Love unrequited – that’s what Reno style banjo playing is to me. You see, I love that rapid staccato barrage of notes flowing from a banjo picked in Reno, or single-string style. Few sounds produced on a banjo can match the feeling of power and precision as what Don Reno introduced. I believe it was not long after Earl Scruggs took the stage at the Grand Ol Opry in late 1945 and introduced to the world what has become known as Scruggs style, that Don introduced the style that now bears his name. Both styles are simply amazing in their own way.
But I’m afraid Reno style doesn’t like me. I’ll admit I don’t have the same amount of time to master new techniques as when I was young. Nevertheless, I do put in a good bit of effort. But still, single-string playing at a good clip continues to elude me! Now, I do like a good challenge when it comes to banjos, though, so maybe it’s time to get a book or two specifically on Reno style.
Here’s a couple that I’ve thought look good. I’ll probably get one or two instructional items soon.
Bluegrass Banjo Don Reno Style by Don Wayne Reno (Yes, he’s Don’s Son).
Another good source for Reno style DVD lessons is Jason Skinner’s site at http://www.skinnerfamilyband.com