Danny Barnes
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Q

Hey Danny,

We met briefly at your gig in Baltimore a few months ago. Huge fan. I just started really focused on banjo after mainly playing guitar for many years.

I know you’ve mentioned in a few places that you still take lessons when you get opportunities, and your vocal on here and twitter about your efforts from a practice and improvement standpoint, which for developing musicians is incredibly cool to see.

Q1: I'm curious if you keep up or check out any of the banjo instructional material that’s out there. Anything you particularly like?

Q2: if you were to build a banjo ‘curriculum’ of your own what it would include (Realize that’s likely a long answer.)

Q3: Do you enjoy teaching/ do you teach?

Thanks! Jack


Danny Barnes responded on 11/17/2016
A

1. i don't keep up too much with banjo centric stuff. there's a lot of good info out there. it's kind of more an issue of practicing than anything of course, but there's a lot of good stuff. 2. reading music, ear training, rhythm training, copying masters, arranging. 3. yes i do, but i don't very much except at a few camps. a few years ago i decided i was better off as a student rather than a teacher. i think idries shah said something like, you should distrust any inclination to teach.

Previous question

Music causes its effect first on the ear, then on the parts of the brain that derive meaning from notes and tone and rhythm. At some point it derives meaning from the social context of the music in a broad cultural or historical way in the mind of the listener. is the context of the music an essential element in the communication of ideas to the listener/audience? Is the awareness of the player as belonging or not belonging to a context necessary as an intent to present the music as coming from a specific viewpoint? To what degree is individual identity separable or inseparable from broader cultural or class identity for the artist? Is all music political some kind of way?

Danny Barnes responded on 10/25/2016
Next question

Over the years your songs (originals and covers) have made many a mention of Jesus. From calling him up on the main line to inviting him to your tar paper shack. You are clearly a love your neighbor kinda fella, yet after reading the bible from stem to stern and noting that the times get harder and the cities burn, have you started to favor the quest on an eastern plane? Do Jesus and Baba both play a role in helping with inner strength? While for the human race we better sing the blues, are the still some troubadours that have not lost the groove? Are their times when you can see yourself as one? How does the spirit move? While there may be no clear answers to such questions, how important is the quest? Sometimes I think the quest is a canvas on which we must paint our best selves in order to engage ourselves and others in an ethical and productive (or at least civil) manner. Heaven and hell being right here on earth for us to choose - one step at a time. Any thoughts?

Danny Barnes responded on 11/17/2016
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