Banjo dueling immediately evokes images of mountains, dirty hands, and bearded men! One of the most famous banjo duels ever was between Johnny and The Devil. Obviously, the song “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” isn’t literally true, but it sure is fun to listen to! The story tells of a fiddling duel between a young man and Satan himself, with the man’s soul being put up for the bet!
While this viral video doesn’t have much to do with gold fiddles or soul-snatching, it does include a banjo duel!Pexels Source: Pexels
The United States Navy Band seems to love Christmas as much as we do! They put on special performances and have little contests to put on a good show. Recently, they thought it would be a good idea to have a “pick-off” between a banjo player and a guitar player.
The band leader speaks to the audience to explain what’s about to happen.YouTube Source: YouTube
He breaks the audience into two groups:
“Now some of ya like listening to your Christmas music with a little bit of guitar. Then there’s this whole other group of people that likes listening to their Christmas music with a little bit of banjo” …”we’re gonna fight it out up here and see which one of those instruments win”
With his speech done, he lets the musicians do their thing.YouTube Source: YouTube
Petty Officer 1st Class Joe Friedman starts with the acoustic guitar. He gives a few quick notes and then looks over to his competition, Senior Petty Chief Officer Keith Arneson, for the banjo players’ response. They subsequently keep getting more and more complex with their additions!
Soon, Officer Friedman takes it up a notch.YouTube Source: YouTube
With a flurry of fingers, he picks and plays notes in super-fast succession. All eyes are on Officer Arneson for the banjo’s response – AND it’s INCREDIBLE! Near the end, he even pulls out a trick to win the crowd over!
Deciding to add a crowd-favorite song in, Officer Arneson starts playing Star Wars!YouTube Source: YouTube
Officer Friedman exclaims, “Hey, that’s cheating!” He may be right! The only thing left to do is for the two to play together to create an epic moment. With a 1,2,3,4, they sweep into a Christmas song together. It’s another crowd favorite – Jingle Bells!YouTube Source: YouTube
When they finish, all that’s left is to see who won.YouTube Source: YouTube
It is a competition, after all! The frontman asks, “How many of y’all thought the guitar won?” A smattering of applause went out and should probably have made the guitar player worried! Next, he asks, “How many of you thought the banjo won?” The audience cheers much louder this time! You would think that was the end, but the frontman has one more question. “How many of y’all thought Star Wars won?”… and the entire room erupts with the loudest cheers!YouTube Source: YouTube
Apparently, it doesn’t matter the instrument, it just matters what song you play!
The audience spoke, and if we were forced to choose someone, it would be the banjo player, based on the crowd’s approval, at least. While you can choose for yourself, it is just a plain fun video to watch and get yourself into that Christmas mood!Pexels Source: Pexels
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