Lesson #011, Introduction to John Henry

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lesson #011, Introduction to John Henry

Hey Everyone,

In this segment I thought I'd tell you the story about John Henry, "The Steel Drivin Man", and play the version that you'll be learning so you can hear the song and story in the same segment. I think it's important to know the story behind John Henry because the song ties into music perfectly for your first song. To visualize him swinging his hammer and to internalize the sound that he was making when he hit that hammer on the spike. He was making a consistent beat when he hit the hammer to the spike. He had that timing.... that timing that enabled him to beat that steam drill. Timing is probably the most important thing to understand when you are learning to play an instrument. When you hear and feel that beat inside you and hear the timing of it all, then you have learned one of the most important things in playing the banjo!


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About Me

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In 2009, at the age of 60, I decided to learn to play the 5-string banjo. I searched the internet for lessons and struck gold when I found David Cavage's free banjo lessons at Musicmoose.org. His video hosting site revver.com was having some serious problems at the time so I downloaded as many of the lessons as I could whenever they became available. Revver.com stopped operating shortly afterwards and, sadly, Musicmoose.org is no more. I contacted David early 2020 and he told me he no longer had the original master videos and feared they may have been lost forever. This amazing course of free banjo lessons, from absolute beginner to advanced player, is too good to be forgotten, so this is my attempt to get David's work back out there again so that he can teach, inspire and spread the joy of banjo pickin' to more generations of budding musicians, just like he did with me. I've rounded up all the Moose stuff I could find and put it here, so start pickin' and enjoy!-------MooseHerder.