What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
I started playing electric guitar back in my teens but never put the effort in. I picked up acoustic guitar in the last several years just sitting around the living room in the evenings. I watched youtube from its early days and stumbled on some of the original Banjoben videos and some other early guitar teachers online. The University of Youtube has taught me well over the years.
How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I probably started really playing about 2010 or so. I now enjoy playing bluegrass with some local players here in Georgia. Playing bluegrass with others motivates me to know more songs, to play some breaks every once in a while, and even sing (sorry about your ears) some songs. Maybe I can help my future grandchildren really know music from an early age one day - that would be great.
What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
Back in 2010, I saw Ben’s Wildwood Flower lesson online - its a great guitar lesson even for a beginner. It was probably the first time I made real progress on guitar. The song is still a warm-up for me, and if I play it around my wife and kids, they will probably roll their eyes - they’ve heard it so much over the years. I followed Ben since then and went to Cabin Camp first in 2020. Cabin Camp is great - if you are thinking about it, do it.
What’s your goal when playing?
My goal is to have a little fun playing with friends and family and maybe play well enough to keep up with the local bluegrass players. I’d like to improve as I play and learn more songs, and maybe play a break or two, and enjoy some new musical company.
Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I like to play a little harmonica now and then, but don’t really play another instrument. I have been considering playing mandolin or banjo lately, but have not played either, yet.
How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
I think I was one of the original Gold Pick members when Ben started the pay site. Needless to say, that has been a great investment, and well worth the fee. The site is a wealth of knowledge for any level player.
Do you have a favorite technique? What is it?
The build-a-break lessons are good for me, because they lead well into group play. All those songs start with good rhythm play, which is important to me. I get better when I can manage to play a break or two. I also enjoy playing fingerstyle arrangements.
If you could play in anyone’s band, who would it be and why?
Wouldn’t it be cool to play Man of Constant Sorrow or I’ll Fly Away with Allison Krauss and Union Station? Or Friend of the Devil with the Grateful Dead? or Wagon Wheel with Old Crow Medicine Show? or Simple Man with Charlie Daniels (R.I.P.)? or A Pirate Looks at Forty with Jimmy Buffet? or Can’t you See with Marshall Tucker … so many
What type of gear or accessories have you found that work best for you?
Don’t really have any gear secrets. I try to keep a songbook with lyrics and chords for a bunch of songs.
If money was no object, what would be your dream instrument(s)?
Of course, I would buy an old, old Martin Acoustic in good condition and well used.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If I could do without sleep, I would probably take up the Banjo. Hope my family can also do without sleep.
Anything else you’d like to add?
A quote: “Its a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken, perhaps they’re better left unsung. I don’t know…don’t really care. Let there be songs to fill the air.” -Grateful Dead
I own a construction inspection company in North Georgia - we work mostly for construction lenders in metro Atlanta. If you see me at Cabin Camp, you might see my 2 college age daughters (Kit and Caroline) , and my wife Stacy.
Thanks for letting us feature you David!