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I was fortunate to attend this workshop held this past Saturday at the Tree of Life Center in Clarksville, Tennesse. There were nine students, plus the two fine teachers, Don Wayne Reno and Jason Skinner. This was a half-day, four hour workshop, and the format was appropriately informal. Don Wayne and Jason demonstrated a variety of classic Don Reno tunes and techniques. Everyone was encouraged to ask their questions about specific tunes and techniques.
Cost: At $100.00, this was a bargain.
Quality of Teaching: Over-the-top! Don Wayne learned from the master himself, and Jason Skinner has devoted decades to a systematic study of Reno's catalog of technique. Both are excellent at explanation and demonstration.
The Crowd: Nice mix of folks, including some from faraway. Also, probably a 60 year age range from youngest-to-oldest, and all of them stalwart Reno fans.
Skill Level: You don't have to know any Reno banjo to benefit from this workshop, but, at the same time, this isn't for a complete beginner. While not all of Reno's material was necessarily hard to play, his approach was complex, and it could be intimidating for the novice.
If you get a chance to attend one of these workshops, go for it. You will not regret it.
Overall Rating: 10
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