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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Buddy Wachter's Banjo Pathways Course?

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Granpdas Spells - Posted - 12/08/2008:  10:09:07

Hey all, I hope this is in the right forum.

I've had my tenor banjo sitting in it's case the last few years and have been itching to start playing again. I had several years of lessons on strictly rhythm playing, and looking at Buddy's course it looks like he pretty thoroughly covers the topics.

However, I don't know if it's effective teaching material, and I'd rather not spend a few hundred bucks to find out, particularly for VHS.

Has anybody taken this course and did they find it improved their play?

Edited by - Banjoman on 03/30/2009 12:34:56

diarmaid - Posted - 12/08/2008:  11:32:31

i have this one, and would highly recommend it might be worth buyin this one to see how you like it, though, i believe the others are much more comprehensive.

Compass56 - Posted - 12/08/2008:  12:28:56

I did several of the Pathways tapes, and they were filled with helpful, challenging material. I play better because of those Pathways tapes. I didn't go through the whole course, but what I did was great. It's the best tenor stuff out there.

Edited by - Compass56 on 12/08/2008 16:38:49

NYCJazz - Posted - 12/08/2008:  15:02:28

Another tenor player? Yay!


One of the things I like about jazz, kid, is I don''t know what''s going to happen next.
Do you?

-- Bix Beiderbecke

Granpdas Spells - Posted - 12/08/2008:  18:39:43

Originally posted by Compass56

I did several of the Pathways tapes, and they were filled with helpful, challenging material. I play better because of those Pathways tapes. I didn't go through the whole course, but what I did was great. It's the best tenor stuff out there.

So you followed the course non-sequentially and still found benefit?

Compass56 - Posted - 12/09/2008:  03:42:59

Yes, I did follow "the course non-sequentially and still found benefit." When I decided to get some of Mr. Wachter's materials, I had already been playing for over ten years. I wasn't sure that I needed some of the lessons in the beginner's course. Also, money was an issue. I couldn't afford to buy all of the tapes in the beginner's, intermediate, and advanced courses. Plus, some of the material in the advanced course fell outside my area of interest. Lastly, at that time that I decided to buy the tapes, my gig schedule was pretty packed, and I couldn't put in the time to a true beginning-to-end endeavor like the Pathways course. I called Mr. Wachter and we talked about all of these issues. He was so nice! He patiently went through what was on each tape to determine which tapes best fit my needs. After talking with me for a while, he decided that tapes one and two of the intermediate series were for me. Those tapes were lots of fun, and they were very helpful. The way Mr. Wachter teaches, plays, and thinks about music fits in really well with my own concepts, so jumping in at midstream was no problem.

One thing that I did find interesting was the amount of material on the tapes. The way I remember it, the idea of the Pathways series is that a new tape arrives at the student's house once a week (or was it once a month?), and each tape builds on the information from the last tape. He puts so much great material on each tape that I never could have done the course the way that it was intended to be done. I remember watching a tape, rewinding, watching again, and practicing. I repeated this process with the first of my two tapes for months. Then, I worked on the second tape for an even longer period of time. He really loads the student up. It's really good stuff.

Edited by - Compass56 on 12/10/2008 11:53:30

Granpdas Spells - Posted - 12/09/2008:  07:20:26

This is exactly the sort of feedback i was hoping for. Thanks very much!

Compass56 - Posted - 12/09/2008:  09:25:12

If the Pathways course is not the way that you want to go, you might think about Mr. Wachter's Homespun DVD. It is quite good. The lighting, sound, and camara angles in the Homespun DVD are much better than those on the Pathway Tapes that I saw. The whole Homespun DVD is about sixty minutes long, so he touches on many topics, but he never deals with any one of them for very long. It's an excellent learning tool for the tenor.

Granpdas Spells - Posted - 12/09/2008:  10:03:16

What I may do is start on the Homespun DVD, and then start filling gaps in with specific tapes.

aroblin - Posted - 12/10/2008:  05:04:45

I've studied the intermediate and advanced Banjo Pathways courses. They are the best instrument-study courses I've ever worked with. I've had these courses for over a year and continue to study and learn.

Buddy Wachter is, IMHO, the greatest 4-string banjoist to date AND the greatest 4-string teacher.

If you want to learn how Perry Bechtel, Eddie Peabody, Harry Reser and Buddy Wachter accomplish their magic, get Banjo Pathways. The techniques and ideas also have applications on guitar and mandolin.

FWIW, I've been a musician for 40 years, playing 5-string, mandolin, guitar etc. I studied harmony & voice-leading and ear-training in college. I've been a professional musician since 1976.

With Banjo Pathways, I learned vital musical techniques and insights I found nowhere else.

On top of that, Buddy is a helpful, generous person.

Andrew Roblin

Granpdas Spells - Posted - 12/10/2008:  13:27:46

I put in a phone call a few days ago, hopefully they're just on the road or something.

I'll post a review of whatever I get. Thanks again fellas :)

banjopocolypse - Posted - 12/18/2008:  20:32:46

Man, I wish I had that... and I wish he would rip it to DVD! Hell I would do it for him and then I could see them all for freeeeeeee!!!! muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhahahahahahah

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