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So, for some time I've been meaning to learn the banjo. I played guitar for years (along with a host of other instruments; the clarinet for over ten years, marimba, oboe, piano, etc.) but it was another ten years almost since music was really in my life.

I started taking lessons, my teacher is a cool guy who had a gig in New Mexico playing for a country band. He has an Earl Scruggs edition Gibson banjo (the stradivarius of bluegrass) which I got to drool over (and play with) and I'm picking it up enough to sound like I'm playing something recognizable, so I'm quite pleased.

Lessons are a lot of fun as an adult! I was more competitive with it when I was a kid - playing often for hours every day and working my way through ranks and traveling competitions - I really burnt out on it. But now, just doing it because I want to, it's really relaxing and full of joy. :)
I just want to be able to entertain people around a campfire. :) Mbala is taking violin lessons so he can fiddle along with me.

I want to be a proper hillbilly rocking in a chair on my porch, playing the banjo, sipping tea (perhaps out of a little brown jug), and watching the caribous roam across my skyline. ;)
I'm getting there. It's just across the horizon.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 15th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness. This is too cool, especially with Mbala learning the violin.

I would love to be one of those people around the campfire being entertained. I wish you the absolute best with this and may it bring you heaps of joy!
Dec. 15th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
When we're good enough (and have the space to do so) you better believe you'll get an invite! ^.^
Thank you!
Dec. 15th, 2009 04:19 am (UTC)
So are the two of you sporting mullets yet?
Dec. 15th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
No but I was just about to cut my hair around a bowl...
And buy a pair of overalls. With rusty buttons on them.

Edited at 2009-12-15 04:22 am (UTC)
Dec. 15th, 2009 05:43 am (UTC)
Don't forget to lose a strategic tooth so you can spit through the gap. :)

Music is a gracious thing and I congratulate you.
Dec. 15th, 2009 05:51 am (UTC)
I play the didgeridoo. I wonder if that would be an interesting accompaniment sometime? ^.^

I think it's awesome that you have a musical instrument you play! I think there's a kind of connection between making art and music. They seem to go well together.
Dec. 15th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
That is so cool! I love the digeridoo. I've never known anyone that played it seriously, but I've always admired it a lot. How did you end up picking that up?
I agree - same with dance. I think they are all awesome creative expressions - music, dance, visual arts. I always 'art' better with music in the background, too. It's really inspirational.
Dec. 15th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
I learned to play the didgeridoo about 3 years ago. I saw one on TV and couldn't figure out how it worked, but I also couldn't stop thinking about it. Fortunately about a week later I walked into a funky import kinda store with a friend of mine that happened to have a couple didgeridoos and he started playing one brilliantly. I pretty much pounced on him to tell me how the circular breathing and such worked, and I bought one that day. I've been hooked ever since.

At this point I own 9 didgeridoos - including one I made myself. I love playing them! It seems both relaxing and energizing so I sometimes take didge breaks when I'm working to refuel my creative energies. What I'd love to find is more people to play with. My friend unfortunately moved away at the beginning of the year and I haven't connected with anyone else to jam with. The didge is good as solo instrument, but it's more fun when I'm playing with someone. :D
Dec. 17th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
That is so neat. :) I hope that we get the chance to play together in the future!
Dec. 15th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
It's funny because it seems like everyone I know are getting into new instruments- and you would be the 3rd person to be studying the Banjo.
I know how you feel about the enthusiasm and totally loving of the instrument... I am saving up for my own 2-set of Irish Whistles/Flutes. My sister’s instrument since childhood is the Violin, so we’ll be rockin’ it Celtic style soon I hope.

We need to get down to one of the cons and just rock out all of us with our instruments. Giant furry orchestra or something. XD
Dec. 15th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
That is funny, I've met more people playing the banjo recently, too, even though it's not a super popular instrument. But it's just plain fun!
That is really cool about the Irish flutes - I adore celtic music. :) Mbala and I recently got to go to an Old Blind Dogs concert at a small local venue and I was in awe of the fiddle playing (and bagpipes and flute!) there - just so much good energy.
I have heard of drum circles and some sort of jam sessions at the cons - haven't looked into it, but sounds like fun!
Dec. 15th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
There are a couple guitarists in our local husky group who want me to dust off my hammered dulcimer and get back into playing it. And now you and Mbala are taking up new folksy instruments that could use a dulcimer accompaniment too... Is the universe trying to tell me something?

Also, did I ever mention that I, too, played clarinet for over a decade?
Dec. 15th, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, you totally should start up the dulcimer again! :) Those are such awesome instruments, they always tempted me massively. I love the tones!
That is so funny you played clarinet like that, too. I did enjoy it (I recently got mine working again) - but it's quite a useless instrument... when you tell people you play clarinet no one ever wants to hear it. ;) Unless you're an amazing player, it's generally a bit unpleasant and doesn't play so well with others in a typical jam session. I had always wanted to play the sax (which I did for a very short time and loved it) - I think if I'd had the chance to do that when I was younger, I'd never have put it down. :)
Dec. 17th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
I'm amazed!
That's incredible! It's like if I was surrounded by this secret clarinetist society. :)
Dec. 16th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
I played clarinet in college for a couple of years, but wasn't very good at it.

Edited at 2009-12-16 12:23 am (UTC)
Dec. 17th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
I'm amazed!
Awesome, I had no idea!
Dec. 17th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
Re: I'm amazed!
I am chock full of hidden "talents" :D
I enjoyed the voice lessons a lot more than clarinet.
Dec. 24th, 2009 08:02 am (UTC)
Unrelated: Did you guys still want a PS2? I think I remeber something about you asking me about one when Circuit City was shutting down.

I have a PS2 that I'll be updating soon that still works, partially. It won't run some games, or read DVD videos anymore; that is because the laser inside is wearing out. It still seems to run most of the games I own however. I can't guarntee how long it will hold out; but I'm willing to let it go for next to nothing at this point. Something bartered, a dinner out- it doesn't have to be much.

Let me know if your still interested in one. I'll include a controller and a game or two with it.
Dec. 24th, 2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
I'd love one. :) We don't have a game console and its been years since I've played anything (except a few short computer games) - I'd really like to try Okami and I've got a handful of PS2 games I can't play. If it didn't work it would be no big deal! :)
I'd be happy to barter some little art piece or dinner - we could take you somewhere or I'd be happy to cook (quite a few friends tell me they'd rather I cook than go out, hehe!)

And, wishing you and yours a wonderful holidays! I hope you get the chance to relax and enjoy them! :)
Dec. 24th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
I have Okami for the PS2 as well, and I just tested it. That game for sure DOES work :3. Gamestop is selling it for $10 used right now if you don't have it, and its a great game- defiantly worth that. It's $20 new where you can find it.

Sometime after the holidays here I can arrange a time for a visit and bring it with me. And yes, your cooking is really great. That and a small print or printed pendant or t-shirt, card deck etc would be more then enough for me in return as I can't guarntee the system. Something you have extras in stock of.

It will work for the moment and give you some entertainment- just don't try to use it to watch DVDs!

And have a wonderful holiday season as well! I'll hold onto the old PS2 and we can work something out sometime after the first of the year ^^.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )