Advice to Non-Singing Banjo Player


Dax is a very talented player in Kentucky, a high school senior. One of these players about whom people say, “He’s got a good roll.” Very coordinated and smooth and knows how to get that tone we all love. I’ve known him several years and kept up with him about his music and asked recently about his latest news and plans, and if he had a bio.

Read More

Finding the Melody Using Chords and Your Voice; Finding Chords Using the Melody; Cleaner Bar Chords


Here’s some advice I gave a fellow who sent me a playing sample to qualify for Advanced Banjo Camp. He and a friend were picking Foggy Mt. Top. When it was time for the banjo solo, there was no melody, but a cluster of well-executed licks that fit the chords.… Read More

Sound Bites from Hollywood and West Virginia


The word has gotten around that Hot Rize played at Steve Martin’s wedding, and as with about anything involving Steve, there’s a fair amount of curiosity. For the sake of brevity, here are some sound bites:… Read More

Work Less on Instrumentals, More on Singing? The Year of the Melody


Jim from Ohio writes: Inspired by my experience at your jam and banjo camps I have focused more on singing, increasing playing speed and clarity and learning better to improvise (“the year of the melody”). I am spending less time on instrumentals.… Read More

Find a Lead Singer; Backup Video; The Prewar Sound


I just turned 61 at the end of February, and find myself reflecting on getting older and “taking stock”. I count myself lucky to have a career in music. The chance both to perform, in many places, with many fine musicians, and to teach people how to play music keeps my life interesting and fulfilling.… Read More

1 2