Posted by banjopaul67 on Monday, September 7, 2009
Happy Labor Day! Hope your holiday is going great. I guess the unofficial end of summer is here...back to school and work and the "busy"-ness of fall. If you like winter, it's a-comin'!
I attended the Tri-State Bluegrass Festival in Kendallville, Indiana over the weekend (just Saturday) and as usual I was impressed by both the stage talent and the parking lot picking. What a great festival, and the weather was beautiful! If you went, I'd love to hear from you about your experience this weekend. And if you've never been, well you should consider going. You won't be sorry.
You know, just when I think I can do a little something on the banjo, I go to a big festival and run into some top-notch pickers in the parking lot who show me exactly what I'm lacking in ability. I was floored by the tasteful and really cool back-up work from the likes of Jeremy Cole and Hamish Davidson and Kent Rowe, among others, as they picked and sang around the campsites. It shows me just how far I've got to go, but I am using this feeling of being a "less-than" banjo picker to propel me into seeking out how to do those hot licks and tasteful back-up techniques. I am actively blogging about my banjo experience (see address below) and I've found that being accountable to a readership has become a really useful incentive for being the picker that I present myself to be. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty good; you might say "solid". But it's more of a "good, basic solid" and not quite the "wow" picker that I hope to be...like the pickers I saw this weekend. I am on the quest to become that picker that you really appreciate when you see him pick, so I'll keep working at it, learning, buying reference material, and blogging about my experiences. Of course, when a picker with less experience and ability than me watches me perform, they say "wow!", which really is a good feeling, but like most of us, I know I can do even better.
On the topic of "getting better"...what is some of your favorite instructional material? What instructional DVD's or books have you bought that really propelled your picking forward? I'd love it if you would share your experience and preferences with me.
Keep an eye on my blog because I plan to blog about the Kendallville festival. I'll also be blogging about one of my new favorite acts, The Davidson Brothers, from Australia, who I got to meet in Kendallville, and I'll be launching my CD review section where I review The Davidson Brother's latest disc that I picked up.
Have a great week folks, and happy fall. Keep in touch and as I always say: pick 'em if ya got 'em!
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