Buegrassian Questionnaire with Roger Siminoff
Today's column from Cameron Little
Saturday, May 18, 2013
(A continuing series of interviews I’ve based loosely on the “Proust Questionnaire” - bluegrass style!)
Key in a quick Google of Roger Siminoff and you’ll immediately find yourself neck deep in his accomplishments and passions as a luthier, teacher, historian, prolific author, musician, designer, inventor, builder, master craftsman, collector, publisher, founder of Pickin’ and Frets magazines, long-time columnist for the Banjo Newsletter magazine and the California Bluegrass Association Breakdown, and avid sailor. And just to make sure you don’t think he’s resting on his laurels, Roger is currently working on two more books, continuing his research into musical acoustics, and is in the process of developing new products. Let’s hear from the master himself:
Question: What was your first instrument and when did you get it?
Roger Siminoff: Stella mandolin purchased new in 1957.
Q: What bluegrass event or recording first "blew your mind"?
Siminoff: Going to Carnegie Hall on September 16, 1961 to hear and see the Country Gentlemen live.
Q: What was it that made you want to try your hand at building instruments?
Siminoff: I've always had a strong interest in making things. I built my first banjo in 1958 and made practically every part on it. I really enjoyed the process and was looking for another instrument-building project, so I bought an old Gibson tenor banjo and made a 5-string neck for it.