What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
My parents said I had to take a year of piano lessons. After that year I was allowed to pick whatever instrument I wanted to learn to play. My dad and I spend a lot of time on YouTube watching random videos and we came across the Sleepy Man Banjo boys. I thought “That’s COOL!” The banjo is such a happy instrument and I really like to play fast music. They really inspired me!
How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I have been playing 2 1/2 years and I just really love doing it.
What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
Cherokee Shuffle is my favorite song that I have learned from Ben. I love that Ben has the tef view available that I can play along with at the speed I need. I also love listening to previews so that I know what the song is supposed to sound like when I am done with it.
What’s your goal when playing?
I know that there is no limit to what I can do and endless possibilities. I play because it makes me happy and brings a smile to those around me.
What songs have you completely memorized?
Any song I have learned is memorized. The list is too long for here because there are 80+ but a few of my favorites are, Earl’s Breakdown, Foggy Mountain Special, The Crow, Elite Syncopations, Whisky Before Breakfast, Blackberry Blossom, Swallowtail Jig, and a couple of my own I have written, Bitterroot Creek, Irish Banjo and Slightly Irregular.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Well Duh, Play my BANJO!
How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
I have been a Gold Pick member just over 2 years
What do you do for a living?
I’m a sophomore in HS but I have made money mowing lawns, odd jobs for the neighbors and of course 10s of dollars playing bluegrass!
What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
I’m not really an adventuresome person. I really love to travel around and play my banjo in all sorts of places.
When I took up the banjo, my brother started flat picking the guitar and we talked my dad into learning stand up bass. We started our own family band called Dead Pan Dan and the Expressionless Pickers. When we started we had NO expression because we were concentrating so hard on what we were playing that it was hard to do anything else. We have been invited to play so many places. I would encourage newer pickers to get into jam circles, find open mics and don’t be afraid to get out and share what you are learning with others. People are so much nicer than you think they will be, I have learned so much from from other pickers!