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When I Listen to Other Players...

Posted by DantheBanjoMan on Sunday, June 5, 2011

 

Most banjo players will never reach the ability level of Earl Scruggs or Steve Martin, but I find that if I take the time to look there is something I can appreciate about most banjo players.  I love it when a highly skilled player blows the audience away with hard driving bluegrass.  I love it when a guy with a great sense of humor has them rolling in the aisle with a novelty song and a simple "strum with the thumb" accompaniment.  I have a special fondness for older players who aren't quite what they used to be but will sit on a street corner or park bench and play for anybody who will stop and listen.

In my experience, the best way to gain real ground and to raise the bar for everyone is to do your level best to be the best banjo player you can be and to have a positive outlook toward other players.  If somebody asks you for constructive criticism that’s one thing, but beyond that you stand the very real risk of hurting someone’s feelings.   

I have not achieved the level of excellence of the players who have inspired me  (Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs, George Grove, and especially Steve Martin), but I like to believe that if I did I would be as respectful as they are.  I’ve never heard any of them say a bad word about anyone, although I've heard each one of them speak highly of other banjo players. 

Most of us will never reach the ability level of Earl Scruggs or Steve Martin, but it is well within the reach of all of us to conduct ourselves in way that preserves the respect of other banjo players, and I think that by doing so it can only improve the way banjo players are perceived by the rest of the world.



9 comments on “When I Listen to Other Players...”

RatLer Says:
Tuesday, June 7, 2011 @5:00:22 PM

Amen...

Corky Miller Says:
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 @6:33:34 PM

What is it about banjo people? Every single one
I have encountered, and I'm a newbie, has
been courteous, enthusiastic, genuinely
interested in my nascent practice, like I'm
their son or something. Thanks to all y'all!

Bill Anderson Says:
Monday, June 27, 2011 @8:40:44 AM

Well said Dan the Man

Frebazak Says:
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 @7:07:59 AM

"be the best banjo player you can be and to have a positive outlook toward other players." The right thing to do......

fabriziobezzini Says:
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @4:19:51 PM

...holy words!!!

dannnjo Says:
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @4:32:44 PM

TRUE WORDS OF WISDOM

Banjo Bud Says:
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 @6:59:22 AM

A wise man once wrote, "When I Listen to Other Players..."
I have learned that banjo players are a breed all of their own. Good, respectful folk of which I am honored to be associated with. Especially players and people like yourself!
Thank you for your wisdom, thoughts and observations!!

ChelseaQ Says:
Thursday, September 5, 2013 @9:49:42 PM

Here here! Every word of that post is true :-)

pickNgrin Says:
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 @5:49:38 AM

Great outlook!

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