What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
About ten years ago, I decided that 6 of us playing guitar in our church group was a little redundant. So, I went to a Halloween sale at a local music store and bought an Alvarez mandolin. I fell in love with the sound and taught myself to play our music, but pretty much play like a small guitar. I wanted to learn the proper method, read music notation, and my goal is to be able to improvise. So, I joined as a Gold Pick member about a month ago!
How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I started banjo in 8th grade, only knowing bluegrass through the Beverly Hillbillies and Andy Griffith, but being in a suburb of Chicago I was unable to find an instructor that actually played banjo, so I stopped playing. Picked it up again about five years ago when I discovered clawhammer and found that much easier. We play at open mics and I like to take clawhammer to places like Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” We like to “plunkify” classic rock.
What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
My favorite lessons are the music theory vids.
What’s your goal when playing?
Eventually, I’d like to be a versatile player in multiple genres, but if I have to limit myself, then I’d love to play bluegrass.
What songs have you completely memorized?
I have memorized a lot of our church music but I don’t have too many bluegrass tunes yet. Swallowtail Jig, Remember When, Mr. Bojangles, Moondance, J.S. Bach – I’m all over the place.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If I didn’t have to sleep, I would be a much better musician, but work and sleep are such a burden!
What do you do for a living?
I am a retired law enforcement officer from Illinois, now living in southwest Florida and working as an attorney for the courts.
What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
As for adventure, maybe I’ve had plenty of that. I just focus on family and my favorite hobby.