I have started my own blog site, called The Banjo Snob (www.banjosnob.com). The name is a reflection of how seriously I take the four-string banjo. I have watched--over the last 40 years--my beloved instrument and it's players dwindle and slowly die off, and I am concerned for it's future survival. I have tried to set a serious, "call-to-action" tone in my blogs, and have mostly only managed to piss people off! That is not my intent, but I don't see the banjo through rose-colored glasses, and I am not happy with the status quo; it is a real musical instrument with real problems that need real attention and real solutions. I realize that if pissing people off leads them to take it more seriously, then maybe my writing hasn't been in vain!
In my previous writing for BMG magazine, I got onto a theme of "bashing" Eddie Peabody; I lost a few friends that way, and the magazine actually lost a few subscribers. Words can be very powerful, and that's a power that I am not personally comfortable with. If folks would actually read my writing, they would discover the message within it, and that is that we shouldn't put all our banjo eggs into one persons basket. The banjo--in all it's forms--is a wonderful musical instrument that is capable of so much more than just one limiting style. If I were a five-string player, I would probably go on the same rant regarding Earl Scruggs. Don't limit yourself! Listen to and try everything! Harry Reser is my biggest banjo hero, but I would rather be a "banjo musician" than a Harry Reser imitator!
Anyway, check it out; I see no point in writing blogs on the Hangout when I have my own site.2 comments
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Playing Since: 1971
Experience Level: Expert/Professional
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Plectrum and tenor banjo, learning banjo uke, and will someday take on the Irish banjo. I also play the clarinet and saxophone and sing (Sinatra-style crooning).
Buddy Wachter, Harry Reser, Perry Bechtel, Emile Grimshaw
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Last Visit 1/4/2017
Ron Hinkle comes from a banjo family; his father, Myron Hinkle, founded the Seattle Banjo Club in 1962, and the Grays Harbor Banjo Band in 1968, and was a 2009 inductee in the Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame in the category of promotion. Ron started playing the tenor banjo at the age of 12 as a member of the GHBB. He soon switched to plectrum, which he still specializes in today. Ron has a long history as a solo performer and teaching clinics at banjo conventions, and as the banjoist for various Trad Jazz bands throughout America and Germany. He has also been a magazine writer, writing for The Resonator on and off for several years, and BMG for the last four years. He is a published author, having self-published his own successful plectrum banjo method book—Beyond Chord Melody—and updated Emile Grimshaw’s Modern Banjoist for the Clifford Essex Company. He recently retired from the U.S. Army as a Bandsman, playing clarinet, saxophone and banjo, and as a vocalist. In this capacity, he performed in 34 countries on four continents (including China and Iraq). Ron has also recently started writing blogs (www.banjosnob.com) with the goal of starting a serious conversation about the future of the banjo. His personal mission statement is: “To preserve, promote, and advance the four-string banjo through education and public performance.” Preserve: Ron is an avid student of banjo history, and has taken on the personal goal of mastering and teaching all the historical styles of plectrum and tenor banjo playing. Promote: Through his writing, YouTube videos, and public performance, Ron strives to bring the story of the four-string banjo to a wider audience. Advance: Ron’s reason for understanding and mastering all historical styles is to eventually have the ability and knowledge to make the four-string banjo more relevant to today and to take it into the future, and to encourage others to do so as well.
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