I have just retired from band life at 71 .my last gig was new years eve , so if anybody wants a job as singer guitarist in the misfits let me know .I must say there has never been anything better in my life than music.Well my wife and kids fit in there somewhere. My boys are going through the same process Ashley was a Ludwig beetle for ten years ,left hand bass as well.I am writing to say how we all like different styles of music .and its never to late to learn.I started to sing as early as i can remember . In a school in Sussex for ill children . in the stage shows. First guitar lesson at 19 .my teacher was in a combo playing 30 and 40 music which i liked anyway ,but i wanted to be a rock n roller .my friend in the Merchant gave me an a record of Roy Orbison two years before only the lonely came out.I was caught hook line and sinker. Down the line Ooby dooby rock house your my baby.Then came Moore. Atkins, Gallup, a few jazzers Billy Bayer ,Grady Martin to name a few .My teacher said never be blinkered son .Then i saw some of the guitarists did not use a plectrum so out the window it went and on went the thumb pick . It was not till at 65 i picked on the Mandolin. I got on with it really well . i think different instruments suit different people. Then at 69 I thought i would like to try the banjo. Started to learn blue grass style  One year went by getting on fairly well . Then one day i suddenly stopped and there must be something better than all this jingle in my ears . do not get blinkered memory kicked in ,or was i. Then i went on the net .Saw a lot of down stroke styles and old time .Even bought a Mike Seeger .video but all in vain .Then suddenly up comes Classic banjo .Bingo . The really nice man was there with his bow tie and  fantastic banjo,and his lovely wife telling every thing  about this wonderful style .So once again i was hook line and sinker.So now i have retired from the scene i can go on the jam session once a week and play what i have always wanted to . A bit of swing 30s 40s blue grass rockabilly and maybe when i think i am good enough a bit of classic and hope they are not to blinkered regards Alan.


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Thats is a cool post, its nice to hear someones history with their instruments!

I second Julian's comment. It's a shame to hang up your stage outfits Alan but it sounds like an interesting musical history. I, like you, tried bluegrass and just didn't get on with it. Then a couple of years ago I discovered Rob Mackillop's Classic Banjo pages. That led me to search for more and I came across this site and the Extremely Nice Man :-). I still can't play very well but I'm enjoying learning. I do fancy a go at claw hammer though ...

I also share something with Julian because I heard Chris Sands tutoring a class at a BMG Federation summer school a couple of years ago. I didn't realise it was classic banjo at the time but it was a revelation to me - I didn't realise the banjo could sound like that. (In case you we wondering, I was playing mandolin).

Thanks for sharing, Alan -- there's nothing like making music!

It was a magical day for me, hearing Chris play Bunch of Rags . I was so , so sure that the music was coming from a CD player !! My wife had Actualy seen him behind the counter so she knew we were listening to live music. I had never heard Classic banjo before, but I knew that day that I was going to hear a lot more !!

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