Nothing says "dropping out of society" like learning the banjo.
--Daniel Roth, "O Brother! Daniel Roth Goes to Banjo Camp and Learns to Play Along," Jan. 21, 2002
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If you're anything like me, the decision to play the five-string banjo can seem a solitary pursuit. No one I knew played the instrument, and it wasn't until I was a couple years into playing that I met others among the banjo afflicted. However, I found solace in an online community dedicated to banjo players, the Banjo Hangout.
At the BHO, as we regulars refer to it as, I found a whole army of banjo players from all walks of life. There are professionals willing to share advice, banjo builders who share their projects, instrument experts to give flash appraisals, and fellow novices to share in the journey of learning to play all kinds of music. Consider it as the Facebook for the banjo enthusiast.
The Banjo Hangout helped me buy my first banjo, helped me realize I actually wanted to play old-time and not bluegrass, and then helped me find the builder of my current banjo. If you have any kind of question relating to the banjo, this is the quickest resource to find an answer.
What I found at this online forum for banjo lovers is that learning the banjo is far from "dropping out of society," as Daniel Roth wrote in 2002, but instead dropping into a whole new community where people value traditions and sharing knowledge.