What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
When I was a kid I found an old reel-to-reel tape of my dad singing and shreddin’ a bluegrass version of Cotton Fields on guitar. I wanted to play guitar from then on.
How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I’ve only really been trying to play bluegrass the past 2 years. My son and a lot of our friends are amazing players and I want to be able to play with them. I also want to use guitar to create more interesting instrumental hooks for the songs I write.
What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
It might seem silly, but actually Jesus Loves Me. I’ve wept while playing that song. More than once. It reminds me that when I’m not yet good enough to keep up with the jam, when Grandma’s house gets sold and she’s going to the home, when best friends die, when everything is falling apart… I’m still greatly valued. So are you. And remembering THAT makes me an improved person.
What’s your goal when playing?
Clean, In Time, at Speed, and Loud enough to cut through…not really working yet, but that’s the goal.
Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I fool around with mandolin. I’ve just begun learning some banjo rolls.
How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
I’m not really sure. Between 3 and 5yrs maybe? I actually started out using the site to homeschool my kids. That worked out pretty well.
How did you find out about Banjo Ben?
I think I came across a YouTube video somehow.
If you could play in anyone’s band, who would it be and why?
Probably Volume Five. They’re apparently all about the song, the harmonies are killer, and they’re some of the most amazing players on the planet. Plus, they get airplay, draw large crowds, and get paid…so there’s that.
What type of gear or accessories have you found that work best for you?
I love the Elliot Elite capo. It doesn’t get in the way. Blue Chip Clay Hess picks, because they just feel right. Elixir phosphor bronze nanowebs…because playing with anything else is like driving with the parking brake on.
If money was no object, what would be your dream instrument(s)?
A Rick Hayes dreadnought.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I’d say play more, but I’d probably just end up doing more laundry and turning off lights. That seems to be the pattern.