i have gone and learned to read standard notation and like you said, it's pretty fun. i got a pile of fiddle tunes and so far have read and played through waynesboro and billy in the low ground a bunch of times each. my question is, at this point am i better off memorizing these two and bringing them up to speed (then maybe figuring them out through the cycle of fifths); or should i better keep on adding new ones so i have to keep reading, to improve that skill? my aim is to get more ability on the instrument, not necessarily to prepare recital pieces.
well i wouldn't sweat it too much if you got a basic handle on how to read. what that will do is help you understand mechanically/musically what is going on with the banjo. the harmonic end is a little hidden with the tuning et al. so my suggestion is to just get a good handle on notation. yes you want to just be able to "play" and not worry about it. you've already done the task, which is to simply get a handle on it. knowing how to read the language you are studying is helpful.
the question of finger picks came up a few questions back. i have been playing without them a while now and getting a sound i like. many people seem to think you have to have them, but most of those people i'm not at all interested in sounding like them. however you and john hartford use them; so i am wondering are they something i will have to come to terms with sooner or later? what's the inside scoop on these things?Danny Barnes responded on 04/26/2014 Next question
Hey Danny!! What key is TSA in? Looking forward to seeing you in Bean Blossom!