Hi banjo people. Someone used the mailing system here to ask me a question. In replying I had to sign in again. Now that I'm here I'd like to say hello to old friends and combatants ;-) So...

Hello old friends and combatants!

I'm impressed that the community here has kept this place going, doubtless due to the tireless work of Ianthereallystrangeman :-) Well done, Ian, it is a magnificent site, which has grown somewhat since I was last here. It really is a treasure of a place, and I hope when it (as is the way of things) does eventually fold, that its contents are given to some important library as a digital collection. You are not only recreating history here, but creating it too. 

I still get emails from people who bought my Mel Bay editions, and I always direct them to this place. My books were always targeted at those who might not naturally gravitate here, and I know that there are quite a few members here because of that. 

But I gave up banjo a few years ago, and haven't touched it since. I sold all my instruments. That said, in a wave of nostalgia, I bought a fretless banjo - thought to be by J. E. Dallas, from circa the 1890s - on eBay just now, and hope to have it here soon. It was only £150, so I'm not expecting a high-quality instrument, and it might just lie under the bed after an initial play. We shall see. I'll dig out my old Baur edition. 

So, that's it. Keep up the good work! Best wishes to you all. 


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How unfortunate it is to hear that you no longer play the banjo. Your videos and website have been a steady source of inspiration and motivation for me.

Nevertheless, I still enjoy hearing you play a number of other instruments.

Hopefully that new banjo will prompt you to take it up again!

Thanks, David. Keep up your practice - there's no quick way, just put in the hours mindfully. 



Hi Rob! Welcome back, if only for a moment.

Once you've owned a banjo, you become permanently infected...no cure. The best defense is a good offence though. Keep that Dallas under your bed and visit it regularly. The only cure I know of is to wear an appropriate amulet, usually in the form of a concertina or other squeeze-box. As long as you have the amulet on your body, you'll leave the banjos alone. ;-)

Ha, thanks, Marc. Good to hear from you, as always. Not sure if I care to to be associated with squeeze boxes...but they are easier to wear than a theorbo!

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