1. Just wanted to wish you well with your nomination. I have played your cd a lot this year. It’s very expressive and beautiful. I particularly like High Above the Rain and The Iron Kettle. As I have been learning bluegrass style I play the banjo by finding the melody notes and then adding rolls. I wondered how you developed your individual style of playing. Do you have any advice as how to move beyond the forward roll?


    1. Hi Carrie,

      I’m happy to hear that you’ve been enjoying the CD! As you probably saw in my more recent vlog entry, the project did not with either award, but the nominations themselves were tremendously inspirational for me.

      As far as learning/growing on the banjo, it sounds to me like you’re on the right track. I think it’s very important to cultivate a sense of where you want the listener’s ear to focus, and working from a melody is one of the simplest and most effective ways to do so. I’d also strongly encourage you to “compose” music. The only real difference, in my opinion, between composing and improvising, is the speed at which it is done. Furthermore, taking the time to compose music you like will teach you things about both yourself and your instrument which would be much more difficult to discern within the confines of an existing tune or a live “jam”.

      I’m also in the early stages of putting together some banjo instructional materials….

      Thanks for writing!

      |) |)enji

  2. Thanks Benji – enjoyed your new videos. I’ve never really tried to compose anything myself but I think I will take your suggestion on board. My banjo time is usually spent learning a new tune or going over ones previously learnt – I think I will make time to just noodle on the banjo and see what develops!


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