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!
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.