What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
I was raised listening to bluegrass and classic country on the AM dial. The only 2 concerts my dad ever thought was worth going to was the Easter Brothers and Ricky Skaggs, and they were free so that was probably the real reason. My mom was the church pianist, and my wife and 3 boys all play an instrument. Seeing how much joy they get out of playing and performing has really inspired me to learn music and play banjo. After following Ben online for a few years, and trying unsuccessfully to find a qualified local teacher, I finally took the step to take lessons on the banjo. I’m only disappointed that I didn’t join as a Gold Pick member sooner.
How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I’ve had a banjo for 4 years now and I have tried time and time again to teach myself with books and YouTube, always ending up with the same result, frustrated, defeated, and demoralized. But then I took a very small step that ended up being a gigantic leap for me. I emailed Ben asking if someone like me, who’s never played an instrument can really learn from a guy online. His response was quick and confident. He suggested that I simply give it a try for 1 month. Without exaggeration, I have learned more in 1 month than I have on my own in 4 sporadic years. So much so that before that first month was over I joined as a lifetime member. I feel Ben truly believes in me and that has given me the much needed confidence I need. I feel like I’m getting a personal touch, yet also being a part of a group of folks all on the same journey who have the same questions and challenges that I have. I’m not just learning from Ben, it’s the whole group. Ben and his team helped me get over a big mental hurdle, and I’m grateful.
What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
Every lesson in the beginner banjo track has been a favorite and necessary for me. I greatly appreciate the attention to detail and quick responses to my questions. I’ve also learned a good bit by watching a few guitar lessons too.
What’s your goal when playing?
The goal of learning something new in every lesson and being able to apply it to the next. Of course the bigger goal is to play with other folks. One day, I sure would like to be able to roll up on a local bluegrass Friday night jam session and join in.
What’s your favorite hobby?
Oh you know the usual camping, scouting, hiking, and some disk golf now and then.
How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
What do you do for a living?
I design networks for Verizon and I’ve also been in the Army National Guard for 18 years.