Harrison Franklin Reser is recognized as one of the most famous, inventive and innovative banjo players of all time. To this day, his many solo compositions and arrangements for the tenor banjo are a constant source of new insights, discoveries, and technical challenges for the student of the banjo.
His "Manual of Tenor Banjo Technique", published in the 1920's, turned into a bestseller among players.
Reser tried another approach to help his followers master the banjo. In 1927 he copyrighted a series of 20 lessons that he offered as a mail order course. It was set up to provide one lesson per week to the student. Students were invited to mail back completed test sheets, along with any questions they might have. Reser would personally review the progress of the student and give written, personalized advice. Through the collaboration with Harry Reser's daughter, Mrs. John G. Armstrong, this
”20 Lesson Instruction Course for Tenor Banjo” is available again.
Care was taken to preserve the historical value of the lessons, but we also included additions Reser had sketched out on paper to supplement the original manuscript, along with his solo compositions Toothpicks and Clicquot March, which he used as examples in certain lessons. We have also included promotional material together with a banjo offering Reser intended for his students. Obviously, the personal advice of the master and his personalized offerings cannot be provided today. Nevertheless, the material presented is so self-explanatory and concise (covering all aspects of tenor banjo playing) that it is invaluable for the student of today as well as the historically inclined collector.
Here is what reviewers say:
“First off, let it be clearly stated that the instructional materials contained in this folio of Reser’s twenty separate lessons are as musically valid today as they were when originally published. From the educational aspect alone this publication is worth many times the price. Add the historic significance of Reser’s follow-up quizzes, commentary and promotional ephemera and you have a virtual treasure trove of interesting and enlightening insights and information that have been put out of the public eye for many years.”
(Excerpts from Johnny Baier’s review in the September / October 2004 All Frets Magazine).
“Moses delivered the Ten Commandments and Mr. Kulus has delivered the 20 by Reser. What a treasure we have in this compilation of lessons by the true master of the 4-string banjo. Not only a historical look at Harry Reser, but still a great way to learn the tenor banjo today. It is a must have.”
(Excerpts from Norm Azinger’s review in the September 2004 Resonator.)
The 20 lessons and the additional material comprise a spiral bound book of 220 pages.
Please inquire for details at:
Juergen Kulus, Carl-Schmincke-Str. 12, D-71229 Leonberg, Germany, or via e-mail at: email@example.com