What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
It was most likely 1950s group The Kingston Trio that piqued my interest in the banjo. After becoming proficient with the banjo I decided to learn the guitar and then the mandolin
How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
Until I was 45 all I could play was the radio. My wife bought me a banjo and said “Here. You said you wanted to play the banjo. Now it’s up to you.” I am now 82 and still not very good at any of the instruments but I enjoy entertaining myself.
What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
My favorite lessons are the build- a-break lessons since they have done a good job of teaching me to play the banjo rather than just learning to play a song on the banjo.
What’s your goal when playing?
I try to be accurate first and then increase speed. I have to confess that during most of my “practice” sessions I get bored with the repetitive nature of the drill and resort to playing a tune. But hey! I’m in my 80s and I want hear music.
Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I play the guitar, mandolin and ukelele but I am most proficient with the banjo
How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
A little more than two years
Do you have a favorite technique? What is it?
No favorite technique. I struggle with Scruggs style picking which is all I know
If you could play in anyone’s band, who would it be and why?
I have no idea. I love Bela Fleck’s music
What type of gear or accessories have you found that work best for you?
The banjo mute is one of my wife’s favorite accessories and I use a snark tuner
If money was no object, what would be your dream instrument(s)?
a grand piano
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I would play my instruments more often
Anything else you’d like to add?
I was 45 when I started to learn the banjo. I had a brother (now deceased) who was a pretty good guitar player. When I told him I wasn’t sure I could learn to play the banjo his words were: The best time to learn to play any instrument is when you’re twelve or so. The second best time is RIGHT NOW!"