My brief tenor banjo career

Brief but symphonic.

During the first pandemic summer I asked my wife for a cheap tenor banjo for my birthday. These are tuned like a viola and smaller than the traditional five-string banjos used for bluegrass. Instead of fingerpicking patterns with the right hand like bluegrass banjos are famous for, tenor banjo players strum chords with a pick for volume as a rhythm instrument. When you hear a banjo in old-timey jazz, that’s a tenor. (Around the time the ground was being laid for bebop, Charlie Christian…

Playing jazz bass

A brief crash course.

I enjoy writing short tutorials to get people started on something that may have seemed intimidating to them before, and I thought it might be fun to write up something that isn’t related to software but that I have thought a lot about in the last 15 years: jazz bass playing.

Having a Blue Ridge Christmas

They're playing my song!

A few months ago I saw a call for contributions of recordings of original holiday songs for a CD to be called “A Charlottesville Songwriters Christmas” to benefit a local charity. Around here there seems to be a law that when you name a business you have to name it either Jefferson (whatever), Piedmont (whatever), or Blue Ridge (whatever), so I decided to write a song whose name is a variation on “Blue Christmas” called “Blue Ridge Christmas.” I thought about…