on my latest cd stove up, which nick produced and played on, we sing four songs on there. you can even download the individual tracks off corporate tunes or if you want, i'll make you a cassette if it remains a mystery. thanks for listening.
Is there any chance you could listen to a material from my 'Power Duo' (a single we released) on bandcamp? I do not want to be annoying, so I will not post the link without your response.
Thanks for everything on banjo music!
oh man i barely have time to listen to my own stuff and the stuff i'm working on and researching. you are welcome to send a link and so forth, but it's a little tough. i'm trying to get you to listen to my stuff for the love of pete!!! haw haw.
Danny - Just got a banjo and am transitioning from fingerstyle guitar. Is it best to begin using fingerpicks? I am having a difficult time adjusting to both the change in strings and fingerpicks at the same time. Could I learn to use the picsk later. Love Get Myself Together
Thank you -- Howard G.
oh heck i'd just play the durned thing and worry about them picks later. you'll get it figured out.
I have been playing banjo a few years just by theory, the methods you show in the instruction videos, making up my own arrangements and not really trying to figure out specifically how anybody else is doing it. I am loving it, keeping myself entirely entertained and amused, but wondering if I am somehow shirking or missing out by not copying any old masters (it just seems impossibly hard to copy other people's style)?
Bless you for being so generous as to answer these questions!
well, it sounds like you got a good start. the main thing is keep at it of course. however, you might want to dig in on some stuff now. my friend david grisman told me "if you really want to get good, find someone you really dig and study the shit out of them." what i did was study earl. i used the first version of the earl book [that was one of the only books available] because it has the standard notation as well as tab [obviously i tore apart the records too]. i think the later versions just use the tab. if you analyze earl, don reno, and ralph stanley, you'll have a real good start. that takes about....well i'm still working on that...but let's say it takes some time. but if you had ten earl things you knew really good you'd be moving the ball down the field. okay...keep picking!
I've been primarily a mandolin and guitar player for a while, but recently I've been listening to a ton of your solo stuff as well as Bad Livers and I'm feeling really inspired to pick up the banjo. Any recommendations for books or DVD's that'll help me learn? I mainly want to try Scruggs style type stuff and maybe a bit of clawhammer. My finger style guitar experience (Mississippi John Hurt and Elizabeth Cotten type stuff) is very limited, so right now the banjo seems a bit daunting to me. Think Scruggs style banjo is similar to that kind of stuff at all or is it a totally different beast?
p.s. One of the first concerts I saw was Dave Matthews Band in St. Louis back in 2010. You sat in for a few tunes and the whole thing really blew my mind (I was 13 years old at the time and that show really made me fall in love with live music). I've since seen you with various other projects over the years. Thank you for all the good times and music!
well, the scruggs book is really great. the pete seeger book. there's so much stuff. i'd subscribe to banjo newsletter too. it's different of course. the banjo doesn't have a root really, like where the guitar can have a bass line and so forth. it's all hard. in the words of david grisman "find somebody you dig and study the shit out of them."
Hey Danny - As a clawhammer player who dabbles in scruggs style, it seems like sometimes when I hear you playing you're mixing clawhammer with finger picking. Do you have some clever way you've figured out to do that?
well yeah i learned to frail a little with my picks on. i learned this in about 1981 from a guy named brad brashers that i used to run around with. he was a really great banjo player. he is no longer with us, he passed away. but he was a great banjo player and is very fondly remembered by the folks that knew him and played with him. he was from paragould arkansas. he was a good old boy.
Hey, Danny, I don't have a question, just wanted to say thanks. I've been playing guitar for years -- acoustic, travis-picking style. But my hearing has been failing for years and I finally had to get a cochlear implant just to function in my job (the kind of job with meetings at big tables and you'd better be able to hear people). Though I still play the guitar, it's not the same -- the quality of a guitar's sound suffers with the cochlear. But I picked up an inexpensive banjo at a great guitar store (in Evanston, Illinois) and I found that the sound of a banjo works really well for me. No problem hearing and appreciating that twangy, metalic, sharp pitch. Anyway, I've been teaching myself to make banjo sounds I like -- and your instructional videos on youtube really help. For one thing, you give people permission to do it their way. Transferring from guitar, that's nice. So thanks, for the friendly and down-to-earth help. I can still make music now.
hey man thanks. that's really cool about the banjo and your hearing. i'm glad the banjo fits in that range better for you. that's really nice to hear.
When I was a teenager it was important that the bands I liked were "cool", whether it was Mingus, Kiss or Patti Smith. Now I'm older and have a wife and family, I find it important to me that the musicians I listen to are kinda nice people.
In this world where a musician's views on politics hold more weight than an academics, should this really matter? Do you think it influences your own listening and, is it me or do banjo players seem to be lovely people in general?
Thanks for your time,
man i don't know that's a heavy question. i think that does influence my listening. in general the banjo community is/can be very nice. as it is said, you aren't IN traffic you ARE traffic, and in that sense i suppose i'm a part of that community. you ask a very good question here. it's tough to listen to someone that's a knucklehead or whatever even if they are really great musically. but...i think in a sense, the self comes through in the music and you can kind of hear someone's story even in instrumental music. your question has made me think. thank you.