Click here for major-scales-in-chromatic-order
Click here for the tech-study-scales
I have recently begun creating and posting a series of “technical studies” for the plectrum banjo (click on the “Technique” tab). I had originally intended to write a book, but I realized that would be a waste of my time and resources (or at least a misuse of them), because—quite frankly—who would buy it?
CLICK HERE for circle-of-5ths-pattern-#1
Click here for finger-buster-#1
Click here for a PDF on finger-isolation-exercises.
Before I write a word, let me say this: I admit, I was at one time staunchly “PRO four-string banjo,” to the point of being jealous of (“why do they get all the banjo attention?”), and basically “against” the five-string. Because of that reputation, I may still come across as such in my writing, but I assure you, I am now firmly “pro-banjo.” Regardless of how many strings it happens to have (4, 5, 6, 7, what does it matter?)—or what kind of music is played on it—the unique banjo sound and look is the same.
Let’s face it—music is a big, complex subject! High-level accomplishment on any instrument generally requires a lifetime of study and practice to achieve (professional classical musicians peak in their 50s, after a lifetime of tireless practice and performance);
I am a very stubborn student! It’s like I’m proud of my ignorance or something; “you can’t teach me anything!” (whined in a bratty 10-year-old voice). There have been only two situations where I’ve been able to overcome this self-limiting attitude; the first is when I have paid for college classes (I’m cheap!).
Writing has been quite a revelation to me; without it, my mind just wanders as it wishes—no discipline, no direction (“squirrel!”). Half of what I write could only be classified as the musings of a mad-man! Some of that rambling ends up in the essays I actually publish, not that anyone would notice. . . I guess you could say my writing mirrors my personality (it certainly doesn’t mirror any actual training or special skill!). This brings up the subject for this blog; with a couple of banjo shows coming up this season where I’m an actual “headliner,” I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my on-stage personality.