About the Author
He studied music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, playing First Chair Alto Sax as a freshman in the UNC Concert Band. Neil taught as Band Director at three county schools for several years and at the same time privately for Kidd-Frix Music Co. in their Charlotte accordion school. When the School was purchased by Music Inc. Neil went into management and retail music sales for them. At the same time, Neil played regularly with his own band for wedding receptions, office parties, etc., and gained valuable experience from playing summer theater for many well-known stars as well as being called on a regular basis to play banjo, guitar, and clarinet for traveling Broadway shows appearing in the area.
Neil was very active in the Charlotte Musicians Association and served as president for approximately 13 years as well as holding other executive offices.
Some of the first professional jobs Neil played were good old southern square dances, which at that time weren't as fancy as they are today but provided him with an appreciation for country and bluegrass music that was never forgotten. He enjoyed doing 5 radio shows and two TV shows per week at WBT and WBTV in Charlotte for over a year.
In the early 60's Neil was hired to manage Tillman Music Co. in Charlotte. There he helped in starting the Aria Pro II line of instruments. Neil and his brother Steve, who also writes for Mel Bay Publications, went into the music-school business together in the 70's and later expanded as a retail music store. During this period Neil met Mel Bay and began to write material for 5-string banjo which was pretty scarce at the time. He has thoroughly enjoyed writing and teaching.
Currently, Neil is a performing musician, band leader and co-owner of the Neil Griffin Studios of Music in Charlotte, North Carolina where his instructional books are field tested and proven effective with students of all ages. He has authored or co-authored several books for Mel Bay Publications on the subjects of 5-string banjo, rock guitar, and accordion.