Just This Banjo Now on Google Play and Google Books!

Just This Banjo is now available on Google Play in the following regions: AR, AS, AT, AU, BE, BG, BO, BR, BY, CA, CH, CL, CO, CR, CZ, DE, DK, DO, EC, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, GT, GU, HK, HN, HR, HU, ID, IE, IL, IN, IS, IT, JP, KG, KR, KZ, LT, LU, LV, MH, MP, MX, MY, NI, NL, NO, NZ, PA, PE, PH, PL, PR, PT, PW, PY, RO, RU, SE, SG, SI, SK, SV, TH, TR, TT, TW, UA, US, UY, UZ, VE, VI, VN, ZA

The book is also available on Google Books.

Print Copies:

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Pik-Ware Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974419079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974419077
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Ebooks:

If eBooks are more your thing, we have plenty of options! Just This Banjo is available for purchase or as a free download at these locations:

If you do download a free copy and enjoy the book, think about paying us $6.95 for the PDF. It will help with my next book: I loved the book! Here’s $6.95!

If money is tight, please share this book with a friend, write a review somewhere, sponsor us on Patreon, or anything else you can think of to spread the word.

About Just This Banjo:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

Just This Banjo cover by Carlos Vazquez

Ink and Paper

Yesterday I got to hold a printed copy of Just This Banjo in my hands for the first time.

When I was a young boy wandering through the Chester County Library,  I can remember looking at all of the books and daydreaming that I would someday add my name to the list of authors in the card catalog.

The Internet is awesome in that you can electronically access virtually every book ever written, but for the tenth time in my life, I can’t help but marvel at the difference between seeing your words on a screen compared to holding a bound volume of pages printed with ink.  No matter how far we advance, there is still something powerful in the pages of a book.

Print copies of Just This Banjo are available through Amazon around the world. We are also in distribution, so you can ask for the book at your favorite bookstore or public library.

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Pik-Ware Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974419079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974419077
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Ebooks:

If eBooks are more your thing, we have plenty of options! Just This Banjo is available for purchase, as a free download or can be read online at these locations:

If you do download a free copy and enjoy the book, think about paying us $6.95 for the PDF. It will help with my next book: I loved the book! Here’s $6.95!

If money is tight, please share this book with a friend, write a review somewhere, sponsor us on Patreon, or anything else you can think of to spread the word.

About Just This Banjo:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

True Stories

Right before I released Just This Banjo, I sent my friend Aaron a copy. A day or two later he texted me back:

The book is great. If I did not know you, I would think you were full of shit. Great job. WOW!

Back in 2003 when I wrote The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo, people were a tad more eloquent in calling bullshit on the stories within. They used the word apocryphal.

All of this makes Dear Old Dad and I laugh because I doubt I could write fiction with a gun to my head. All of this really happened. As crazy as the events in the book get, I have really only scratched the surface of my past. There is more to tell. A lot more.

Don’t take my word for it. Call Dear Old Dad (410) 968-3873. Ask him about any of the people, places, and events in Just This Banjo. He will tell you what he saw and heard with his own eyes and ears.

Just This Banjo is now available in print around the world!

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Pik-Ware Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974419079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974419077
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Ebooks:

If eBooks are more your thing, we have plenty of options! Just This Banjo is available for purchase or as a free download at these locations:

If you do download a free copy and enjoy the book, think about paying us $6.95 for the PDF. It will help with my next book: I loved the book! Here’s $6.95!

If money is tight, please share this book with a friend, write a review somewhere, sponsor us on Patreon, or anything else you can think of to spread the word.

About Just This Banjo:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

Help Spread The Word!

If you enjoyed Just This Banjo, help us spread the word!

You can download the PDF and share with friends, post the full text on your own site or some other creative idea that lets folks know about the book. if you are worried about copyright, drop us a note.

Just This Banjo Now In Print!

Just This Banjo is now available in print around the world!

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Pik-Ware Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974419079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974419077
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Ebooks:

If eBooks are more your thing, we have plenty of options! Just This Banjo is available for purchase or as a free download at these locations:

If you do download a free copy and enjoy the book, think about paying us $6.95 for the PDF. It will help with my next book: I loved the book! Here’s $6.95!

If money is tight, please share this book with a friend, write a review somewhere, sponsor us on Patreon, or anything else you can think of to spread the word.

About Just This Banjo:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

Now On Kindle!

Just This Banjo is now available on Amazon Kindle!

Head over to https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YNT8G68/ for more information.

Just This Banjo is available for purchase or as a free download at these locations:

If you do download a free copy and enjoy the book, think about paying us $6.95 for the PDF. It will help with my next book: I loved the book! Here’s $6.95!

If money is tight, please share this book with a friend, write a review somewhere, sponsor us on Patreon, or anything else you can think of to spread the word.

About Just This Banjo:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

Just This Banjo

cover of Just this Banjo

Heads up, Patreon sponsors! Just This Banjo is now available for download!

Patreon sponsors can visit our page and choose from PDF, plain text, MOBI or ePub formats. 

We will be making the eBook available for sale soon, and a few other surprises are in the works.

About the book:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

This has been the single most difficult project I have ever taken on. Without your support, this book just would have been just another idea. 

I also have to express my gratitude to my father. Editing my stream-of-consciousness style of writing can be a herculean task. With this project, we also had an unusual twist in that this book was created while I was in the grip of excruciating pain. Somehow his patience and belief in the project paid off.  Thanks, Pop. We did it! 

Just This Banjo

Patrick in high school with his Dobro banjo.
Patrick as a teenager – right around the time many events in Just This Banjo take place.

My upcoming book, Just This Banjo, is almost finished. There are still a million things to finish, but the book itself is just about written.

Work has been impeded a bit by my health. The pain of peripheral neuropathy can be so overwhelming that it can send a potentially productive day down a dead end street. On some days the pain is so bad I just can’t think.

In spite of bad pain days, we are pages away from the final draft. Once that is finished we have to format the work and get it ready for release.

As a treat, here are the first couple of pages of the latest draft: Sneak Peek: Just This Banjo.

Next week I have some long days of medical tests and appointments in preparation for surgery to install a neurostimulation device on my spine to help manage my neuropathy pain. For the rest of this week into next week I will be putting The Daily Frail on hold so that I can finish up the last bits of writing and complete Just This Banjo.

Private lessons will continue as scheduled

If you have any questions about Just This Banjo, The Daily Frail, private instruction or electric banjos, call (410) 968-3873.

Onward!

Patrick and his Dobro 33D

Social Security and the IRS think I am dead.

I was not going to argue this, but Dear Old Dad argued that it could complicate things down the road. So, albeit reluctantly, we are taking steps to remedy the situation . . . but I have to admit that I am enjoying my status as a zombie.

My health after the harrowing Suboxone withdrawal has been steadily improving. Lately I find myself battling my old foe peripheral neuropathy, but I have a good neurologist on the case. Last week on a scale of 1 to 10 – with pain being the worst pain I ever experienced – I was at around 23. Crying time.

Today I am between 7 and 8. So it is improving bit by bit.

There is a lot going on here musically. The Daily Frail is still happening over on Patreon. A few folks are either unnerved or just plain angered by the fact that I am breaking away from using tab. Somebody pointed out that my very popular books used tab and I replied that the books were written long ago and even Picasso was prone to painting over old works to create something new.

Tab never helped me with the guitar, and I used it so rarely with the banjo that I practically had to relearn how to use tab when I wrote my first web-based workshops. On plain paper tab was a useful way to help people visualize the left and right hand mechanics – but we are living in 2019 and the printed page is going the way of the rotary phone. We don’t need to cling to old methods that never really worked. This should be a time of innovation and discovery!

So I am getting myself mentally, physically and musically ready for something new. For the banjo I find myself thinking back to the way I used the teaching methods employed by my karate instructors. There was nothing written in the dojo. I was expected to pay attention, internalize what was presented and then put it into action.

When I was learning music I only met my teachers briefly. Some encounters lasted a few minutes but I left with enough to work on for months. Given my progress over the years it’s safe to say this approach works. My challenge now is to create the same sort of environment on the Internet.

So a new banjo method is on the way. My friend Dobro Libre will be doing similar with the guitar to take some of the workload off of me.

A lot of this new teaching method will fly in the face of a lot of the material out there now – including my old workshops. This is inevitable because change always generate conflict and controversy. The momentary angst will not bother me because I am looking at a larger timeline. Forget somebody being pissy today and look fifty years down the road or beyond.

When I met Tiny back in the 1980’s the fiddler’s picnics in Pennsylvania were filled to capacity. Every time I go back there are less musicians. We lost something at some point. The same happened to karate, going from tough training to a weird sort of day care where seven-year old kids get back belts without throwing a punch.

Keep an eye on frailingbanjo.com for updates on the new lessons, the book in progress and some other cool things we have in the works. I would share more details, but that would spoil the fun.

Right now I am off to do a bit of yard work and then scare the neighbors by practicing Modern Arnis on the heavy bag. Nice to know I can still throw a punch and make an even heavier blow with my sticks. I hope Ed Parker and Remy Presas will be watching my comeback!

Stay tuned!

God bless,
-Patrick

Pain, Pain and More Pain

So far quitting Suboxone has generated only minor side effects. I’m doing pretty good except for one thing – peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where your sensory nerves get damaged and start sending pain signals to your brain.

I am okay during the day, but when I try to sleep the pain jumps in and just kicks my ass all over the room. On a scale of 1 to 10 – with 10 being the worst pain ever – I was at about 15 last night. It got so bad last night that Dear Old Dad handed me a double shot of some seriously good Irish Whiskey. It helped.

I see my doctor on the 27th, but from what I have read there are not many effective treatments for peripheral neuropathy. I am guessing that I will have to learn to live with the pain and/or look for alternative therapies.

I could wring my hands and cry, “oh woe is me”, but that never accomplishes anything. My hands still work and my head is clear. I’ll keep on fighting.

Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. We’re taking her to Salisbury for the Chinese Buffet and shopping at the Hobby Lobby – she loves that.

On Monday I turn 49. Dear Old Dad is going to drive me to Assateauge, and then we will pick up the heavy bag and other equipment for the backyard dojo.

The Daily Frail will be back on Tuesday.