Monthly Archives: April 2009

Pursue the Difficult, the Easy Will Follow

One of my myriad hobbies is birdwatching, or ‘birding’ to the dyed-in-the-wool birder. One of the main areas of interest to a birder is adding to his or her life list. A life list is the list of bird species … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophical Ramblings, Tips & Techniques | 2 Comments

My Daughter is Learning to Fiddle!

Michiko has been taking violin lessons for several years now. Lately, she has switched over to learning fiddle tunes – bluegrass, as well as Irish and Celtic tunes!  We played Cripple Creek together for the first time a few weeks … Continue reading

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Hazards of Teaching Banjo

Admittedly there aren’t many hazards here. No need for sunscreen, padding, helmets, or protective eyewear. But I have found one of the hazards of teaching banjo is that if you don’t watch it, you can easily get out of practice … Continue reading

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A Tried and True Technique for Easy Backup

Here’s an easy technique for the very common situation in which you are playing a song you don’t know the chords to. Assuming it is a fairly simple song with only I, IV and V chords, this works very well. … Continue reading

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Do What You Love

Do what you love. Positive thinking. Winning friends and influencing people…  If you’re like me, I know you’ve heard this all a hundred times before elsewhere, starting with Dale Carnegie, then Norman Vincent Peale, then perhaps Napoleon Hill, Zig Ziglar, … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophical Ramblings | 1 Comment

A Little-known Technique to Improve Your Playing Quality

I am not ashamed to admit that I love easy things. So if I find something that is not easy, the first thing I do is try to see if I can make it easier (but not if making it … Continue reading

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Connecting to Your Roots

Where do you come from? I don’t mean literally where do you reside, as in your city, state or country. I mean that more nebulous quality that includes how you were raised, what ideals you value and how you relate … Continue reading

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Who's the Best?

When I was a Boy Scout years ago, we used to sing marching songs while out hiking. That was a lot of fun. One particular thing we did was this shout: the Scoutmaster would shout “Who’s the Best!?” And we … Continue reading

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What I'm Currently Listening To

A brief look at what I’m currently listening too.  Count Basie – Taxi War Dance. The Count was popular in Jazz back in the 30s through the 50s and his swing-style music continues to inspire enthusiasts today. I love the … Continue reading

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Bringing Out the Best

One of my banjo pickin’ buddies and I were talking a while back and the discussion turned to musical goals. I mentioned some of mine: things like wanting to explore more jazz, record a CD and the like. In turn, … Continue reading

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