Just Plain Foolish

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

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Back to the banjo

While I've been playing over the last few weeks, I haven't been taking lessons since the middle of December - there's just been too much going on for both my instructor and myself. But I sat down, and played, and played pretty well, I think, though I did make a couple "typos" from not really having warmed up.

And now, I'm looking at some "grown up" songs: "Pretty Polly", "Fair and Tender Ladies", and "Man of Constant Sorrow" (And looking at getting a songbook! Woot!)

A year ago, I had never even held a banjo. Now, I can tune one, replace the strings, play the g scale and a handful of songs. I can even sort of "noodle tunefully" which I would never have believed last April as I tried to figure out exactly how to get both of my hands to cooperate in making the notes. The nails on my left hand are all short now, sacrificed to the need to catch the strings going straight down for clear fretting. I've figured out how to hold a banjo and a small child *at the same time*. I even sort of fudged up an accompaniment for a friend's kid when she wanted to sing a sad song. Basically, it was just a minor and e minor trading off with each other, but she seemed to like it.

Yeah, I'm hooked.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooh! Do you like Gillian Welch? She has some religious songs even, like Rock of Ages.

Dh and I love her.

As she says, "Everyone loves a chick with a banjo." ;)

Now I gotta go listen to her music, lol!

1/11/2008 5:36 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Yes, I enjoy Gillian Welch very much. I'm a total sucker for bluegrass music.

And I've been surprised by how much people really do like the banjo. If someone finds out that you have a banjo, they ask to hear it, even if you warn them you're not very good yet - that never happened to my sister when she learned trombone! As Steve Martin says, it's such a *happy* instrument. You can play "Goin' Down That Road Feelin' Bad" and it's still okay, because there's a banjo, so it's gotta get better, right?

1/11/2008 8:08 AM  
Blogger Little Black Car said...

Music quote for ya (I forget who said this, though): "You start playing guitar to attract girls and end up talking with middle-aged men about your fingernails."

I've actually had people--other musicians--peg me for a guitarist because the nails on my left hand are cut all the way down while the ones on my right are allowed to grow.

I've actually gotten totally used to having mismatched hands--having more than a skim of nail on the left drives me nuts (like having numb fingers, because the nails get in the way) but if I cut the nails on my right as short as I do on my left, I bruise my fingers all the time. Ha ha. And I have such callouses on my left that I don't need thimbles for sewing any more.

1/14/2008 8:57 AM  

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