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Resistance To Learning New Concepts

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What is is about learning new things about how music works, that is so terrible in many players eyes? Recent and previous threads about 'scales' on the BHO, are  small examples of a pervasive attitude. Why is learning scales such a bad thing? What is the issue with them that dissuades some from even attempting to learn something about it? 

I'm continually baffled that even experienced players, who claim to  not know 'theory' and who 'don't need it', don't realize that  to be very good, you must know it. The  thing is you don't know you know it.  In the various discussions on threads about 'scales', the naysayers basic argument is thi: 'why learn them?" To which I answer 'Why not?"  It simply expands you as a player and deepens not only your understanding of music, but your appreciation for it.

As my friend John Steele said the other day in the chatroom, "I hate when folks quote that Chet Atkins quote about someone asking him if he knew any theory, and he said "not enough to hurt my playing".  Chet actually knew quite a lot of theory but its become a mantra for staying ignorant and being proud of it. As musicians, we should always strive to know how this all works on a fundamental lever. Knowing more about muisc is never a bad thing to a player who is dedicated to being more advanced. 

This 'Im fine knowing just what I know' is a really limited attitude...just saying.

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I will have been playing banjo for 40 years as of December 2014..gulp, and performing professionally for over 25 years now. I also have over 25 years as a session player and teacher. My band experience covers over (gulp) 50 groups, more than likely. Some of the bands Ive played with include Wyatt Rice and Santa Cruz, Johnny and Jeanette Williams Band, Arnie Solomon Band,The Shady Grove Band,Allegheny Moon, NOTA, Chuck and the Waggin Ears, Rain Check and too many others to name. I also play resonator guitar, transitioning with many bands as a resophonic player, and or banjoist. My musical 'schooling' was playing for Friday and Saturday night dances, playing and jamming at fiddlers conventions, jamming at Festivals, local jam sessions and eventually playing in semi-pro bands and then full time touring. My touring experience covers the North American continent and Europe, playing all major festivals and venues. Im guessing my total gig total is over 5000 at this point. Whew, I am glad to get all that stuff out of the way..lol. This part of the State of North Carolina is 'ground zero' for great music and musicians and I have been blessed to to have been born and raised here. Im also an avid 'contributor' ...that sounds self promoting...I prefer avid 'poster', on the Banjo Hangout. I enjoy helping up and coming pickers, learning new things from others here, listening to the great music being posted here, collaborating with my musical cohorts here, and just being in the midst of such a great banjo website! I try to give back when I can and my "lick Of The Week" video lessons here on the site is one small way to do that I hope. I'm also a long time Luthier/repairman and occasional instrument builder. My dad, Wallace Boulding, was a life long luthier and passed the trade on to me. The name of my shop is "NoteAble Repair and is located in beautiful Mount Airy NC. Most of all, I want to thank God for what talents I have and thanks to Earl Scruggs too. He IS the banjo man. All bluegrass banjoists owe Earl a huge debt of gratitude for his genius and his music. Thanks Earl !

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