For most of my career as a banjo designer and manufacturer I have used the slogan “Banjo Revolution” without often explaining its fullness of meaning. First, it obviously refers to the mechanical revolution of the flange component of my unique Nechville Heli-Mount banjo. When I entered the professional luthier field, no one was really asking for a better banjo. However, having studied the instrument from an in-depth mechanical design perspective for many years, I instinctively understood the difficulties that tended to keep this traditional American instrument on the sidelines of widespread popular music, and made it my personal mission to correct this limited perception. Now having reached the point in my efforts where many world-renowned professional performers are appearing with my instruments in hand, the merits of Nechville’s common sense designs are beginning to manifest themselves not only for top performers, but with grassroots players and music lovers across the globe.
But in addition to hailing my “Revolutionary” banjo design improvements, the pun intimates a reverence for what our forefathers fought for, i.e., freedom of expression. Having the freedom to create a future for oneself is the central benefit of being a free-thinking human. In my example as a free-born North American, I have been fortunate to be able to follow my passions in this way. As impractical as it may seem to some, and with the full support of my loving wife and family, I decided to invent, build and play banjos for a lifetime career. The joyful phenomenon of making music that Nechville instruments were designed for can cause a revolution of thought that reinforces our freedom to act toward betterment.
The Nechville world view summed up by the “Banjo revolution” slogan invites all of humanity to discover the creative spirit such as that which guides our hands in creating music. Musical collaboration, especially that involving Bluegrass music opens new social channels and connects people of diverse origins in fun family friendly festivities. I dream of a social revolution when a major segment of our population embraces Bluegrass inspired music.
Personal bonds won through music can influence the world significantly for all of us.
Mankind has lived for thousands of years without cars, planes and computers, but with the explosion of technology and mechanization, we should have discovered how to redeem benefit from the fruits of our ingenuity to arrive at a better balance between work and play. Perhaps our currently overdrawn government obligates us to work off our national debt to sustain the credence of our dollar as a functional form of currency. The ultimate victory for the Revolution however, will be when our lawmakers, and powerful money makers develop a commitment to allowing employment to all that want to work thereby freeing up more priority time for relationship building among family and friends. As idealistic as it sounds, why not promote the proliferation of homegrown music worldwide? Our existence becomes a little happier when we experience the true meaning of making beautiful music together.
I feel fortunate to have found a form of work that satisfies much of my creative desire, but even I struggle to find the ideal balance between work and play. Unfortunately, artistic pursuits like learning the banjo are considered unattainable by those over-stressed by full time jobs and basic lifestyle responsibilities. The reality is however that people of all walks of life and the world at large can benefit from creative pursuits as simple as friendships through music.
The Banjo Revolution can remain forever a fantasy, OR it can actually happen if you decide to sell the fruits of your labors and be paid back with a Revolutionary banjo. Nechville banjos are made by inspired craftsmen who truly believe in our mission to build better banjos for your musical success along your life journey.
Your friend in music, Tom Nechville
Viva La Banjo Revolution!