Friday, July 4, 2014
Playing Tips from the July 2014 Banjo Newsletter
Here are some of the most profound tips/quotes I took away from reading this issue of Banjo Newsletter:
--If you sound awful, that's a good sign that something in your playing needs work.
--If you sound good when you practice, you aren't challenging yourself to get better.
(Bennett Sullivan, in a segment called Things To Do Without Your Instrument To Become A Better Musician)
--Every note sounds good with every other note, and every note sounds good with every other chord.
--Develop razor sharp concentration, look for other sounds, get beyond the duality of genre.
--Get through the duality of 'am I playing old-time banjo or not?', 'am I playing Piedmont-style banjo, or Cajun fiddle or finger-picking Delta guitar?
--Learn to listen to yourself, really, really listen.
--We have an internal teacher that we can tap into and access by paying attention. Attention on the process, the music itself.
--Great musicians are totally in the moment - really, really, really doing it.
(Danny Barnes, from the cover story interview with this 5-string guru)
--Create home-made music for entertainment.
--Listen, appreciate and deeply absorb the heart and soul of great music.
--Play what you feel.
(John Balch, from a feature titled Writing Original Clawhammer Music)
There you have it. Goes to show that you can extrapolate quite a bit from material intended for players of a different instrument that the one(s) you play. This makes me want to sign up for all kinds of music oriented magazines, from journals devoted to a specific folk instruments, like the Banjo Newsletter, to publications focusing on a specific genre of music, as well as ones geared toward music educators, and beyond.
Yes you can probably find a lot of this kind of instruction online, but it's still fun to open the mailbox and see a good old fashioned print 'zine in there.