I am really excited about hosting a bottleneck banjo workshop at the 2018 Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat!
Will will be posting the place and time of the workshop once everybody arrives at the Retreat.
What you need to bring to the workshop:
- Your banjo
- A bottleneck or steel
- An open mind and a can-do attitude!
You do not need to alter the setup of your banjo to play slide. I keep an extremely low action on all of my banjos and they all work great playing slide.
Shop around and try a few different types and styles of bottlenecks so that you can find the right slide for you and your banjo. Companies like Dunlop, Ernie Ball and D’Addario make lots of different types and styles of slides at prices cheap enough that you could end up building a collection of different slides.
If you want a slide that doubles as a functional works of art, check out Diamond Bottlenecks, Rocky Mountain Slides or Silica Sound.
If you are playing lap-style, you may be more comfortable with a bullet slide or tone bar.
For myself, I like glass slides. When I first started playing slide banjo I used inexpensive medicine bottle replicas. Now I use an inexpensive heavy glass slide that is too big for my little finger but it sounds and feels so good to my ears . . . well, BAHA.
I really want to splurge and get myself one of those blown glass custom slides, but every time I go to order one I talk myself out of it. What I have works. Why mess with success?
Back to the workshop: in addition to a slide, you will get more out of our workshop time together if you already have a little bit of knowledge. Start out with my Frailing The Blues DVD and then work your way through the slide workshops that have been part of The Daily Frail for the past ten years or so.
I think slide is an amazing addition to any banjo player’s toolbox. While my main focus is on frailing banjo, any banjo player with a slide is welcome to take part in the workshop.
If you have any questions feel free to post in the comments, email me or call Dear Old Dad at (410) 968-3873.
I can’t wait to make music with you at the Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat!