Meeting Alan Munde

An Interview With Banjo Legend

Alan Munde

Alan Munde & Dave Jakubiak

Alan Munde & Dave Jakubiak

On the weekend of January 28th, 2012, I had the honor of hosting banjo legend Alan Munde at my Fretmentor workshop for banjo, guitar, mandolin and fiddle players.  Additional instructors at this event included Byrone Berline, a fiddle legend, and Jim Hurst on guitar.

What made this a special event is that I have studied Alan’s banjo style since the day I first started playing the banjo.  That was back in 1970.  I read about Alan, studied his various musical transcriptions, and listened to some of the best banjo albums (such as Alan Munde’s Banjo Sandwich) that I have ever heard.  I never imagined at the time that I would be hosting Alan at my home in my lifetime.

Alan Munde's Thank You Note

Alan Munde’s Thank You Note

Now, as we adjust the clock forty two years later, I had the pleasure of sitting down and picking a couple of tunes with Alan Munde,  as well as Elliot Rodgers, one of Alan’s music partners.   In addition to the workshop, we had the opportunity to walk our beaches here in Jupiter, Florida and enjoy some of the restaurants in the area.  He was a great guest and one of the most humble musicians I have met.

AlanJupiterFloridaNext, we sat down and I conducted an interview of Alan Munde about his life and the impact he has made on the history of bluegrass music.  This idea came to me many years earlier, when I first saw a copy of the Fretboard Journal on the news stand.  I contacted Jason Verlinde, the publisher of this high quality quarterly magazine.  Jason was very receptive to publishing an article on Alan Munde.  He recognized how significant Alan Munde is as a musical icon and as a banjo legend.

It took awhile to get this article published but we finally saw the final product in print with Issue #37.  You can order a copy of this magazine by contacting the Fretboard Journal at their website.  You may also still be able to find a copy of this magazine at your local Barnes and Noble or other book store in the area in which you live. I highly recommend that you read the article on Alan, as well as subscribe to or order other issues that are available.

Fretboard Journal Issue #37

Fretboard Journal Issue #37

Finally, it was a thrill to get a personally signed copy today in the mail, from Alan himself which read “David, Thanks for all of your work – Alan Munde”.  In return, I have to say to Alan, thanks for the great memories and thank you for all you have done for the music world.

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About fretmentor

Born in Detroit, Michigan, David F. Jakubiak has been involved in music since the age of 7, beginning as a clarinet player and then at 9 turning his attention to stringed instruments. He earned trophies in group talent competitions while a student at the University of Michigan. The instructor earned a BA degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. At college, he also studied classical music and music history. His passion is teaching music and in performing as a musician. In addition to on-stage performances, David has played in various venues from outdoor festivals to small nightclubs. He plays, performs and teaches various styles of music, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, classical, country and bluegrass styles. He performs and teaches acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin. His styles range from Scruggs, melodic, Reno and old-time style on banjo, to finger-style and flat-picking technique on guitar, to various styles of mandolin. For over 45 years, Mr. Jakubiak has taught all age groups, taking a personal interest in each student to ensure that they receive the attention and lesson plans that meet their needs and interests. His lessons and instructional materials place a strong emphasis on the practical use or music theory to ensure that the student understands the instrument and learns how to improvise to develop their own style. Mr Jakubiak teaches group and studio classes, webcam lessons over the internet, and individual private lessons to students of various ages. He has compiled and produced six instructional books on CD. David has written for Banjo Newsletter, a monthly publication for the banjo enthusiast and is in the process of writing an article for the Fretboard Journal. He is the founder of www.fretmentor.com. To contact David Jakubiak, please feel free to e-mail him at david AT fretmentor.com (substitute the @ sign for the word AT)
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