For what it is worth - this is how I attack the Banjo Uke -
Listen to Linda H., Terri M. (Mrs. Paul Brown) - and the old Horse Flies (I like that attack best)
My choice for strings -
I use nylon strings: A, D, F#, B
My choice for picks -
I use a pretty firm pick - and occasionally let it slap against the head to let the "drum" sound out
To play the Uke -
think of a guitar
throw away the two fat strings
capo to the 7th fret
tune the fourth string up an octave
Play guitar chords -
I generally like closed positions, then it is possible to not hold the
strings fully fretted and get a rhythmic sound without the droning of
open strings, or to hit the chord 1/2 step below the chord you are
ready to play and "slide" into your intended chord.
Positions - (took the pictures myself- one handed- hope they help)
Click on the thumbnails to get bigger pictures.
The F guitar position makes the C chord.
Move that up two frets for the D chord.
The C guitar position ( think of barring the whole chord just below the nut and playing the third fret on the first string with your little finger for a "closed" C position) makes the closed G chord.
Move that up two frets for the A chord.
The G guitar position (again think of barring the whole chord just below the nut and playing the third fret on the first string for a "closed" G position) makes another D chord.
Move that up two frets for the E chord.
Move that up one more fret for the F chord.
The Dm guitar position is the Am chord.
The Am guitar position is the Em chord
That's all the chords you need - and the positions I like to play them to give me a variety of rhythmic sounds and chords.
The standard technique seems to get a ROCK SOLID beat and hang onto it - see Horseflies and L.H.- however, I tend to hear the beat and play in the clawhammer banjo rhythm.
I think the Banjo Uke helps "pick up" the dancers when used in the middle of a contra dance - especially when changing to a modal tune. People tell me a little banjo uke can go a long way - (they also tell me to go a long way away to play it!)- if folks are playing sweet tunes or are frowning at you - give the Banjo Uke a rest.
But generally, have fun - it's all homemade music anyway - and folks should learn to have a sense of adventure about it.
Questions? send mail here: firstname.lastname@example.org John (I take requests, but this Banjo Uke won't fit there) Kelley