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My banjo teacher - passed away today.

Posted by jbalch on Friday, October 9, 2015

I learned on facebook that Johnny MacLaren passed away after a long illness.  The only formal instruction I ever received was a few weeks of lessons with Johnny back in the early 1970s.  He was a great teacher and a big help to me as a young player.  We did not stay in touch and I have not seen him in many years.  Nonetheless, I am deeply saddened by the news that he has passed ... too soon. 

That is Johnny holding the banjo with his band from the 70's.


4 comments on “My banjo teacher - passed away today.”

dbrooks Says:
Friday, October 9, 2015 @4:07:48 PM

John, I am sorry to hear your news. We all can usually look to someone who lit the spark and set us on our path. I suspect that you may be a better banjo player today than your first teacher was then, but it may not have happened at all without someone there early on to help.

pastorharry Says:
Friday, October 9, 2015 @10:04:03 PM

condolences John, he taught you well !

jbalch Says:
Saturday, October 10, 2015 @5:12:33 AM

Johnny was a very fine player. I those few lessons, he gave me a solid foundation to learn Scruggs & melodic picking. I still play certain tunes the way he taught them to me. I should have stuck with the lessons longer than I did (would be a much better player now if I had.)

Johnny was helpful in my acquiring my first truly great banjo - an authentic pre-war "parts" Gibson. It really had "the" old sound. (That is the single instrument I regret selling more than any other.).

They had a great band too.

guitarman8491 Says:
Saturday, October 10, 2015 @5:54:01 AM

John, sorry for your loss. He made a strong contribution to how you play and you have carried that knowledge forward to others. You will have those remembrances of him and you playing for ever.

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