The way he plays the banjo, his last name might describe the condition his wrist might end up in after a typical gig. Roger Sprung is proud to be part of a small New York-born fraternity of banjoists, most likely to separate them from the horde that frail and hail from the Appalachian area. At the same time, Sprung's roots in the New York City music scene go way down into the buried depths of the folk music scene, and a progressive acoustic trio that was something like a version of Kingston Trio, but five years earlier. Another example of this artist's innovative musical visions would be his influence on banjo wonder dude Béla Fleck. Fleck studied with Tony Trischka, another member of the New York banjo fraternity. While Trischka is often mentioned as a strong influence on Fleck, the idea of a radically versatile repertoire, straying far and wide from the bluegrass songbook, and in fact, likely to contain just about anything under the sun, was really more Sprung's idea. He is a big part of the spring from which bluegrass pickers have been allowed to drink, those who are interested anyway, inspiring bluegrass versions of "Jingle Bells," the entire Dark Side of the Moon album, the disco tune "Shine," the rap tune "Raise Up," and so on. Perhaps "and so on" dilutes the full wonder of everywhere Sprung feels bluegrass should go; a gig of one of his '90s gigs mentions the band playing a "mystery song that turned out to be the commercial for Motel 6"! Mandolinist Arnie Solomon has said he cherishes his years playing with Sprung most of all for the sheer number and diversity of musical styles the players were required to learn. Sprung seems to like the idea of people learning; no matter what has gone on in his 50-year musical career, he has always taught banjo and several other instruments. He created his own instruction method for the banjo and well as inventing a tuning peg system involving six pegs, rather than five. While many banjoists reject such a move outright, feeling it robs the banjo of its distinct identity in the world of tuning peg inventory, massing it together with the already overrated guitar, it has to be admitted that just coming up with the idea puts Sprung in the class of banjo "tinkerers" such as Bill Keith and Gene Parsons.