Category Archives: Philosophical Ramblings

Taxonomy of a Banjo Player

Image by mcmurryjulie from Pixabay Elizabeth Barrett Browning (not William Shakespeare) wrote the Victorian sonnet that starts out: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. In a fashion, we also have a plethora of sorts of banjo … Continue reading

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Originators and Elaborators

I’ve been reading a book by the well-known photographer and author Tom Ang. In it, he prefaces a section on other famous photographers by comparing and contrasting originators and elaborators; terms defining, respectively, those who invent and pioneer, and those … Continue reading

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Reciprocity in Music

Those of you who remember film in cameras will recall, perhaps, the notion of film reciprocity and the associated attribute of reciprocity failure; that quality whereby film, upon being exposed, started to lose its sensitivity to take in photons at … Continue reading

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When the Teacher is Taught by the Student

Teaching, by its very nature, implies a certain terminus. Courses are scheduled for a finite period of time and are completed. One reason being that no teacher could possibly teach someone forever. Teachers have finite information which they share; when … Continue reading

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Remember Your Early Goals

I remember when I first started playing the banjo, one of my main goals was to sit under a pine tree (a very specific one) and play Foggy Mountain Breakdown. Somehow, that goal got lost rather quickly for me, and … Continue reading

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Strength, Accuracy, and Speed

If you’re the type of musician who just likes to grab your instrument and start playing without much analysis of techniques, you probably won’t get much from this post. It’s a very in-depth look at what you are really asking … Continue reading

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Learning the banjo (again) after a stroke – Part 3

Part 1 Part 2 So it was time to begin a rehabilitation process that I have described as both the most maddening and frustrating thing I have ever done (or ever will do, I’m confident), and yet also the most … Continue reading

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Learning the banjo (again) after a stroke – Part 2

Part 1 Part 3 It was now almost 11 am. 2 1/2 hours since 8:20 am and my thoughts of making a cup of coffee. As soon as the clot was found, TCP was administered. Almost immediately, I felt my … Continue reading

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Learning the banjo (again) after a stroke – Part 1

I’ve not written about this anywhere until now. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about without another word. Others have no idea what has been going on over the past several years. I know it’s long over due, … Continue reading

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Why is the Banjo so Mysterious?

I must declare here: the banjo is a thoroughly fascinating thing.  Whether playing Bluegrass, Old-Time, Folk, Jazz, or any other genre, it has a certain fascination, even a mystery, about it. And not only in sound, but in looks as … Continue reading

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