Posted by BadMojo on Friday, April 13, 2012
So I had a hankering to get a couple clawhammer lessons. I went to one one the best and most well known clawhammer fellas out there, Dan Levenson. He is kind, courteous, well spoken and has an eye for nudging you in the right direction without making you feel like musical misfit. I learned more in one hour with Dan then I have in any other lesson. Or maybe I just had fun. Wow what a concept that a lesson could be fun. No pressure, no brow beating when I did something wrong. Just good natured encouragement and direction to get me back on track.
Then a couple days later i emailed him about clawhammer banjos. He replied right away to "call him". He spent 30 minutes on the phone with me. Walking me through choices and pros and cons while explaining his preferences and why. I was flabbergasted, who does that anymore. Just good natured help. I offered to pay him for his time he declined and said it was all part of teaching banjo!
That same night I was feeling a little frustration about my right hand stroke. I took some pictures and a small video to email expecting Dan to look at it and address it at my next lesson. About 30 minutes later Dan was video calling me with banjo in hand. I was completely unprepared sitting in my chair in my jammies because well I just don't know. Just because I didn't think I would hear back about it so quick. He walked me through the stroke again. Looked at my video and said it looked ok and gave me some suggestions and again encouragement.
Being musically challenged and lacking the skills to play anything more than a kazoo most of my life. Being a banjo collector and not a player. I'm astonished to be making chords and perfecting my right hand technique within a week. Heck I'm even transitioning between chords without looking at the neck. What the hell has happened here?!? Have I've been blessed. Have I been cursed?!? I don't know and I don't care, cause I'm playing me some clawhammer banjo dangit!
Thank you Dan!
Friday, April 13, 2012 @6:03:29 AM
Thank you Mike!
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'Odd tuning question' 45 min
'"Lose Again" tab' 2 hrs
'Hit or Miss Breakdown' 4 hrs
'Help ID make of part.' 4 hrs
'Had To check' 5 hrs