Dragon Cabbage!

James Laurie has been posting weekly updates of his progress with the banjo.

This week James travels to the Llangollen Red Dragon Music Festival. It’s great that James is sharing this early banjo adventure with us – and I hope this inspires you to practice and also to keep some kind of journal of your own.

I still have the spiral-bound music notebook Dear Old Dad and I used ages ago when we were just starting out. Most of you know that I do not hang on to possessions, but I have kept this notebook for almost forty years.

James, you are doing great. I am proud of you!

God bless,
-Patrick

6 thoughts on “Dragon Cabbage!

  1. Great post, and I echo Patrick and Erik’s comments…keep on frailing away. It is great to see you plugging away and not being afraid to put yourself out there. I am fairly new to the 5-string banjo myself…what got you into playing it yourself James?

    • Biz Corey, I’ve been playing guitar for a long time but never putting anything out there as Internet was never perfection, then a couple of months back I was with The very special Joey (https://uk.gofundme.com/help-joey-reach-his-goal-of-health) and saw that he had a banjo. We talked about it and later I heard him play and he taught me strike-strum-thumb and later, when it was time to leave, he offered me his banjo to borrow and return it next time I saw him if I decided it wasn’t for me, he also insisted I check out Patrick’s videos on YouTube to learn how to play. I downloaded the How and The Tao and read that through, and started watching the workshops Patrick puts out there. Since then I just keep plugging away and am very happy to expose my complete non-perfection to the world.

      Are you documenting your journey? I would love to read about it or see some videos on YouTube to show that each of us is not alone in this.

      • James,

        My 5-String frailing banjo story actually began with the tenor guitar. I had picked one up with the intention of tuning it DGBE like my baritone uke. I liked that, but also toyed with the CGDA tuning which I scrapped after awhile because it just didn’t fit with the music I like to play. On a whim I tuned my tenor in open G and started messing around with it and really enjoyed the way it sounded. I had the opportunity to pick up a banjo earlier this year, and the transition was a little easier since I was familiar with some of the standard chords. Once I had said banjo in hand I started experimenting with different playing techniques; two-finger, Scruggs style, uppicking, etc. and I finally took to frailing as for me it felt the most natural and it certainly is the most enjoyable to play.
        I am not documenting my journey at the present time and I confess I have never made a YouTube video as of yet (not sure I ever will!). With that being said, I may submit a few videos to Patrick and he can post as he sees fit.
        Hope your friend Joey is doing well, and I hope the same holds true for you.

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