Hi Danny, I am a pretty dedicated banjo player. I began to learn from your videos and could not be more thankful for your lessons. It was such a blessing to see you for the first time at the NWSS. Hearing you reiterate Bill's most important lesson of innovation with respect to the bluegrass genre was very special to me and is something that I strive for daily. Thank you. When one feels that they are ready to play publicly, and bring their version to the people what is a good first step? What are the signs of over confidence? How should one rationalize their dreams of carrying on the bluegrass tradition at a professional level in a way that is healthy and does not diminish the odds of success? When one feels responsible to carry on the healing tradition of bluegrass, how do they know when to give up the dream and simply rely on the banjo for self meditation? Thanks again, Sincerely, Logan Burley
well those are good questions and tricky ones. i think the interface of the banjo with the world is kind of a soup. you add various ingredients and they don't have to be measured exactly to create a result. like landing an airplane is like that. or an algebraic equation of variables. another way to say it is, you can't think your way out of this. develop your art. find places to play. be as creative about your output as you are with the music. observe your world, and make art as a response to what you see. make the music you yourself want to hear. do whatever else you have to do in life, to be able to do that. study the masters. realize their are masters, and they have already solved all these problems and can help you. [i'm not a master, but there are masters]. there is no talking and no thinking in banjo playing/art, there is only doing. and you keep doing. thesis, antithesis, synthesis. repeat. you are obviously very bright. don't let that slow you down.
Stumbled across your blog today via a tweet. I read your manual about surviving as a musician and understanding whether being a musician was your calling. It was really inspiring so thank you! But I wanted to ask, how did you know that you wanted to be a musician and how do you manage what you want to do against what you are expected to do aka societal expectations? Again, thank you!Danny Barnes responded on 07/23/2016 Next question
I am cross-correlating your Famous blog post "How to Make a Living Playing Music" (http://dannybarnes.com/blog/how-make-living-playing-music)
with La Monte Young's "9 Pieces of Advice for Musicians"
Lots of fantastic stuff and lots of similarities of course - One thing La monte specifically addresses and you touch on (small personal studios) is the need for a permanent place to play.
La Monte contends, "Musicians are always looking for a place to play. The Dream House is the place that Billy Higgins and I were always looking for. Once you have a place that's permanent, then you can do very, very creative work." Similarly, your post argues to be creative no matter where you are - to fight for that space, even if it limits you audience temporarily. Care to expand or clarify any of these points? Like being in-place, in-residence versus road work maybe? Thanks!!