Do you want to play on the bay?

A local arts group is setting up a summer concert series at our new city dock.
They have asked us to help find some suitable talent.

If you would like to throw your hat in the ring get up with me asap.

Pat Costello (Dear Old Dad)

Clawhammer vs. Frailing Site Updated

I have pulled some more stuff from the archives and added it to the collection posted on Clawhammer vs. Frailing.

In addition to the infamous four-part essay that generated the site, Clawhammer vs. Frailing has become a sort of library of my favorite musings on the craft of making music. Some of my favorite essays in the collection include:

Have fun!

God bless,


Update From Alex

Alex writes:
Hey Patrick,

I thought I would give you an update on how my banjo was going.. which seems to be really well. Still completely enjoying playing this wonderful instrument. I did my first proper gig on banjo last weekend and it went down really well with the crowds at a beer festival. (The beer probably helped!)

I’ve managed to put together some recordings with a couple of friends. Working at the recordings is really helping me improve, gives me a real focus to my practice and listening to myself seems to be helping my singing particularly!

If you are interested there is a soundcloud playlist up here:

Also I’ve started posting a few clips on on you tube:

Anyhow thanks again for your inspiring playing and teaching.

Frailing Banjo with Bluegrass Drive & Phrasing

At the workshop the other day my dear friend Cliff asked me for some help with the phrasing found in my workshops like Foggy Mountain Fakedown and That Funky C7 Lick.

We covered some of the material at the event, but it is such a huge topic that we agreed to meet in Crisfield for a one-on one workshop. I’m going to make soup and we’ll go over the rhythmic and phrasing intricacies out on the front porch, It’ll be a hoot.

Anyway, I was gathering up some old workshop material for Cliff and thought I would share this handful of audio and video workshops on getting bluegrass drive and phrasing from the basic frailing strum.

As always, in most of these workshops I try to break things down to make things easy to understand, but in oder to make this material work you will need a strong command of your basic skills. if you need help in these areas, check out A Book Of Five Strings and my Basic Frailing Techniques DVD.

Have fun!

FMB lick workshop

That funky C7 hammer-on lick

Big Blue D

Frailing Bluegrass

The Daily Frail 7/16/09

The Daily Frail 9/14/2010

Blue Frail