Béla Fleck about songwriting, creativity

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Béla Fleck plays his tune “Big Country” and talks about songwriting and creativity.


Fleck's initial comments about "what is this song, I know it" - reminds me of McCartney's recollection of writing "Yesterday" I also like his understanding that recognizing where one got a particular melody line from is something they'd heard before is part of the "folk process". That's why it's always galled me when those with no appreciation of that very process criticize Dylan for "stealing" melody lines from folk songs. That's ALWAYS been part of the process.

And the most important thing is, as he says not to edit yourself while being creative. That's something FAWM really helped me with when I joined 8 years ago!

Here is Oliver Sacks on the Psychology of Creativity


Wonderful playing and some fine comments. Made me want to do a banjo tune today!

This is the song that made me fall in love with Bela's picking. I've seen him perform with bassist Edgar Meyer, with mandolinist Sam Bush, with the Flecktones, and with his teacher Tony Trischka. Years ago, I had the good fortune to interview Bela and Tony when I was doing some writing for an Ohio newspaper. Both were gracious and insightful - I was still years away from playing banjo myself.
I was just picking my banjo before I watched the video - it's quite humbling to do what I do, which is what I've learned in 7 years of playing, and then watch what he does.

My first time watching Bela play live was with his wife, Abigail Washburn and their group, The Sparrow Quartet. I'm a huge fan of both of them. I met Abigail when she had only been playing banjo for a couple of years and was still single. Such an amazing songwriter!

I think part of improving as an artist is being surrounded by musical genius and a musical community. Creativity thrives on collaboration and mentoring. We all need feedback and support to grow.