What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site?
That is a really tough call. Probably my favorite lessons would be the fingerstyle guitar lessons. I’ve always loved that style of playing, and have enjoyed working at those lessons. “The Old Rugged Cross” is probably my favorite one of them. As far as banjo lessons go, I think my favorite is “Red Wing – Alan Munde version.” It’s one of the first songs I learned from the site and is one of the first I play when I pick up the banjo.
What’s your instrument of choice and what was your inspiration to learn how to play?
That depends on the day. I play guitar and banjo, and sometimes it can go awhile on one rather than the other… I like the stand-alone capability of the guitar: I play a lot of hymns Carter style, but I also like the unique sound of the banjo played well. So it depends on the mood as to which I pick up first. As far as inspiration to learn; my family has always been musically inclined. My dad actually played the banjo when I was young, I remember being lulled to sleep to the sound of him practicing in the evening. I also grew up listening to the Lewis family, and I always loved the sounds of Little Roy’s banjo and his infectious way of bringing joy to his audiences.
What’s your goal when playing?
My goals have never been very lofty… I mostly play for personal enjoyment and satisfaction. And I like to make a joyful noise to the Lord (hence the banjo playing/noise LOL). In the last few years, my daughters have shown interest in playing, and now my goals include spending quality time with them making music. My daughters have both been quick to pick up on the mandolin and the guitar, and hopefully you’ll be seeing some more of them on the video swap portion of the site in the future.
How long have you been playing?
I didn’t pick up learning until I was in my early twenties, so it’s been about 18 years… Seems like I should be better by now! I have been mostly self-taught on the guitar until I joined Banjo Ben. I used different resources such as Murphy Method to learn the banjo.
What’s your favorite hobby?
I would have to say hunting… I’ve been blessed with an awesome wife that loves to hunt as well. The opening week of rifle season in Pennsylvania has become the highlight of our year. We spend time with family, and usually are blessed with plenty of venison to put in the freezer. My daughters have also become quite proficient hunters, so it keeps Dad’s Guide Service busy making sure there is stands available for everyone.
How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
I’ve been a Gold Pick member for about 2 years.
What do you do for a living?
I work in the water treatment industry for Martin Water Conditioning. We treat water problems in residential, agriculture, and light commercial applications. I am a service technician/salesman in our Central Pennsylvania division. So if you ever wonder whether or not your water is safe to drink or if it could be improved… we’d love to help!
What’s your favorite place you’ve visited and why?
While I am definitely not a world traveler… I have been to a few different places. From climbing a volcano in Guatemala to visiting Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming; I’ve seen many fascinating sights in God’s creation. But probably my favorite place was the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The scope and size of the canyon was beyond what I had imagined it to be. Few things I’ve seen have impacted me the way that sight did. I remember watching a thunderstorm coming up the canyon, the heavy rain obscuring the sights as it came along, the lightning flashing… It all pointed me to God, our loving heavenly Father. He has the power to create this majestic universe, yet He cares for each one of us and has a personal interest in a relationship with us.