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Playing Since: 1970

Experience Level: Intermediate

n1wr has made 15 recent additions to Banjo Hangout 

Interests:
[Jamming] [Socializing]

Occupation: consultant

Gender: Male

Age: 70

My Instruments:
Hatfield Custom
Stew Mac Diamond Eagle
Les Paul Recording
Guild Artist Award Model
Aria Dreadnaught


Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Reno and Smiley
Bill Harrell


Classified Rating: (+1)
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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 12/27/2010
Last Visit 7/22/2017


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 n1wr commented on blog entry 'Need a smaller instrument.' 7/22/2017 5:17:17 AM

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 n1wr replied to topic 'How do you repair a large chip when the chip is missing?' 7/16/2017 11:03:51 AM

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 n1wr replied to topic 'Tabledit Tab' 7/13/2017 7:46:51 AM

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 n1wr commented on blog entry 'Beginner banjo iso practice tips' 7/12/2017 5:08:39 AM

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 n1wr replied to topic 'Left handed 5 string needed' 7/2/2017 5:35:57 AM

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 n1wr replied to topic 'Earl Scruggs standard or New Hatfield?' 6/25/2017 8:10:54 AM

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 n1wr replied to topic 'Best Way to Learn New Song' 6/23/2017 2:21:37 PM

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 n1wr replied to topic 'Why one banjo goes out of tune and another not so?' 6/20/2017 6:54:57 AM

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 n1wr replied to topic 'Been playing a long time but stuck in a rut and want to move forward' 6/17/2017 6:57:30 AM

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 n1wr replied to topic 'Foggy Mountain Banjo' 6/11/2017 9:46:42 AM

Latest Blog Entry

Where I Came From

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 @6:05:18 PM


I'm relatively new here at Banjo Hangout, and still fining my way around.

I happened upon Kevin Barnsdale's blog, and it struck a note with me.  So many of us were influenced by the Dueling Banjo episode of Deliverance - I was in college at the time, living out on Long Island, NY and going to school at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn - an unlikely environment for bluegrass music.  My dad was a musician - he played mostly guitar, but also bass.  I took guitar lessons from him in my early high school years and got into a high school rock band playing Beatles, etc.  From there I went into a bar band, also playing contemporary rock.  Somewhere around my sophomore year in college I got hooked on the sound of the banjo.  I bought a $60. Harmony and searched far and wide for material to study - I had little hope of finding a bluegrass banjo teacher on Long Island.  I got the Scruggs book, Pete Seeger's book, and a couple others, but there wasn't much available - not like today with tons of material on the internet.  I finally found a teacher - his name was Kevin I think, but after a couple months he got picked up by the New Christie Minstrels and that was the end of my lessons.  After college I was traveling around as a field engineer for the FAA.  I was up in Burlington VT and went to an Earl Scruggs/Doc Watson concert.  Lo and behold that hooked me on bluegrass guitar - ala Doc Watson, who remains way on top of my favorite musicians.  The banjo got set aside and off I went learning as many of Doc's tunes as I could.  In my travels I ended up in Caracas, Venezuela during the early eighties.  I fell in with a couple musicians and we were playing a variety of tunes of mostly country flavor, and the banjo fit in with the group very well.  So I played Cripple Creek, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, backup for a couple tunes, etc on the banjo, much to the joy of the Venezuelans who most never saw or heard a banjo. In Venezuela I bought a Stewart Macdonald Diamond Eagle banjo kit - which I still have to this day.  From Venezuela I moved on to Puerto Rico, where my boating interests, the blue Caribbean and a 28 ft Columbia sailboat consumed my spare time.  And then I was fortunate to move to northern Kentucky, where I again got  back into listening and playing bluegrass.  I wasn't good enough to play banjo in a bluegrass band - and job pressures didn't allow enough effort to improve my playing.  All my life I have been plagued with too many interests the first being family, and then all my hobbies including ham radio, computers, boating, woodworking, music.  Just never enough time.  Well, round and about I passed through Chicago for a couple years, and then on to Washington DC to finish up my career with the FAA.  Now here I find myself retired, still trying to manage all of my competing interests (which naturally include a sailboat on the Chesapeake), and I've decided that I am going to commit to improving my banjo playing.  I've been working hard at re-learning what I've forgotten, focusing on the basics, slowly building speed, and trying to figure out how to play effective backup banjo.  And enjoying every minute of it.  I'm looking for others in my area (southern Maryland) to jam with and potentially put together a group.  At this time it would be a stretch for me - but I've found that I work well under pressure, and that would hopefully push me up the notch I need to get my playing where I'd like it to be.  Music has been so very important for me throughout my life, and I feel like I've come home with bluegrass and the meanings that it represents.

8 comments n1wr's Blog Archive

Recent Forum Posts

How do you repair a large chip when the chip is missing? (8 days ago)
Tabledit Tab (11 days ago)
Left handed 5 string needed (22 days ago)
Earl Scruggs standard or New Hatfield? (29 days ago)
Best Way to Learn New Song (31 days ago)
Why one banjo goes out of tune and another not so? (34 days ago)
Been playing a long time but stuck in a rut and want to move forward (37 days ago)
Foggy Mountain Banjo (43 days ago)
The King of Banjo? (50 days ago)
Jams (52 days ago)
Jamming with others really helped you progress? (111 days ago)
Advice needed. Thank you (121 days ago)
How much should I ask for this banjo? (122 days ago)
Help on a little banjo I just picked up (133 days ago)
If you could bring ONE dead musician back to life... (147 days ago)
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