For you folks in the U.S. who think no one near you is into bluegrass, it’s my guess that you’re mistaken. In the following case, he is quite likely correct. U.S. bluegrassers, consider yourself fortunate!

Gary from Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia writes:

Living in Darwin i am starved of pickers and bluegrass. Any help or info you can give me is very much appreciated.

Dear Gary,

On my web site, you’ll find several good suggestions for finding others to play with, usually based on the understanding that there probably folks around that you don’t know about. You might try those first, as they just might work. But in your case, there really might be no pickers and bluegrass within 500 miles!

This calls for drastic measures, which is that you have to get people interested. If you can get a friend interested in playing bluegrass (or any type) of guitar, you can soon be playing music with that person. There is basic guitar teaching available with books, videos etc., but the main thing is to learn chords well enough to simply chord behind songs. With a flat pick, a person may be able to go boom (bass note) / strum in a matter of days. You take it from there. Try introducing bluegrass recordings to various friends. You never know who might already be interested! If they are interested enough to surprise with a guitar, you could have a picking partner later that week. As I said, you take it from there. I have done such things with other people, and it has paid off.

The main thing is, enjoy the banjo!

Pete Wernick