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My First Banjo Workshop

Posted by Peanutscreams on Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Okay, so I attended my first ever banjo workshop this past week-end and would like  to share a couple things. I'm not a blog writer, or any kind of writer so hang on.

The workshop was held in Portland Oregon and was hosted by the good folks at Harold's Automotive and instructed by one of the all time greats; Murphy Henry.

At first I was a bit anxious in a nervous kind of way because of my beginning level of play, and the fact that I had never been mixed in with a group of other banjo players. (I'm an introvert, some would call me a minority of the general population).

But this workshop was not specifically designed for any particular level; just bring your banjo and Murphy will know how to do what she does best. Teach you to play the banjo. (Speed is not important when learning to play the banjo)

I learned more about my banjo, other banjo's, other banjoist's, and myself than I had in 7 months at home reading instructional books and sitting in front of DVD's. 

Some topics included learning chords, chord formations, vamping, capoing, chord changes, and improvising  backup playing.  Even got some singing time in ~ lot's of fun.

Murphy was informative, clear, and personable to each student that attended, and boy can she make her own Banjo POP! Really looking forward to another workshop someday down the road, but more importantly, I'm looking forward to my first Jam session with other players because I now have the confidence I need to get out and mix it up (if you will).

I can now actually vamp and play backup to such tunes as "Bury Me Beneath The Willow Tree" and "Blue Ridge Cabin On The Hill" This is so exciting! So much information and  knowledge  packed in to only two big fun filled days.

Wandering if anyone else walked away from their workshops with this degree of knowledge and this type of thrill after attending their first ever workshops? And who's workshop did you attend, and where?

Thanks to Harold's Automotive for hosting this event, and thanks to Murphy Henry and her ensemble for the fantastic instruction and entertainment.

Also thanks to the many new friends I met along the way. Most importantly, thanks to a special friend of mine who was trusting and kind enough to loan me his Maple Blossom (with a Tony Pass rim) to make this experience a true reality.

Butch B. 


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