Experimenting with rhythm, Arabic style

Here’s another installment in my ongoing quest to explore the lands beyond bum-ditty. I play an old-time tune on top of a sort of funky Arabic pattern to show how playing over a different rhythm can warp you. My playing is messy but you’ll get the idea.

This video is also the debut of my overhauled Stewart. It now has a sturdily re-glued neck, Elite amber head, tall minstrel style bridge by Bill Morris, and Nylgut strings. I’m getting a lot more pop out of the banjo than I did with the thick Fiberskyn head and heavier bridge, and the Nylguts invite me to mess around with rhythm more than the steel strings did.

And here’s a happy “Thank you!” to Joel Lensch of the Fatted Calf String Band for helping me reglue the neck and to Bill Banker of Bloomington’s Monday Night Music for giving me my first set of Nylgut strings and telling me about the Elite amber head. I love my new-old banjo.


8 Responses to “Experimenting with rhythm, Arabic style”

  1. 1 Randy J. Arnold April 2, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Great job on the Stewart, looks and sounds perfect. Thanks again for the video, and thanks for expanding old time.


  2. 2 Jerry September 13, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Wonderful! I love your playing and you have so much fun doing it.

  3. 3 Tad December 14, 2009 at 1:47 am

    I really love this! Great job and thank you for sharing.

  4. 4 Tyler December 17, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Wow! That sounded really cool! Is there perhaps a way you could notate that rythm?

  5. 5 Donavon December 18, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    This is really great!!!!

    If you ever want to work with an Arabic percussionist or need information on the Arabic / Turkish / North African percussion side feel free to let me know.

    Your stuff and mine could be combined to be a really interesting video project.

    Cheers and Happy Holiday..

  6. 6 Holland Hopson January 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Very nice sounds! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to work more with non-western rhythms. So far, I’ve been working on clawhammer-style versions of Eastern European tunes from the Pinewoods International Collection.

  7. 7 Yvette Tillema January 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Wow, far out! I loved this. Thank-you.

  8. 8 Najib Aloui February 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm


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