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My Love For The Banjo

Posted by impickin5 on Thursday, August 23, 2007

In the mid 50's while in high school, I learned to play a guitar Chet Atkins style. Sometime in the late 50's, I was riding in a car with my Dad and I heard Flatt and Scruggs on the radio. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to learn how to play a banjo like Earl. In about 1964, I bought my first banjo, a new Sears Silvertone for I think $39.95. I could immediately play a few tunes, but I was playing it Chet Atkins style which is an alternating "pinch" style instead of rolls. It took a while to break the pinch habit and play rolls, but I finally learned some rolls, BUT, however, I never EVER, EVER came anywhere close to playing like Earl-God rest his Soul.

So, I never really learned the right way and have been mostly a closet picker in the last 50 plus years or so. I've owned 42 different banjos in those 50 some years. I love to tinker with setup and just noodling around playing my own style.

Of those 42 different banjos I've owned over the years, my all-time favorite is my 1928 Gibson TB3 conversion (s/n 8977-25), with an exact reproduction 5-string neck by Larry Choea, which I acquired in 2010 from a BHO member. I will never EVER, EVER part with it and after I am gone, it will go to the first one of my grandchildren that shows any interest in banjos.  

3 comments on “My Love For The Banjo”

airborne Says:
Tuesday, December 25, 2007 @1:12:14 PM

thats just like me, when i sew Earl Scruggs in London in 70s,       it was that day , i fell in love with the 5 sting banjo, i dont just like   playing the banjo i like looking at them, thanks for your comment on the forum, all the best . john.



lemolosolo Says:
Friday, January 30, 2009 @9:57:54 AM

I, too, just like looking at my banjos.  I have four, enjoy playing around with them, and and just "playing with them. They are my toys.  I call my little group my forest of banjos.  Beverly Hillbillies, Foggy Mt etc. That's what got me to build my first Stew Mac kit banjo bout 30 years ago. Thanks for bringing up that memory in me.


mainejohn Says:
Monday, June 1, 2009 @5:46:53 PM

I don't think there is a "right way" to play...that's why there are so many styles.

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