Lluis Gómez, influential Spanish banjo pioneer and long-time member of the Barcelona Bluegrass Band, has just published the first-ever banjo instruction book in Spanish. Manual de iniciación al banjo de cinco cuerdas (Manual for beginning the 5-string banjo) is now available from Dinsic Publications, with beginning lessons in both 3 finger and frailing technique.
Lluis composed the sections on bluegrass playing, and Toni Giménez did the old time. The songs are drawn from the popular bluegrass and traditional American folk repertoire, and a companion CD with all the songs and exercise (in both styles) is included. The 86 page book/CD sells for 28€.
Gómez tells us that when he started to play banjo, there were no Spanish language materials to be found. Being also a passionate banjo educator, the need for a book like this was obvious to him for some time, and its publication last week can only help to spread interest for the 5 string in the Spanish-speaking world.
We also picked up some Barcelona Bluegrass Band news from Lluis. Their next CD is set for release in March of 2011, and they were especially pleased to have Tony Trischka join them on two of Gomez’s instrumentals. The band recently played a couple of shows with Tony in Spain.
You can get a taste of their music in this track, which combines a number of Earl Scruggs classics in a clever and playful arrangement.
Blowing Groundspeed: [http://web.me.com/lluisgomez/Barcelona_Bluegrass_Band/M%C3%BAsica_files/01%20Blowing%20Groundspeed.mp3]
It’s always great to see bluegrass music thriving far from its native home.
Hat tip: Bluegrass Ireland Blog