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Two Months In

Sunday, October 21, 2012

About two months ago I pulled my banjo out of it's case after it's two year nap.  I took the resonator off (Goodtime 2), changed the strings, set it all up and proceeded to learn how to frail and claw with the help of some materials by Ken Perlman and Pat Costello.  I decided I was going to start at the basics and have some fun with it.  I quickly learned some things that kept me from progressing in the past and made some adjustments.  The biggest one was switching from my index finger to my middle finger.  I couldn't believe how much my accuracy improved in a short amount of time.

I hadn't been on BHO in about two years either, and I found the media section was improved with lots of videos!  I started watching and became very inspired to really try to learn and make my own videos.

When I finally put a few things together and posted them, I was very surprised at how much positive response I received.  I know my arrangements are simple and my technique is sloppy, but I keep playing and trying to make improvements so at some point I can play as clean as the folks who can really play.

I have very broad and eclectic tastes in music, and I'm a fan of blending the traditional with the non.  One's relationship with music is very personal and I love to see how different musicians approach their music. 

I'm getting so much more out of playing the banjo than I did in the past.  Thanks to those who've inspired me! 

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shooshami has 7 friends.

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Playing Since: 2006
Experience Level: Novice

[Jamming] [Socializing]

Occupation: AV Tech

Gender: Male
Age: 53

My Instruments:
Goodtime, the old "Gumby" style (it's my favorite!)
Thompson plywood upright bass
Fender Jazz and Precision basses (electric)
Recording King ROS-06 guitar
Martin Backpacker

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Grateful Dead, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Steve Martin, Tony Trischka, Bela Fleck, Bob Marley, Patrick Costello, Soggy Bottom Boys, "Mississippi" John Hurt, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Edgar Meyer, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, etc.

I listen to a whole lot of bebop and hard bop jazz, and random other stuff. I'm not a fan of "top 40" radio or American Idol.

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 3/6/2006
Last Visit 2/7/2017

I'm actually a bassist. I play some guitar, but the banjo holds a very special place in my heart. Since I'm not really a "banjo player", I can simply enjoy the instrument without getting hung up on what anyone else thinks about my playing. I picked up a Goodtime 2 back in ག, with the intention of learning Scruggs. The style never really worked for me, so after picking it up and putting it away over and over for a few years, I switched to clawhammer. I tried the popular methods with little success, trying to perfect exercises and drop-thumb and all that jive. Recently I discovered a person who isn't very popular on this forum, but his approach has me improving faster than any other method I've used. This approach is based in the true folk tradition, taking a tune and learning it from the ground up, starting with the harmony (chords) and basic rhythm, then working the melody out of that and making it your own. Of course stealing licks is part of the tradition too. I love blending the traditional with the non-traditional, and trying to work out songs that aren't necessarily "banjo repertiore", although hammering out "Old Joe Clark" isn't without its charm.

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