Danny Barnes
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Q

Hi Danny,

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!


Danny Barnes responded on 07/27/2017
A

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!

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