Daily Dojo

A frog in a well cannot conceive of the ocean.

Our thought for the day comes from the writings of Chuang Tzu.

A frog in a well cannot conceive of the ocean.


Chuang Tzu

The quote is highly Americanized. Like most ancient Chinese writings, English translations vary depending on who does the translating.

The quote itself comes from the seventeenth chapter of Chuang Tzu’s writings.


Zo, (the Spirit-lord) of the Northern Sea, said, ‘A frog in a well cannot be talked with about the sea;– he is confined to the limits of his hole. An insect of the summer cannot be talked with about ice;– it knows nothing beyond its own season.


Chuang Tzu

It goes on from there for quite a bit, and it is worth a read.

The quote itself . . . what does it mean? Are we confined by what we think we know? Limited by what we think we can do?

Daily Dojo

Today’s quote comes from Yamamoto Tsunetomo.

There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.


Yamamoto Tsunetomo

How would this apply to the study of music? Think about the efforts people put into finding shortcuts . . . Lots to ponder with this one.

Daily Dojo

Our dojo thought for the day comes from the one and only Ed Parker.

“Traditionalists often study what is taught, not what there is to create.”

Ed Parker

Is he right? Is he wrong? Think about this while you practice today.

Lost and Found

A few days ago I got a message from Shoebox telling me to download my photographs because the company was going out of business and the images were scheduled for deletion.

This was surprising. I do not remember Shoebox.

I managed to log in and discovered thousands of photographs I had thought long lost. Nearly every moment Amy and I photographed at home or traveling in our time together.

My memory is kind of unusual in that I can remember moments so clearly that I can sort of rewind the tape in my brain and watch it all over again. Not just images but tastes, textures, emotions and things like that. Because of this I was not worried about losing this archive . . . but rolling through the pictures has been nice.

I look forward to the day when these photographs and memories will not hurt so bad, but I fear that will be a long time coming.

The Book In Progress

I usually write shockingly fast. I wrote The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo over the space of a raucous caffeine and nicotine fueled weekend.

My current writing project is happening at a much slower pace. Partly due to events in my life over the past year, and partly because the subject matter is more personal. This time around I am writing about the things that happened as I was learning to make music.

As work progresses, I have been posting the rough drafts of each chapter for my Patreon sponsors. While I was having difficulty typing the chapters were handwritten and scanned. Now that I can use a keyboard again, we are finishing up the remaining chapters, going through the drafts and beginning the process of putting the finished work together.

None of this work would see the light of day if it was not for my father. He has been both editor and confidante from time I started talking in general terms of telling this story. I am lucky to have such a friend/

Today we decided to post the rough draft of what will be the first chapter of the book here as well as Patreon to give all of you a peek into this project.

Chapter One: The Guitar Girl

Patreon sponsors have access to the work in progress. It has been a lot of fun writing a book in such an open fashion! When the book is finished, sponsors will get free copies of the full ebook before it goes on sale. Learn more at: https://www.patreon.com/Dobro33H

New Chapter Uploaded!

Patreon sponsors take note, the book is back on track! A new chapter was uploaded today.

From the post on Patreon:

When I started the project, I was unable to type more than a few sentences without passing out. it was interesting from a neurological viewpoint, but it made things impossible for creative work. I am always willing to change how I work to get around a problem, so I started writing this new book by hand.

Reams of paper and worn out pencils later I found myself quitting Suboxone. The withdrawal process was torture, but at the end I was able to type again.

I was not expecting this, but I’ll take it!

My father already transcribed my handwritten work to the computer, so now I am knocking the rough edges from that as well as writing new chapters on the computer.

While work has been slower than I would like, I do think the finished product will be worth the effort. A book of true stories centering around my adventures learning music.

Copycat Losers

The first episode of The Banjo Dojo has yet to be released and we already have wannabe banjo gurus trying to imitate the project.

Anyway, The Banjo Dojo will be going live soon. Accept no substitutes!