Artist2Artist: Becky Buller – Life’s Education

Lisa Jacobi interviews Becky Buller at WoodsongsShe is so cute. Let me say that more loudly: SHE IS SO CUTE. 

and genuine.

and honest.

and transparent.

and rare.

I had the pleasure to interview Becky Buller on stage at doors open at her recent Woodsongs Coffee House show at Stage 123 in Dalton, Georgia. All of her best attributes come pouring out in our recorded conversation.

You gotta listen. The live audience loved our stage-chat too.

Listen to what Becky Buller says:


And, what a singing voice she has. In our interview, I’ve included music from her new album Tween Earth and Sky. The project was produced and engineered at Dark Shadow Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee by the gutsy-producer-decision-maker musical artist who sports a creative-engin-ear… Stephen Mougin (Mojo).

Becky and I talked about the young guns who roll out of the college bluegrass music programs and some of what she wished she had known and had worked on when she was fresh out of the program at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and joined Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike.

Becky BullerNow, Becky runs her own band, and finds herself as a mentor to the new musicians who come her way from some of those same, exact college programs. Add to that, when she is not touring she teaches and mentors students in violin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, piano, mandolin, bass through live online Skype lessons and private classes at her home in Tennessee.

I asked Becky if she wishes she could go back to college and share some of what she knows now as a professional musician.

Here’s a hint to what she gets at in the interview: We all need to keep schooling our musicality and stage craft.

But how? Aren’t most of us a “walking-to-do-list” trying to do our best to navigate the useless daily time-clutter that gets in our way?

Expanding on the guidance from Becky, kick the useless stuff to the curb, grab a recording of your favorite traditional or *new edge* bluegrass band, pick 30 seconds worth of a lick, and hammer it out daily for a week. Concentrate on swing, precision, clean noting, and spot-on intonation. Don’t move off that one lick until the week is done and you’ve committed it to muscle memory.

How do you know it is in the memory of the muscle? Your mind gets out of its own way.

Do this each week and by the end of the month (simple math) you’ll have 4 really good, authentic bluegrass licks. Rinse and repeat on the following months. You’ll be a killer side artist or band leader by the end of the year.

It’s what Becky did, does… still.

Thanks for reading and for listening… consider commenting below with your own Pearls of Wisdom on musical excellence, or thoughts about the interview. Becky and I would love to hear from you.