
There are no amazing licks or crazy compositions, but it does its job as a solid Christmas Banjo Book.