[ ZEPP Country Music]

ZEPP Country Music, Inc.

P.O. Box 306
Wendell, NC 27591-0306

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    Donald ZEPP, A.B., M.S., Ph.D.
    (OK, those degrees have nothing to do with music, but I did earn them, and they do look good.)

    Despite having closed ZEPP Country Music, Inc., I still very much enjoy teaching guitar and banjo, especially clawhammer style.

    I started playing guitar in 1958. Later, I decided that I was going to be the Kingston Trio, and formed a 4-person group (counting never having been my strong suit) with some high school buddies. I decided that the banjo playing of Dave GUARD (of the K3) sounded really cool, so I asked for--and received--a 5-string banjo for Christmas in 1961.

    Caught up in what the late Dave Van Ronk called the "Great Folk Scare," there came a night when I heard the Greenbriar boys playing at the 2nd Fret coffee house in Philadelphia, and I vowed then and there to learn to play bluegrass. I then started playing the local coffee house circuit, both with my own group, the Swannanoa Grovemont Roadrunners, and with various pickup bands. In 1964, I began teaching guitar and banjo a couple of nights a week at the Haddonfield (NJ) Conservatory of Music, and soon filled my schedule, teaching every night and all day Saturday.

    After teaching there for seven years I had finally gotten myself through undergraduate school, so I set off to grad school and my first love: entomology. After having made my living with an instrument for what seemed then to have been forever, I slid the cases under the bed, and was musically inactive from 1971-1976, while in pursuit of my Ph.D.

    Upon taking a faculty position at Cornell University, I met a bunch of grad students who made music, and was asked to join their band. During my time with this band (Press on Regardless), I played less and less bluegrass style banjo, and more and more clawhammer.

    I continued to offer private lessons over the years, and, after retiring from my day-job with a multi-national company in 1998, I opened ZEPP Country Music, Inc. in downtown Wendell, specializing in the sale of acoustic stringed instruments such as are used in "folky" music: bluegrass, old time, gospel, blues, children's songs, etc. I offered guitar and banjo lessons there at the store for just short of 17 years.

    Since retiring from business in 2015, I have continued to offer private lessons, and am always happy to take on new students.

    My influences, you ask? (Thanks!) Pete SEEGER got me started on banjo. Bill KEITH, Bob YELLIN, and Earl SCRUGGS formed the basis for my 3-finger banjo style. I met a man named Dove MENKES who showed me clawhammer and really got me going there. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the influences of Mississippi John HURT and Doc WATSON on my guitar playing back in the late '60s.

      My payment and other teaching policies can be viewed with this document.
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