Béla and Earl

BMIBMI’s Music World, an online publication of the venerable performing rights organization, has a new article up that features an interview of Earl Scruggs by Béla Fleck.

They plug the interview as being about composing – not surprising since they are both BMI writers – but the pair of  banjo pickers covered a good bit of ground in their brief exchange.

BF: So back before, when you were just working on your banjo playing on your own, how much would you play? What was the typical day of playing?

ES: Well, that varied… I was in school… we were on the farm… we’d have to milk cows, feed the mules and slop the hogs, as they call it, and if you had any time left, you’d probably get in a few minutes with the banjo.

I was sitting picking one day, and I’d pick with thumb and index finger‚Ķand all of a sudden, I was adding that one-two-three thing‚Ķand I thought, “Dang, that sounds good.” My oldest brother – he didn’t know I could pick with three fingers on that banjo – he said, “Is that all you can pick?” A little streak of electricity went up my spine. I didn’t know if I could pick anything else or not.

Great stuff. Read the full interview online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.