Home Authors Posts by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith
6 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
Ben Smith is the founder and editor of Oldtime Central. As an ethnomusicologist, applied anthropologist, luthier, and oldtime musician, he is particularly interested in nurturing the oldtime community worldwide.

Latest

A Reasoned Defense of Notation in Oldtime Music

There is some controversy in oldtime communities around the use of musical notation – both tablature and standard notation – in learning tunes. What role does notation have? Is it ok to learn a tune from the page? Or is it...

Rhona Dalling

Rhona Dalling is a fiddle player and songwriter from Newcastle Upon Tyne. She was early introduced to the folk scene by her musician father: an accordionist, songwriter and performer. With Scottish and Northumbran heritage as her upbringing, she in recent years discovered...

Finding My Tribe

Most of my life, I never felt like I had a tribe.   I was always an outlier. I was voted “Most Intellectual” in ninth grade in one of the worst schools in one of the worst school districts...

Depression Era Country Guitar

While it would be a fool's errand to try and count all the instructional books on, say, bluegrass fiddle, blues guitar, or clawhammer banjo, the number of books on oldtime backup guitar fits pretty comfortably on two hands, and that's if...

Banjo Roots and Branches: Exploring the African Roots

This is post 1 of 4 in the series Banjo Roots and Branches. When I started learning how to play the banjo in 2006, I was unaware of the rich and complex history of the...