Just Plain Foolish

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

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Musical progress

I haven't done a banjo update for a while because it's been slow but steady work, improving the songs I already know, learning a few more, acquiring musical theory and musical accomplishments. I felt incredibly proud when I was able to learn "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" in a matter of 2 weeks, though "Battle Hymn of the Republic, Updated" taught me humility once more. When I played it through this week, melody *and* chords, I literally did a small victory dance with the banjo. Truly, a happy moment.

And even the mistakes I'm making are showing progress. Slowly, I'm losing old mistakes, and making new ones - putting in chord changes a little early because my ears say that a chord change would go well there, trying to play to a more complicated timing than is written down on the music in front of me. (As my instructor said in exasperation a few weeks ago "Reading the music is *not* cheating!") And slowly, what I'm playing sounds more like music, more like familiar songs.

And I'm growing more comfortable playing - even with other people present. And so far, nobody's chased me out of the room telling me to stop that infernal racket. Maybe one of my next songs will have to be "Mama Don't 'Low" And I've even spent a Sunday morning casually strumming with my dad on his guitar and me on my banjo.

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