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

Posted in Banjoists and Others | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Teaching | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Tips & Techniques | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Tips & Techniques | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Banjos and Society, History | Leave a comment