New Beginnings

The main reason I started writing magazine editorials (BMG) and then blogs in the first place is to learn! In the absence of a clear understanding of this strange phenomenon called the four-string banjo (and the lack of clear information), shouting my opinions into the abyss and then listening for the echo has been a very effective tool for this purpose.

Playing “By Ear”

“The ear, once stretched by a new sound, never returns to its original limitations.”

This blog marks a new direction for me; I have decided that rather than blather on with my “opinions” (and piss people off—I tend to be just a bit passionate about the banjo!), I would concentrate on actual “facts”—my learned/experienced observations in the form of mini banjo/music lessons. This is of course in the hopes that you may decide to study with me at some point (in person or via Skype). My last blog, A Tale of Two Musicians, got some good responses, so I thought I would follow along in that vein.

A Tale of Two Musicians

In my continuing quest to more-fully understand musicians and the banjo (and to generate healthy, honest discussion—hint, hint), I have decided to write a parable; this is based on several musicians (including myself) who I have worked with and observed through the years in both the banjo world and the “legitimate” symphonic music world. You may recognize the stereotypes; in reality, most of us are a mixture of the two.

Where I Am Coming From

I started The Banjo Snob with the intent of writing serious-minded blogs that would get people thinking and commenting on the present/future of the four-string banjo; on this I have succeeded, but I fear at an increasing cost to my credibility and reputation as a nice guy. If you knew me better in person, you would know that I often think out loud, looking for answers where there don’t seem to be any (and you would absolutely know that I have the banjo’s best interest at heart—it is my life’s work).

Young Banjoists: A Call to Action

Having once been a “young banjoist” myself (I started at the age of 12), I have often thought about what it takes to get kids (or even young adults) interested in the banjo. I have sadly watched the four-string banjo fade in popularity in my 40+ years of playing, so this question has taken on increasing importance—indeed, it has become a call to action for me.