What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
I’ve always loved bluegrass and old time gospel music and admired anyone who could play a banjo. I had never played an instrument but after watching a Hee Haw rerun on RFD TV I decided you’re never too old to give it a try. ( I was 44 yrs old ) so I went to a local music store and purchased a Deering Good Time 2 banjo and signed up for lessons. I took lessons for about 6 months. I stopped taking lessons and tried to learn on my own for the next year. I got frustrated and put the banjo up for about a year. Then I bought a guitar and took lessons for about 3 months. A friend told me about Banjo Bens website and I checked it out. I thought what a deal. I can learn banjo, guitar and mandolin all for the same price. I think the lifetime membership at that time was 150.$$. I joined right away. His lessons gave me the motivation to buy a mandolin.
How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I have been playing banjo since January 2010. Guitar since 2012, and mandolin since 2017.
What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
My favorite lessons have been St Anne’s Reel and Irish Washerwoman. I like all three instruments in same lesson.
What’s your goal when playing?
My goal when I started was to see if I could ever learn to play Foggy Mountain Breakdown. I can play it now but not at the speed or clarity needed to perform for an audience. I am definitely a closer picker, enjoy playing at home but get too nervous and lack the confidence to play with others. Also when I pick a song I want to learn I will learn most of it very quickly but get bored with practicing it over and over and jump to a new song that interest me.
Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I play the banjo, guitar and mandolin
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
My extra time would be spent golfing, fishing, playing with grandkids.
How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
I’ve been a gold pick member so long I can’t remember when I joined. Around 2012 I think.
Do you have a favorite technique? What is it?
I don’t really have a favorite technique but I love instrumentals on banjo, guitar and mandolin. I love learning lead breaks and hate practicing backup or rhythm.
What do you do for a living?
I own an auto repair shop and have been a mechanic for 38 years.
What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
Visiting England and Scotland and playing golf at St Andrews. Playing golf at Augusta would be great if anyone can get me in. I could be there in about 3 hours.