What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
After watching Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby on CMT Crossroads, I went down the Bluegrass trail. I listened to more and more acoustic music and couldn’t get enough. I talked about it all the time. Finally, my wife got me a mandolin because I was so fascinated by everything I heard and watched.
How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I have been playing 2 years. I love learning more about music, how to play and the histories of my favorite players. The music I listened to until my early 40’s were mostly story songs, I never got into the instruments…until I discovered Bluegrass. I would love to sit around in a group jam around a campfire.
What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
I love all the Build-A-Break lessons. Being so new to playing, it helps me to build a base then slowly add skills to it. I also love learning fiddle tunes on the Mandolin, I play Arkansas Traveller most every day.
What’s your goal when playing?
To be able to sit out on a back porch and play with a group. Also would love to play with a praise and worship team.
Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I have a fiddle but have focused most of my time learning mandolin. I’m definitely interested in learning the banjo in the future as well. I grew up on 70’s and 80’s country music, so I love hearing classic country.
How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
A little over a year
Do you have a favorite technique? What is it?
I love learning anything new. I was most proud when I got the Big G chop down!
If you could play in anyone’s band, who would it be and why?
I have to go with my Big Three. The Sam Bush Band / Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder / The Traveling McCourys (although I’m not sure any of them need a new mandolin player). Those bands make sounds come out of their instruments that just amazes me.
What type of gear or accessories have you found that work best for you?
I use Dunlop Ultex 1.14 picks. Not really much other gear besides my braided leather strap.
If money was no object, what would be your dream instrument(s)?
I am really happy with my Eastman 515V mando so I guess I should say a Martin D-28 guitar since that is my wife’s dream guitar. I guess a banjo but I could give details on my dream one yet. One of our new adventures is visiting local music stores in cities we travel through.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Travel with my wife and learn every fiddle tune I could.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I picked up 2 activities after our daughters went off to college; juggling clubs and the mandolin (so far I have only been hit in the head while juggling clubs).