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Clawhammer Cookbook by Michael Bremer

Posted by BrentSims on Monday, January 4, 2016

I finally found a learn to play banjo book that really seems to resonate with me. Clawhammer Cookbook by Michael Bremer.

I cannot honestly review this book as, well, I haven't got a clue as to how to teach banjo and I learned a long time ago that there are experts and there are experts and then than are more experts. Let me explain. Many years ago I frequented a mailing list for system administrators. This was back when the Internet was still in its infancy and many of the movers-and-shakers were easy to reach as they too frequented mailing lists just like the mailing list from which this not-so-tall tale comes from.

To make a long story short there was an argument going on that many subscribers of the list found to be more than a bit amusing. The argument was about something to do with BGP (the protocol that made it possible for a provider to use 2 or more separate Internet connections as if they were one). The amusing aspect of the argument is that the person whom the blusterous but obviously clueless “expert” was trying to school just so happened to be a well-known world-class BGP maven known to be fond of sushi and whose credentials were impeccable and more than a bit impressive. It was then that I learned my father was right when he told me “the fact that someone appears to have more knowledge about something than you do does not mean that they know what they are talking about”.

The point is that I don't teach banjo nor am I qualified to teach banjo. Additionally, I am not at all qualified to compare one teachers methods with those of another teachers or determine which teachers methods are the most effective. I am, however, more than capable of determining what teacher and what methods work best for me.

With that in mind I'll limit my review of the Clawhammer Cookbook by Michael Bremer to saying it works for me. It works great for me. This book is taking me further and faster than any of the dozen or so other books I've so-far studied in my quest to become something that might remotely resembles a clawhammer banjo player.

Highly recommended.

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