Dix began playing ukulele at age twelve. His primary text was Mel Bay's Fun with the Uke. He picked up guitar a few years later. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Radio, Television, and Film, he relocated to the Bay Area where his interest in hybrid acoustic string music led him to David Grisman's prototype quintet in the mid-1970s. Mel Bay Publications has published over fifty of Dix's instructional book/audio sets and videos. He authored or co-authored six separate editions of the popular bluegrass songbook "The Parking Lot Picker's Songbook." He also authored the mandolin and country guitar book/audio sets from the best-selling "You Can Teach Yourself" series along with his own "BackUp TRAX" series of play-along, music- minus-one type, book/audio sets for learning everything from bluegrass and old time music, to blues and jazz.