Just Plain Foolish

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Singin' Polly Wolly Doodle all the day...

No, I haven't given up on learning the banjo, but it's been slow, incremental learning. My scales are now much better, and I can play "Skip to My Lou" both by picking out single notes and by playing the chords (though the chord changes are still a little slow, especially between D and C). But so far, "Skip to My Lou" and "Wild Thing" have been it. My instructor's computer had been upgraded, and so he could not immediately make me the music sheets.

So when I looked at the notation for "Polly Wolly Doodle" tonight, my heart fell. All those eighth notes! Yikes! Help! This is obviously music for people who know what they're doing, not music for me! And yet...

"Just ignore the rest of it, and play the first few notes for me."

a-strummin' on the old banjo

Um, okay. I pull out an extra pick and use it to mark off the notes I'm going to play from those I will ignore. Okay... GABBG. Hey! That wasn't so bad. My timing was off, but the notes were easy... And wait, that second phrase is the same as the first... I still don't have the timing, but I can figure out the notes... And that really intimidating 3rd phrase isn't really so very bad...

Hey! I can sorta play something like this song! *Happy dance* And "Skip to My Lou" is sounding really good... Wow.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

I tried to teach myself the recorder once, and remember the thrill of each little victory. Congratulations for still trying. Makes me want to find my recorder.

6/20/2007 10:00 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

I am lucky to have a very patient and talanted teacher. While it's taken him awhile to adjust to a new computer, the banjo he's really good with. And I'm being introduced to a lot of other music as I learn to play "camp counselor style" i.e. 3 chords, traditional campfire songs.

6/20/2007 12:30 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Yay for plowing through it and discovering it's not as hard as you thought it was gonna be!

Wow. Everything I read today wants to turn into a sermon. *blinks* Thank you!

6/20/2007 2:45 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

The marvellous thing is that I'd sort of been expecting it to be every bit as hard as learning the first song, but this time when I told my fingers I wanted a G, my right hand went directly to the correct string. And then, for an A, my left hand almost automatically pressed the string just above the fret...

Still working on making those eighth notes eighth notes instead of slightly quicker quarter notes, but I can find the right notes without much fumbling. Wow. Go, scales!

6/21/2007 7:28 AM  
Blogger Canine Diamond said...

Yeah, it gets easier.

Isn't it cool when your hands start remembering the chords without your brain having to do absolutely everything so it can worry about just the particulars instead?

6/22/2007 8:03 AM  

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