Welcome to Banjo Butch. This blog shares my music with other instrumentalists who are learning to play. My personal videos of how to play songs and my own tablature are all FREE. But if you find something here that helps you, please consider donating a small gift to one of my sponsored ministries. Thanks! Banjo Butch

Monday, August 30, 2010

Watch a quick video of my short term mission trip to Spain

Today I added a short video about my short term mission trip to Spain in May. The video is at the top of my page called "The Youth Camp in Spain". I think you will like it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More free banjo videos added

The other day I added a dozen new banjo videos to my blog. As with the rest of the music on my web page, these are all completely free, but if my blog helps you, please consider making a small donation to the L'Arcada Camp or to my church's missionary support fund. Thanks in advance.

Butch Bost

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Added more videos

I added more videos today.  I have been reworking my blog to get it a little neater.  Now I have separate pages for my banjo and guitar videos rather than having them all on the same page.  Once I got the pages in place I could FINALLY get around to doing what I have been wanting to do, which is to upload more videos!    Butch

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How my blog works.

The way my blog works is that all of my music, instructional videos, and tablature, etc. are free.  However, if you would like (as a token of thanks) to make a small donation to one of my sponsored strategic missions, please do!

Thank you


Friday, August 6, 2010

Finished adding my tablature sheets.

It took a lot longer than I expected to upload the tablature for 8 of my banjo arrangements, but I "gotter done!"  They are at the bottom of my blog and are in alphabetical order.  You can also use "Edit" . . . "Find on this page" to search for a word in the song title.  Enjoy!

That is all I will try to do for today.  I have already uploaded all of the "pretty" tabs that I made a decade ago, and one fairly "rough" tab from one of the two books where I write down my arrangements and my original music.

As with the rest of the music on my web page, the tabs are all completely free, but if my tablature helps you, please consider making a small donation to L'Arcada or to my church's missionary support fund.  Thanks in advance.

I hope that my tabs and videos make it easier for you to learn a song!

I figured out how to add my tablature!

I just now figured out how to add the tablature of my arrangements!  They are currently at the bottom of my blog in alphabetical order.  This will work for now.  You should be able to easily read them from your computer screen.  Later on I will try to figure out how to make them easier for you to print.

There is obviously no cost to you to use my tablature, since you can see it for free.  But if any of my music helps you, please consider giving a small donation to one of my featured ministries, or at least remember to use my Amazon Searchbox to make your next Amazon purchase.

Thanks in advance for your support!

My Guitar and Banjo Videos

I hope to soon make it easier for you to see a list all of my free music videos directly from this page, but for now the best way is to click on any of my YouTube links on this page.  Once you are at one of my YouTube videos, to see the whole list just click on my name, which is below the video and it will take you to the page that lists all of my videos.  It only shows a few of them until you click on the drop-down button.

The goal of my videos is to have the camera close to my left hand so that you can see what I am doing.  Occasionally I also show my right hand so that you can see what it is doing.  On my banjo videos I also try to play them slowly to make it easier to see what I am doing. 

In the future I hope to add places to get a sheet with the words and chords.  Since that is copyright stuff, I can't post the ones I have.  I will ask my Praise Band leader where he gets ours.

There are lots of great videos that you can watch to learn to play Praise Music and Banjo.  I plan to also add links to those on my blog. 

I also want to create and upload more videos on how to play church music on the banjo.  When I was first learning I searched and searched for a good book of Scruggs style banjo playing hymns, like "Are You Washed" and "Power in the Blood."  I know how to play lots of them now and several years ago I created some beautiful tablature for quite a few of them.  I plan to post them on my page and ask you to give a small donation to one of my sponsored ministries for each one that you download.  I will probably also post some tabs that are not so nice, but hopefully they will be readable.

I hope my videos make it easier for you to learn songs.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Don't lose your finger picks!

When I was first learning to play the banjo around December 1973, I bought some National brand finger picks.  I think they may have been a dollar each.  Shortly after buying them, I lost them and had to go back for more.  This time I bought extras.  But I also made a little bag out of denim and hung it on my banjo.  I always put my picks in the bag when I take them off.  Consequently, I have never lost any, other than those first two.  Somebody told me that the National picks that I bought then are now worth about $50 each, so I don't plan to sell my extra ones in case I need them sometime.  My pick bag has lasted all these years.  You can see it hanging from my banjo in my photo taken by the Cow Pasture River near Clifton Forge, VA.  My wife's family has reunions there.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Banjo that Butch Built.

As a preschooler I loved for my mom to read "The House that Jack Built," so I titled this posting "The Banjo that Butch Built."  As a college student, I couldn't afford an expensive banjo, so I got the idea of building myself a nice quality banjo.  But it was a few years later, after I was married and started having kids that I finally got around to it.  I was inspired by the instructions to build a banjo that are found in Earl Scruggs

I bought the fret wire from Elderly Instruments.  I designed the pearl inlays.
I found a used tone ring at a local junk store (no longer in business).  I got lucky.  It has a great sound.  The other metal parts came from Elderly Instruments.
The body of the banjo is out of multiple woods and crossed with veneers similar to what is illustrated in the Earl Scruggs book.
Clear mylar heads are pretty common on banjos now.  Got mine from Elderly Instruments.
A man in my hometown (Newton, NC) helped me get started by giving me some curly maple and showing me HOW to put a rod in the neck of an instrument to apply tension to offset the tension of the strings.
The back is curly maple inlayed with various other woods.
The neck is two pieces of curly maple with 3 layers of veneer between to make the stripes on the back of the neck.

Download a song for only 99 cents

Did you know that you can download a song for only 99 cents from Amazon.com ?  Sometimes if I need to learn a song for church, I will download the song.  Then I can play it right on my computer, or burn it to a disk.  They call this an mp3 download.  For example, here is where a person could download Laura Story's "Immortal, Invisible" song:

I'll Fly Away (Banjo at camp in Spain)

Here is another video of the time I played my banjo at the camp (L'Arcada) near Barcelona in Spain.  The kids had decorated the interior of the huge tent to make it look like an ancient cathedral.  I was dressed as one of the monks.  This was part of the Adventure Camp week.  They also have weeks devoted to Native Americans, basketball, Family Camp, etc.  http://www.youtube.com/user/ButchBost#p/u/15/h3-zyi4d230

Immortal, Invisible by Laura Story (Guitar)

Here is how I play "Immortal, Invisible" by Laura Story.  This is not the traditional hymnbook song.  It has totally different words and music, but similar theme.  It won awards.  Pardon my playing mistakes.  Like many of my other videos, this was a quick-and-dirty recording in order to teach another guy in my church the song so that he could play on a Sunday that I was going to miss.

About Laura Story:  Laura is an awesome song writer.  We at my church feel a close connection to her, because she was once a member of Silers Bald, along with two guys who grew up in our church (Shane and Marcus), one of which is the son of J. Wayne in our praise band.  J. Wayne's other son (David) managed the group.  They created some great worship music and did a lot of ministry at youth camps, etc.  Also, I feel a close connection to Laura because she also plays bluegrass.  But I don't really know her personally.  Here is a link if you want to hear some samples of her music http://www.amazon.com/Great-God-Saves-Laura-Story/dp/B0013LKZW8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1280778103&sr=1-1

Our Praise Band

Our Praise Band currently just has three instruments:  me on the rythm guitar, Tom on the electric guitar, and Evelyn on the piano.  None of us lead the singing.  That is up to our 4 vocalists, J. Wayne, Linda, Eddie, and Shely.  In the past our group has typically also had a drummer and a bass.  Sometimes we also have had a trumpet and a sax.  Also, before I played rhythm guitar with the group, I played my banjo for over a year.  This was primarily doing contemporary music on the banjo, rather than doing gospel style songs.  The banjo worked well on most, but not all songs.  I also have played the mandolin from time to time with the group.

Jesus Messiah (Guitar)

Here is how I play "Jesus Messiah" by Tomlin, Cash, Carson, and Reeves:  http://www.youtube.com/user/ButchBost#p/u/3/p9nDaJTgRrY

Tony Trischka

Another book that I used during my first year of learning the banjo was by Tony Trischka.  It teaches the melodic banjo style.  If you aren't familiar with the term, it is the style that mimics the fiddle players.  In addition to being a good book, the recording that comes with it includes some good standard fiddle songs played on the banjo.  It is still sold on Amazon.  Click here if you want to see what it looks like:

Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs is my favorite banjo player.  I got started playing the banjo by teaching myself from his book, Earl Scruggs and the 5-String banjo.  That was back when I was in college.  The book is still sold on places like Amazon.  It teaches you the basics of how to read tablature, the basic rolls used on the banjo, has a great selection of songs as arranged by Earl Scruggs, and it is where I learned about D-tuners.  Also, it gives instructions on how to build a banjo.  I built a banjo mostly by what is described in this book.  I will upload some pictures of my banjo.  Click here if you want to see what it looks like: http://www.amazon.com/Earl-Scruggs-5-String-Banjo-Enhanced/dp/0634060430/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1280775873&sr=1-1 .

Welcome to Banjo Butch!

Welcome to Banjo Butch. My name is Butch Bost. I have been playing the guitar since I was 10 (1964) and the banjo since 1974. I play mostly bluegrass and gospel on the banjo and mostly praise music on the guitar, but I play lots of other music too on both instruments. I am creating this blog to share my music with other instrumentalists who are learning to play, especially for their church. I also want to use the blog for promoting support of missionaries. That's something that I have been doing just as long as I have been playing the banjo. I also take some short mission trips and have even used my banjo one time, such as when I played at an Christian camp located near Barcelona in Spain. Here's what that looked like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw7oYE2hAlc  At the end you will hear the kids cheering Rafa ... Rafa ...Rafa.  That is my name in Spain.  It is short for my real name, Ralph.  The fiddler is a young Spanish girl.  The guitar player is a neat Spanish man who does volunteer work at the camp.  Neither had played the song before I taught it to him.  The camp is called L'Arcada and the camp's web page is:  http://www.larcada.com/ing/ .  Kids from all over Spain attend each summer.  Counselers are young people from all over Spain, most of whom became Christians by attending the camp when they were younger.  This is one of the ministries I would like you to help me to support.  I attend Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC (actually in Irmo).  Here is their web page:  http://www.cornerstonesc.org/ .  I play guitar in the Praise Band there.  If you want to make a donation to L'Arcada or other ministries on my blog, you can send the donation to my church.  Just include a note saying it is for missions, or for L'Arcada or another ministry, and mention Banjo Butch on the note.  That way I can find out if my blog is making a difference.  Thanks for even considering a gift.  I hope that whether or not you give, you will take a minute to pray for L'Arcada.  It is introducing lots and lots of Spanish kids to Jesus and to the love of God.  Thanks!  Banjo Butch