Oh Oh Oh Banjo · 29 January 2022

Learning to play the banjo is lots of fun. Especially since nobody has yet said, “Oh oh oh.”

I got a banjo for Christmas last year (just over a month ago). The wrapping paper said, “HO HO HO” which also looks like “OH OH OH” since it was in ALL CAPS. My wife, the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi (who must approve of all posts where I mention her), was the one who noted that oh, oh, oh might be appropriate. Even though she was the one who gave me the present, she knew that my playing might cause herself and the others in my family to say, “Oh oh oh.” (Or maybe “Yakamashi!” Which means, “You’re being too loud so be quiet for your own good.” But that is another story.) I do not know if anybody has said, “Oh oh oh,” yet, but I have certainly enjoyed playing my new stringed instrument.

I got a book to go along with the banjo. I have just skimmed it so far, but I am looking forward to using it more and more. Which I know is old fashioned, but I like books. There is something about them. Maybe it is that they seem more permanent than the internet. (Even though the internet is forever.)


I started off playing a few things on the banjo from lessons I found on the internet. My favorite online banjo teacher started me off with some simple picking patterns and learning the song Cripple Creek in just a few lessons. Three. Which is very cool. But those three lessons pointed me back to my book. I needed it to figure out the picking pattern for the song. I mostly had the first part, but not the second. The guy was a bit too quick on that third lesson. Ah well. (By the way, I have it down now. Apparently, I just needed a bit more practice. And watching the video over and over and over.)

So why would I want to learn the banjo? I am so glad you asked.

I love music. I especially like stringed instruments. I have three guitars and a mandolin and now a banjo. I cannot play any of them that well, but I like to play them. Especially guitar. But I have always been amazed at the banjo. It has some draw for me.

I suppose it was the way it sounded on the old TV show, Hee Haw. Roy Clark and Buck Owens pickin’ and grinnin’ was always a hoot. And as ridiculous as the show was at times, I enjoyed hearing Roy Clark play any and seemingly every stringed instrument. (I think I really only heard him play guitar and banjo. Not at the same time.)

Maybe that is what draws me to stringed instruments. I just loved the way Roy Clark used to play so beautifully. He was a master at both guitar and banjo. And I was always fascinated by both his pickin’ and his grinnin’.

Well, I will certainly never be like Roy Clark was on either the guitar or banjo, but I do enjoy learning how to play them both. Maybe one day I will even learn a few songs on the banjo. But regardless of how many songs I ultimately learn, I am having lots of fun. And so far I have not heard anybody say, “Oh, oh, oh.”

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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