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Lead Banjo in a Rock Band?

Posted by WayneConrad on Thursday, February 28, 2019

Driving home from work Monday, I was playing my practice banjo at every light or backup.  The weather's nice, so everyone's driving with windows down.  A shaggy looking fellow pulled up next to me and asked if I was looking for a drummer.

At the next light, a couple told me it sounded really good.

I'm just playing scales, and not with any kind of virtuosity, so it was kind of confusing.  



I have what feels like a mild case of the flu.  I canceled my lesson tonight.  I was looking forward to getting new homework tonight; I've pretty much sucked the marrow out of last week's lesson.  Now I need to make up my own homework for the next week.  But for today, I think I'll just sleep a lot.


8 comments on “Lead Banjo in a Rock Band?”

Thursday, February 28, 2019 @10:00:15 AM

Okay Wayne, explain that one, driving while playing. Those must be some really long lights. Tell me about your practice ax. This sounds really cool.

WayneConrad Says:
Thursday, February 28, 2019 @6:32:15 PM

USAF PJ Hi, good to hear from you. I only play when stopped. I just wanted to say that right up front.

My practice banjos (I have two) are the "Basic Banjo" by Backyard Music. Here's a link:

(It looks like their SSL cert is goofed up, but you can ignore the warning and go to the site. Just don't buy anything until they fix their cert).

It costs $145 and weighs two pounds. It's inexpensive enough that I don't have to baby it, but the light weight and sturdy construction means it's harder to damage than a full weight banjo. I roll the window down and stick the neck out the window. It's an A scale banjo, so shorter than normal, and only 4-5 inches of it stick out. They do sell full scale and long-neck banjos also.

When I'm playing at the stop light, I play scales and exercises I can do without looking. That way I can keep an eye on the traffic and traffic signals. I can usually tell when the light is about to go green, and put the banjo over in the right seat before it changes. But if I'm caught by surprise, I just let go of the banjo and drive--the drum sits in my lap and the neck out the window while I get going. Once it's safe to do, I grab the neck using my right hand and place it the banjo in the passenger seat. The light weight makes that very easy to do without it being a dangerous distraction.

These Backyard Music banjos are my go-to banjo for practice because they're so inexpensive. At that price, you can hide banjos behind the furniture the way an alcoholic hides bottles. I keep my second practice banjo at work.

Friday, March 1, 2019 @11:26:57 AM

Great stuff Wayne! I have a Goodtime open back as my go to for work and fire place when camping, maybe consider your plan in So Cal. traffic.

Deleteme Says:
Monday, March 4, 2019 @8:26:00 AM

Get well soon

Deleteme Says:
Monday, March 4, 2019 @8:26:05 AM

Get well soon

WayneConrad Says:
Monday, March 4, 2019 @8:27:19 AM

Northl Thank you Lynda. I'm already feeling much better.

Judith511 Says:
Friday, April 12, 2019 @6:44:57 AM

Watch you don't get a ticket for distracted driving! LOL. I Listen to the bluegrass station while driving...better than getting a fine. Glad you are feeling better.

WayneConrad Says:
Friday, April 12, 2019 @8:44:22 AM

Judith511 - That's a valid concern, for sure. I only play when stopped, but I imagine I raise eyebrows. When I raise a cop's eyebrows, we'll find out if I get a lecture for it.

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