10 Signs You Should Be Playing the Banjo

by Carolina Bridges

Bet you didn’t know that there are 10 very clear signs that you should be playing the banjo! Yes! So let’s start at the bottom, just like they do at those “cool” radio shows.

I will begin with #10 and move back to number one. Just to get your attention…#10 is that when you hear “Dueling Banjos” you move TOWARDS the sound instead of running for your life in the other direction!

9. You put on a bluegrass or folk music CD and play “air banjo” with only your dog watching in wonderment at your outlandish movements…and asking why you keep forgetting to give him a dog treat for his efforts! Give the dog his treats…and get to a store in your area to touch and play one…it will be lots more satisfying.

8. You find yourself visiting music stores and secretly wandering over to the banjo section while no one is looking! Clearly you prefer to keep your desire for a banjo secret but the idea of playing a banjo compels you to move closer to the “real” thing!

7. Your heroes are men like Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Pete Seeger, The Kingston Trio, Bach…what, did you say Bach? Believe it or not, you CAN play classical music on a banjo. We have a book called “Bach for Banjo” that we think the master would totally approve of.   If you doubt this, you should review any of the wonderful classical renderings by Jens Kruger on banjo at YouTube.com.

6. You like attending bluegrass or folk festivals and will travel for miles and miles and miles and miles just to do it! This is just the beginning of what we shall call “banjo fever” which can only be cured by eventually owning and playing a banjo! (Note: the actual prescription to cure “banjo fever” is 30 minutes a day of playing a banjo… It’s kind of like physical therapy only more fun…)

5. You find reading the Banjo Hangout on the internet an enjoyable exercise in exploring the mysteries of banjo. Here you see kindred spirits who have “passed beyond the veil” and gone through to discover the joys of making music and the camaraderie that happens because of their love for music and playing the banjo.

4. You get the Deering email newsletter…and like it! The newsletter features banjo playing tips. These tips on how to play banjo begin to make the longing possible. “You CAN play banjo…see, here’s how!” they tell you over and over again.

3. You have the Deering website as one of your “favorites.” You long to read all about the over 130 various models of banjos we make. Each one has an allure of its own…you actually have a CHOICE at the Deering website!

2. You know the toll free number at Deering by heart! You call the friendly folks to ask as many questions as you like. They actually LIKE to talk to you and enjoy your enthusiasm.

1. You know the names of the folks at Deering who answer the call line! OK…now you have a friend at the other end that will help you make a good choice, send you to where you can buy it at a good price, and even be there when you have one and want MORE advice. It’s like “banjo heaven” where all things are possible.

OK…get ready, get set, and GO buy that banjo! No…unlike those fancy car commercials we can’t guarantee that the chicks will love it…but have you noticed how many beautiful women are playing the banjo these days?


Kristin Scott Benson chooses the Deering Golden Series banjos
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