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Click to visit's banjo buyers' guides


Paul dressed in period clothes for a event at the Clark County (Ohio) Historical Society.(Paul Race speaking) as a musician, writer, and teacher, I love helping people find and learn instruments that will help them enjoy the kind of music they like.

That's why there are so many articles about guitars, banjos, autoharps, bases, harmonicas, dulcimers, and more - you can see them listed in the dropdowns from the green menu bar above.

In fact we've started "sister sites" to keep this site from becoming so large you couldn't navigate it.

Who Is This Site For? - Anyone interested in traditional music, acoustic music, Folk Revival music, or the instruments such music typically uses. Whether you're a total newbie or a professional looking to learn about some instrument you haven't tried yet.

What Can I Learn Here?

  • How to choose, shop for, set up, and play most instruments that are commonly used in Folk, acoustic, and traditional music.

  • Historical information about Folk and Traditional music and the instruments they used/use.

  • Simple rules of music theory that will help you quickly grow as a musician, and

  • Much, much more.

How Do I Find the Information I Need? - The long green index bar near the top of this page lists many of our resources, as does a summary list further down the page.

Chances are, you found this site through a Google search that took you right to the page you needed first. But Google usually only links to the first page we published on the subject, so once you're here the green bar is your friend.

What if I Have a Question You Haven't Published the Answer To Yet - If you have a question or comment or correction of any kind, please use our Contact page. If you want to sign up to Paul's newsletter "Momma Don't 'Low" at the same time, please click here.

We try to respond to every serious question personally. That's one reason we require your real name and address on our forms; too many trolls and scammers have wasted our time and we'd rather spend it helping you.

Keeping Up With Our Endeavors -

If you want to keep up with our musical and writing forays, please check out my FB music page here

Also, we have restarted our e-mail newsletter Momma Don't 'Low again.

On this Site

The dropdown menu at the top of our home page and a few others is one attempt to make things easier to find. But if you're just poking around in general, here are some areas you may find helpful: Sister Sites

Other sites we started to keep this site from getting too big to be useful include:

  • Click to see buyers' guides that actually explain is a buyers' guide for acoustic and traditional instrument from a musician's point of view, focusing on the uses, reliability, and practicality of various instruments, and not just the marketing hype about the shape of the fret markers or whatever.

  • Momma Don't 'Low? is a program that support followers of our music-related web pages, including Creek Don't Rise?, Classic Train Songs?,, and Don't 'Low is currently a subsidiary of this site, but we have plans for expansion. If you like acoustic and traditional music and you'd like to be informed about new articles we've posted, as well as what Paul is up to musically these days, please go to the Momma Don't 'Low page. There you will learn about joining our free program for fans, writers, performers, and producers of acoustic and traditional music.

    The primary benefit currently is the free e-mail newsletter that discusses all of those topics above and more. We plan to include other features as time permits.

    Note - If you wish to sign up for our newsletter and ask a question at the same time, please click on the Momma Don't 'Low newsletter button to learn more and to get a link to our signup form. Click to see Paul's blogs, memoirs, and more, including what he's up to musically these days.

  • is the "landing page" for Paul's own musical endeavors, plus many memoirs and blogs about music and the music business.

  • Click to visit a site about train songs that every train lover and Folk singer should know.  Or at least know describes railroad songs that every train lover should know. Or at least know about.

  • has articles about Christian music, Christian music careers and performance, Christian living in general, and vintage saxophones, another of Paul's interests. This site has separate newsletters, etc., by the way - there isn't a lot of overlap with the Momma Don't 'Low(tm) newsletters.

Paul Race and sister Tess Hoffman in an historical recreation in 2017, put here to give you some idea of what the play would look like staged.About the Play

Not to forget about the play that started it all. In 2001, my work commute took me 104+ miles a day across Ohio countryside. Ohio's Bicentenniel was approaching. I started writing songs in my head as I drove - songs that were intended to capture the essense of each major chapter of our state's history. The collection of songs soon turned into a play that would feature them.

To a large extent, I wanted to document and celebrate the things that have made the American Heartland different from any other place, while there are still folks who know the difference.

For more information about our play and about our little piece of the Heartland in southwest Ohio, click here.

For information about other music collections and projects, check the links at the bottom of this page.

Paul Race playing a banjo. Click to go to Paul's music home page.Whatever else you get out of our pages, I hope you come away with some great ideas for "sharing the joy."

And please stay in touch!

    - Paul Race Click to see Paul's music home page Click to contact Paul through this page. Click to visit the Creek Don't Rise discussion forum. Click to see Paul's music page on Facebook Click to see Paul's music page on SoundCloud Click to see Paul's music blog page Click to learn about our Momma Don't Low Newsletter. Click to see Paul's YouTube Channel. Click to see Paul's Twitter Page.

All material, illustrations, and content of this web site is copyrighted (c) 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 by Paul D. Race. All rights reserved.
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For questions, comments, suggestions, trouble reports, etc. about this page or this site, please contact us.

Visit related pages and affiliated sites:
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Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Learn important guitar chords quickly, to jump start your ability to play along on any song. With a few tools and an hour or two of work, you can make your guitar, banjo, or mandolin much more responsive.  Instruments with movable bridges can have better-than-new intonation as well. Resources for learning Folk Music and instruments quickly Check out our article on finding good used guitars.
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs. X and Y-generation Christians take Contemporary Christian music, including worship, for granted, but the first generation of Contemporary Christian musicians faced strong, and often bitter resistance. Different kinds of music call for different kinds of banjos.  Just trying to steer you in the right direction. New, used, or vintage - tips for whatever your needs and preferences. Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album. Explains the various kinds of acoustic guitar and what to look for in each.
Look to Riverboat Music buyers' guide for descriptions of musical instruments by people who play musical instruments. Learn 5-string banjo at your own speed, with many examples and user-friendly explanations. Explains the various kinds of banjos and what each is good for. Learn more about our newsletter for roots-based and acoustic music. Folks with Bb or Eb instruments can contribute to worship services, but the WAY they do depends on the way the worship leader approaches the music. A page devoted to some of Paul's own music endeavors.
- Trains and Hobbies -
Free building projects for your vintage railroad or Christmas village.
Visit Lionel Trains. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages. Big Christmas Train Primer: Choosing and using model trains with holiday themes Building temporary and permanent railroads with big model trains Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.
- Christmas Memories and Collectibles -
Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site. Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page Click to sign up for Maria Cudequest's craft and collectibles blog.
Click to visit Fred's Noel-Kat store.
Visit the largest and most complete cardboard Christmas 'Putz' house resource on the Internet.
- Family Activities and Crafts -
Click to see reviews of our favorite family-friendly Christmas movies. Free, Family-Friendly Christmas Stories Decorate your tree the old-fashioned way with these kid-friendly projects. Free plans and instructions for starting a hobby building vintage-style cardboard Christmas houses. Click to find free, family-friendly Christmas poems and - in some cases - their stories. Traditional Home-Made Ornaments