New book going to press (or) You ain’t seen nothing yet!

Patrick Costello On Frailing Banjo
Book One
The Mechanics of Frailing Banjo

We will be sending the first book in the series to our printer this weekend.
The web-enhanced material is just about complete.
The new website is almost ready.

These books include an unprecedented level of support through all volumes.
Patrick will be right there with you page by page and song by song explaining, demonstrating and encouraging you to play the banjo!

Here is a peek at the front and back covers

More later
Peace to all,
Pat Costello (Dear Old Dad) (and damn proud of it)

Cover for The Mechanics of Frailing Banjo

Cover for The Mechanics of Frailing Banjo

Foggy Mountain Fakedown

I love seeing this.

I know that it seems hard to imagine now, but not too long ago people were convinced that it was impossible to play bluegrass tunes using the technique of frailing.

People talked about doing it and some professionals pretended to do it, but nobody was really making it work until I posted my first Foggy Mountain Fakedown workshop.

Now it is everywhere. Banjo students of all levels rip through the song and nobody blinks. What had been a song exclusive to fingerpicking banjo technique is now a frailing standard.

I am not ashamed of being proud about that.

Spring Comes and I’m Still Working

The project that started out as a simple touch up on my first book The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo wound up growing into a much more audacious project. I do not want to say much more than that for the moment, but I have to admit that I am pretty excited. After being so sick for so long it is nice to be back in a head space where I can write again. Pooka kitten curls up on my lap, a tall glass of unsweetened iced tea and I find myself talking through the keyboard again. Every batch of new pages goes to Dear Old Dad and he happily edits my work leaving notes like (“WTF? Clarify!”) on some pages and the work goes on. It is wonderful.

In other news, Dear Old Dad and I are podcasting again. Now that I am getting my strength back we can finally produce a show along the lines of what we wanted to do with Keys to the Highway. The new show did not have a name when we started and that lack of a name wound up becoming the name of the show. The Podcast That Needs A Name goes live every Thursday on Mixcloud. We really like the Mixcloud platform because it pays royalties to the artists and gives us the freedom to do pretty much whatever we want. Any given week you can expect to hear whatever we are listening to this week. We do not play a kind of music or a genre of music. We just play good music. We also read weird recipes, give music workshops and laugh at each other. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to be doing this with Dear Old Dad.

We are not hosting any workshops or retreats this year, but we are planning to attend Chester County Old Fiddler’s Picnic. Come out and jam with us. It’s a nice little festival.

My fiddle playing has been coming along a little bit at a time. I don’t practice as much as I would like, but I have been playing along with my old banjo workshops. I guess I really am teaching myself to play.

That is all for now. I am still working to wrap up the new book. I will post more information once we get to the printer. I will try to knock out a new Daily Frail video as time allows.

Keep on picking. I love each and every one of you.

God bless,

Four Million Banjos

It seems that we just passed another milestone. I was giving our YouTube stats a quick glance and I noticed that, as of this morning, our videos have been viewed 4,119,511 times.

Four million views. The number is enough to make me dizzy.

I thought it would be fun to mark this milestone by posting five of my favorite videos in the series:

Old Time Banjo – Part Eight
Playing and singing with my dad is so much fun.

The Subway Shuffle
The guitar lick that helped me decipher country blues.

Folk Song of the Day 8/13/07
A guitar workshop, and a story about at rose.

The Daily Frail – video edition for 6/19/07
Blues banjo far too early in the morning.

Folk Song of the Day 6/20/07
I really did run out into the rain just before filming this.

Because it’s hard to pick just five, here is one extra:
Weekly Workshop 11/25/07
Dear Old Dad gives a tenor banjo workshop while I fix the toilet.

These are my favorite videos at the moment. Post your favorites in the comments.

Thanks to all of you for being part of this amazing journey.

God bless,

Yes! We Have Books In Stock

The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo

Dear Old Dad been shipping books like crazy to Amazon, but they sell as fast as they get there. If you are looking for a copy of The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo, Songs For Sunday or A Book of Five Strings head over to Pik-Ware Publishing to place your order or call (410) 968-3873.

For the best value, be sure to check out our world famous Learn To Frail Package!

Pik-Ware also has a great selection of DVD workshops and the ebook edition of This Is Not A Banjo!



Spicing Things Up

How, where, when and why to use salt and pepper techniques like hammer-on’s, pull-off’s, bends and slides. I use Wildwood Flower as an example. You can find an easy to play tab for the song in The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo.

The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo is available from Pik-Ware Publishing or Amazon. The book is also freely available online under a Creative Commons license.

If you are visually impaired, I also have Wildwood Flower – and other tunes – in a format that works with a braille display. Email for more information.