What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
I wanted to play a song for my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, so I taught myself guitar. I continue to play and have started playing mandolin and fiddle because of my love for bluegrass, and these instruments add so much to any music.
How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I’ve been playing guitar for about 26 years now; mandolin and violin a couple years (still a beginner). My motivation is that it is relaxing as well as providing music for others. Nothing is more rewarding than playing and singing a song which brings a bright smile to someone’s face!
What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
I have focused mainly on the mandolin lessons. The current “Just As I Am” hymn lesson - that was my dad’s favorite song. I think just working with the fingerings and playing along with someone else helps to improve my playing.
What’s your goal when playing?
Enjoyment and relaxation - not only for myself but others.
Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I like gospel and classic country songs - Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette. I can do lead singing, but my favorite part of gospel, bluegrass and classic country is doing harmony.
Do you have a favorite technique? What is it?
I really don’t have a favorite technique because I haven’t developed one yet!
If you could play in anyone’s band, who would it be and why?
With Alison Krauss or Rhonda Vincent. I would love to sing harmony vocals with them and just be a part of great bands.
What type of gear or accessories have you found that work best for you?
It’s not related to instruments, but I use a headset microphone and that is a plus.
If money was no object, what would be your dream instrument(s)?
A Martin or Gibson guitar, the best mandolin made, and the same for the fiddle.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Travel and take part in bluegrass festivals; learn with others; practice, practice, practice.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Encourage people to get into music because it can be enjoyed for one’s entire life - whether you play, sing, or listen. It’s good for the soul.
How did you find out about Banjo Ben?
I was watching YouTube videos and it came up in the feed, checked it out, and signed up.
Thanks for letting us feature you Cindy!