Well, here it is, December 31, the last day of 2014. And as Lester Flatt sang, “I’ve been sitting here thinking back over my life…” And what I was thinking this morning as I drank my coffee and read my favorite new author Louise Penny on my Kindle was, in fact, Roly Polys.  For me, […]

One of the comments prompted by my last blog: “Can you give me a quick explanation of the Roly Polys?” Well, you know me. I can definitely give you an explanation, I’m just not sure it will be quick! (We will have a DVD that demonstrates everything you want to know about Roly Polys coming […]

The release of the new Murphy Method HD-DVDs prompted the following conversation between Sweet Murphy and Grouchy Murphy: Sweet Murphy to Grouchy Murphy: Aren’t you excited about the new DVDs? In HD? They look great! Grouchy Murphy: Hell, no. Do you honestly think I can get excited about teaching all these songs again, on camera? […]

This post originally appeared on Banjo Hangout. Last week, we undertook one of the biggest projects in our business lives and re-recorded our Murphy Method Beginning Banjo DVDs in high definition (HD), with amazing sound. I never thought I would be doing those again in this lifetime! This makes the third time Red and I […]

Casey and I are excited that our Intermediate Banjo Camp is coming up soon in Winchester, Va. We’ve been in the Banjo Camp Bid-ness (as we say in the South) only a few short years and we look forward to this cozy, intimate weekend, working closely with about 20 students. We are proud to say […]

We just finished up our SIXTH Beginning Banjo Camp here in Winchester. I had one of the best groups of intermediate beginners ever, and this was mainly due to their own hard work before the camp. They all had learned their prerequisites and they all knew their vamp chords which made playing together so much […]

I’ve taught at many bluegrass camps down through the years, and one thing I noticed early on is that the various instruments have little common ground when it comes to tunes. Tunes that are easy for the fiddle or mandolin, like Liberty or Soldier’s Joy, are not easy for the banjo. Many lead guitar players […]

ASIDE: (Putting this first so you’ll read it!) Dan and I have recently started working on playing melody-based breaks. (He had met my prerequisites: being able to play Roly Poly breaks in the jam in the key of G and the key of open C and knowing the core Scruggs repertoire and being able to […]

Tip Jar Jam: When The Roll Is Called Uncloudy Day (Psst: The title is not a typo. Read the blog. All will be revealed.) Well, we didn’t have a Tip Jar Jam on Wednesday because, first of all it snowed. Then after I had ratcheted up my courage to drive into town in the snow […]

I interrupt my playing with Dalton to bring you this blog! Our Wednesday night jam was really different this time. Of course, all jams have their own flavour (to use Brit spelling!) but Wednesday we started off with just two jammers, Diane on guitar and David on banjo. So, guess who I’ll be talking about? […]