barnes blog

banjo samadhi

i had a bit of an epiphany a couple of nights ago, playing with a fairly large ensemble in a rock/country type format.

orville johnson represents musicians at middle school career day

orville johnson is a friend of mine from seattle. he is a great guitarist singer and songwriter. he was asked to speak at career day at a local middle school. orville was pleasantly surprised by the experience and as he told me about it, we agreed it would be cool to write a little piece about it for folktronics.

Orville writes:

Career Day at Meadowdale Middle School

a method for learning about new things


a method for learning about new things

a little experiment that i run from time to time involves asking five or ten friends, to make a list of three new things they are into. it's a very interesting thing to try.

a re-appreciation of captain beefheart's trout mask replica

and the potential applications of Its experimental ideas in american country musics


for some years this record has been in my mind. I became aware of it in the middle seventies, although it was released some years prior, in 1969. a very interesting albeit strange friend of my oldest brother adored this record and couldn't speak of it without laughing. it became one of my all time favorite musical works and my vote for one of the greatest recordings ever. there is something so far out in the music on this thing.

music syllabus


music syllabus

I. scales

II. chords

III. reading

IV. repertoire

my music syllabus is not the only way a person could look at learning to play, but it is a possible overview. this outline could be adapted for mandolin, banjo and other fretted instruments.

when i get where i'm going

there's something really cool that happens when i get to the destination on a music trip. usually the two days prior to departure are spent getting everything ready and all that and there' s not much practice time. the travel day is typically pretty long.

how to amplify a banjo

Here's some thoughts on how to amplify a banjo.
These are just ideas and my intention isn't to come off as a know-it-all, but just to toss out some concepts. If you are already getting a sound, you don't need my advice, but if you are having trouble, think about the following.