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Peter Wernick Dr. Banjo: Let's try Professor Banjo A Workshop Critique

Posted by Wes Lassiter on Thursday, January 31, 2008

On my arrival to Boulder Colorado to attend Pete Wernick's weeklong advanced Banjo Canp I did not know what to expect other than I wanted to improve my playing to higher level than the present. I found out in quick order what Pete was offering was just that.

I knew going in that my old habits and flaws needed help but he helped me in such a way that I feel my worth as a player will rapidly grow and what I play and how I play really matters. He made me realize as a player who often times is in the public eye that everything from how I sound to how I look on stage represents the banjo and what even a novice listener will carry home in his or her mind. He impressed on me my responsibility as a banjo player is an important one; for my playing will be responsible for bringing more interested people closer to the music.

How he achieved all this was through accurate and honest critiques of of my playing and the other members of the workshop. He pointed out things that are obvious as well as the subtle things one can do to improve ones playing. I was totally oblivious to many things that now I am aware of and will never make the same mistakes again if I can help it. I feel like a new banjo player now and the work I have ahead is one of the most wonderful and greatest challenges of my life.

The other musicians in the camp were great from younger to older. Everyone had something to offer and the really cool stuff I learned from them was like going in to the banjo superstore of great licks and passages. Pete complimented all that by giving us incredible sessions of ways to make new licks and made the banjo neck look like a freshly paved road in which one could not wait to travel on for a lifetime.

It was the single best musical experience of my life and I will be back next year to gauge my improvement from Professor alias Dr. Banjo.

I might add that Pete worked well with the younger VERY talented players. A really kind soul named "T" sponsored a couple of these young maybe to be on the big stage soon players. It was nice to see someone giving of his hard earned income to help players who may not have gotten the chance to experience being around a true professional banjo player. I experienced a nice community of new friends I look forward to sharing time trading riffs and making music with for hopefully a long time.

I am practicing with a new attitude a new feeling and when I am not doing something correctly I can hear Professor Wernick going," NO try it again! LOOP THAT PHRASE !!!! Don't you know an amateur will play it until they get it right, PROFESSIONALS PLAY IT UNTIL THEY CANNOT GET IT WRONG."

Thanks again Pete for your time your stories and your expert instruction. It left me breathless and proud to know I am a part of a very special music.


1 comment on “Peter Wernick Dr. Banjo: Let's try Professor Banjo A Workshop Critique”

Greg Connor Says:
Friday, February 1, 2008 @10:25:46 AM

I'm a new player.  I just bought Pete Wernicks "Banjo Backup" DVD and  I'm a believer too! 

You and I sound like we are on different ends of the playing proficiency spectrum, with one common denominator.... Pete.

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