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When I Listen to Other Players...

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Most banjo players will never reach the ability level of Earl Scruggs or Steve Martin, but I find that if I take the time to look there is something I can appreciate about most banjo players.  I love it when a highly skilled player blows the audience away with hard driving bluegrass.  I love it when a guy with a great sense of humor has them rolling in the aisle with a novelty song and a simple "strum with the thumb" accompaniment.  I have a special fondness for older players who aren't quite what they used to be but will sit on a street corner or park bench and play for anybody who will stop and listen.

In my experience, the best way to gain real ground and to raise the bar for everyone is to do your level best to be the best banjo player you can be and to have a positive outlook toward other players.  If somebody asks you for constructive criticism that’s one thing, but beyond that you stand the very real risk of hurting someone’s feelings.   

I have not achieved the level of excellence of the players who have inspired me  (Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs, George Grove, and especially Steve Martin), but I like to believe that if I did I would be as respectful as they are.  I’ve never heard any of them say a bad word about anyone, although I've heard each one of them speak highly of other banjo players. 

Most of us will never reach the ability level of Earl Scruggs or Steve Martin, but it is well within the reach of all of us to conduct ourselves in way that preserves the respect of other banjo players, and I think that by doing so it can only improve the way banjo players are perceived by the rest of the world.


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Newest Music

Genre: Folk
Playing Style: Other

Genre: Folk
Playing Style: Other

Genre: Folk
Playing Style: Exercises and Licks

Genre: Bluegrass
Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

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Newest Photos

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Playing Since: 1975
Experience Level: Intermediate

[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: Educator (retired)

Gender: Male
Age: 66

My Instruments:
Five string banjo, plectrum banjo, guitar, piano.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Dave Parker, The Longest Johns, The Kingston Trio, Phil Dirt and the Dozers, MIchelle Shocked, Hank Williams, The Weavers. Favorite banjo players include George Grove, Dave Guard, Pete Seeger, Grandpa Jones, and Steve Martin.

Classified Rating: not rated
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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 10/22/2003
Last Visit 4/18/2024

I am a hobbyist banjo builder (I built the one in my profile pic) and folk-style banjo player.

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