Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Learning music as an adult

Picking out "Skip to My Lou" gets ever smoother as I struggle to learn "Polly Wolly Doodle," returning to the easier song every time the going gets too rough. Even harder is practicing the strumming part - in large part because I'm still nervous about singing if there's any chance that another person might hear me (and where, exactly, can I go in my small apartment where noone can? I can hear the folks next door change their minds.) But to practice strumming the chords to the music, I need a melody line - traditionally provided by singing along. I've seriously considered buying a children's sing-along tape, just to have the melody line for the songs I'll be learning. Or maybe finding a way to get my computer to play the melody line so I don't have to sing where someone could possibly hear me. I've already tried to record me playing the melody, but recording music onto the computer is harder than you might think.

*sigh* Somehow, I've managed to convince my inner critic that banjo playing is okay. I'm allowed to produce music and it's not that bad and getting better every day. But the minute I open my mouth to sing, the internal chorus provides way too much dissonance. Maybe if I get that children's tape, I can sing and play along and that will be enough to silence the criticism from inside.

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Blogger Kate said...

Funnily enough, I'm having a similar problem with roleplaying. I've just dropped out of the every-other-Friday D&D game I'd been looking forward to. When it was me, Tim, Ray, and the DM, I was fine and having a lovely time. As people have been added to the group -- people I don't know, don't feel comfortable in front of -- I've slowly backed away into myself and tonight I finally got to the point where I couldn't say anything, I'd clam up whenever people turned to me to ask what my character was doing.

I hate it. I was really enjoying myself, and now I'm not; and it's not that anyone's done anything wrong, I just can't bring myself to speak up, to act out a character in front of these people.

Kinda similar, in any case.

6/22/2007 10:05 PM  
Blogger Don said...

I came across some possible help for you. Pete Seeger playing Skip to my lou on Youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9EZ9RlyOr4.

I also thought that you could record the melody with Audacity, an open source sound editor on your computer as long as you have an inexpensive microphone. You can download Audacity at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.

Best of wishes for good strumming in any event.

6/23/2007 9:46 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Thank you, Don. I did get some practice in today. I loved listening to Pete Seeger play the banjo, but since he's already accompanying himself in a different style, I think I'm going to have to program the melody into a music program. And yes, I have a cheap microphone - that's the problem. It's much better at recording things like its own internal hum than it is the banjo.

Kate, *hugs* do you have any other opportunities to get to know the new folks? Perhaps that might help. Right now, I'm just kind of reminding myself that I'm allowed to sing, too.

6/23/2007 10:15 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

One of them I'd like to get to know better, but he's moving away at the end of the summer, and I don't know if we'll have the time.

The second is loud, interrupts folks, says dumb things at dumb times -- perfectly typical for a 14-year-old geek, which is what he is. I'm afraid I haven't got a lot of patience for that kind of thing, especially when I'm already having confidence issues. I'm sure he'll be a perfectly reasonable human being in ten years.

The third? Technically, I know him better than the guy running the game (with whom I'm pretty comfortable). But he doesn't let _anyone_ too close -- and if he doesn't trust me, how can I trust him?

I'm just getting out of the game for now. We're thinking about putting together another one with just the four of us, which I think (and hope) I'll enjoy a lot more

6/25/2007 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, the only point in playing music is how much joy is produced; not how many right notes. You go lady! Well done.

6/26/2007 6:30 PM  
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6/18/2011 3:42 AM  

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