Former banjo camper Paul asks (on the Intermediate Banjo Camper discussion list):
Is the tab in "Bluegrass Banjo" a completely accurate transcription of what PW plays on the record? I'm hearing quite a few differences.
[and in another post the same day, wrote:]
Here's a story that sums up my recent experience with this instrument.
A year ago, in the absurd hubris of a complete rookie, I decided I was going to learn Bela Fleck's "Snakes Alive" from the Dreadful Snakes album. I hammered away at it for weeks, only making enough progress to drive my wife insane. In the end I was able to play the whole 3-part first break at about 80bpm. I put it aside.
A week ago, I decided to come back to it and make some progress. After a week of practice, I was able to play it clean at 120bpm. Plenty pleased, I was (as Yoda might say, if he played the banjo). Then, just to show how mightily I was nipping at Bela's heels, I loaded up the original recording on the Amazing Slowdowner at 73% of real speed so I could play along with the guys.
I couldn't play it. I couldn't play at 73% of what Bela plays it at. I think I set a world record for how quickly you can go from beaming pride to cringing humility. (At least I'm fast at something!)
But that's not the end of the story. The end of the story is I went upstairs to where my wife was watching a movie and told her the whole sad story. She turned to me and said, "It sounds really good at 120."
Then she went back to her movie.
I'm figuring there's a lesson in there somewhere