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Pardon me, it must be the Guinness talking!

Posted by kc8tby on Saturday, November 27, 2010

The weather outside is (NOT) frightful, but my banjo playing sure is!  LOL!

As you can tell I've been listening to some Christmas Carols and I am more than happy that our weather here in western Michigan has, so far at least, been snow free!!!  It isn't that I greatly dislike the white stuff, no, it is just that I don't enjoy shoveling the driveway, digging out the car(s), driving on slippery roads, etc.  Oh hurry springtime!!!

As for my banjo playing, (if anyone is foolish enough to call it "playing"!), well, I am enjoying it BUT I am rethinking the idea of actually finding a teacher and taking some lessons.  I am intrigued by the idea of playing clawhammer style but there are no clawhammer teachers anywhere here in my area of western Michigan, (Grand Rapids) to be found.  I have been in contact with one of the best Scruggs style teachers who lives here in town and I am thinking that I might begin taking some lessons with him.  Although I really like clawhammer I certainly want to learn the fundamentals of playing the banjo correctly, in order to get the fullest enjoyment out of my instrument.  I certainly have no reason not to want to learn to play in the Bluegrass style, it is just that clawhammer always seemed to fascinate me the most! 

Pardon my thinking about all of this out loud, so to speak.  It must be the Guinness talking...I've had a few to help lubricate the pipes. as they say!  :)

Best of the season to each an every one of you here at the BHO!


1 comment on “Pardon me, it must be the Guinness talking!”

Kevin G Says:
Saturday, November 27, 2010 @8:43:36 AM

Hey Thomas,
I started out with a bluegrass-style teacher and played that way mostly for five years. As long as your teacher focuses you on keeping good time and practicing chords, you can pick up the clawhammer style later, if you really want to, because the left-hand techniques--slides, pull-offs, hammers--and the chords are pretty much the same. I started playing clawhammer style after I spent a weekend working on right-hand technique at the Midwest Banjo Camp last summer.
If you'd really prefer clawhammer, though, you might try widening your search. There are some pretty decent bands that play old-time music in the Kalamazoo area, and you might be able to hook up with one of their musicians. You could also call Elderly Instruments in Lansing and have them put up some kind of a notice for you. It's a widely visited store (you might even want to go check it out in person), and Stan Werbin, the owner, sponsors the Midwest Banjo Camp in Olivet.
Good luck, sir. See you in Olivet next summer. ;-)

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