How to Get the Best Use of BANJO-L
by Carroll Smith
The Following was posted to BANJO-L on Mon, 5 Mar 2001 by Carroll Smith, who has graciously given us permission to post it here.
As someone that started banjo after age 50 I know first hand the
frustrations and difficulties of being a beginner. I have been on this list
for several years now and I cannot overstate how valuable it has been to me
and how much I have enjoyed meeting so many people. On more than one
occasion I have said something that turned out to be dead wrong and I have
been corrected, sometimes rather bluntly. I have learned to appreciate those
corrections. I treasure bluntness.
Here are a few suggestions on how to get the most from the list (in no
If anyone wants to add to these suggestions, have at it!
- Use the subject line to its fullest. If it says Digest or even left blank,
many people delete without ever reading the post.
- Introduce yourself so we have a chance at answering a question. There are
many kinds of banjos and banjoists on the list everywhere from the newest of
newbies to 50 year veterans (yes! it is possible! ) Be sure to say if you
are a wannabe bluegrasser or old time frailer, or a classic music student,
- Understand that it takes time and effort to give a good answer and that
people may say things in ways that might be more understandable if they had
all day to do it. If something is unclear, ask again, gently.
- Always assume good will on the part of everyone unless proven otherwise.
This will reduce the number of posts that you will have to apologise for
- If the subject is complicated, or you are angry, save the post overnight
and look it over again before posting. This is not a chat room. You can take
- Know the list rules and stick with them.
- Try not to ask questions that are easily answered by yourself. (Spend a
little time with multi-search engines such as www.dogpile.com before asking
for a web site addie for example.)
- Accept that if you are active on list, any list, sooner or later you are
going to say something that is going to annoy someone. It is not a crime.
Work it out and move on.
- Always thank anyone that gives you a really good answer or suggestion,
generally off list. Everybody enjoys an attaboy. Don't overlook the
opportunity to make someone happy they spent the time to help you.
- Remember to have fun. If you do others will too.