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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: I'm really concerned...


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/363967

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Lemon Banjos - Posted - 05/13/2020:  19:25:47


I'm really concerned about the way I'm feeling...

I've been playing music with my grandpa for 10 years. I'm 18 now. He got me started on the mandolin, then I progress to fiddle, banjo, bass, then guitar. I'm the best on fiddle and banjo, but I'm still fairly fluent on the other three. I'm ashamed to say it, but I've far surpassed my grandpa, and that's why I'm concerned.

We just finished picking for about an hour or so. For the past few picking sessions we've had, I haven't enjoyed myself nearly as much as I used to. I'm really worried about this. I'm afraid that it's because I'm at a higher level then he is and I can't play some of the things I want to play. I'm totally ashamed of myself for thinking and feeling this way, but it worries me. I could never, ever tell him how I feel because I know it'd make him not want to play anymore.

Don't get me wrong, my grandpa is pretty good, but I've been playing with some REALLY good players around here, and as my the guy who started teaching me after my grandpa couldn't says, "You become what you're around." Like I said, I'm super ashamed of myself for even thinking of this stuff, but I can't help it. Maybe it's just from being in quarantine so long. I just don't know. I guess I'm rambling.

My grandparents raised me, from the day I was born. I owe so much to them, especially my grandpa for sparking my interest in bluegrass, which is why I feel so bad for feeling the way I do. Maybe one of y'all can make sense of my ramblings and give me some advice.

Scout70 - Posted - 05/13/2020:  19:43:17


Look at it from your grandpas perspective. He loves you and is probably proud of your musical accomplishments. I suspect he really enjoys your jam sessions and it would be a shame to quit and take that away from him. Keep picking with him even if it’s only occasionally for a short time. He will appreciate it.

There are always better musicians and jams out there. Sometimes it can be hard to pick with less experienced players. But sharing your talent can be a blessing to both.

Years ago I was at a festival where Bill Monroe was featured along with other national bands. After his show he came out in the lobby and joined our jam for some 45 minutes. He didn’t have to do that, but, we were delighted and he left a great memory.

Helping and encouraging others is part of the bluegrass culture.

Enjoy your grandparents while they are healthy. It will be a blessing long term.

deadwud - Posted - 05/13/2020:  19:43:42


Maybe your playing can push him like you've been pushed by others, assuming he's physically capable. I don't think it's wrong or strange to feel the way you do. Just try to have patience with him and know that you've got other outlets where you can wail.

Mad Hornet - Posted - 05/13/2020:  19:56:00


I miss my grandparents.

Alex Z - Posted - 05/13/2020:  20:18:21


You're looking at music as if it is a competitive experience -- and with you at the center.



Lighten up. smiley  Enjoy the musical time with your grandpa for what it is, an enjoyable time for him AND you.   There are two people involved.



Maybe you've been influenced by others who are concerned all the time about who is better than whom.  Happens all the time, particularly in bluegrass.  You can put that aside for a while, and simply enjoy the fact that your grandpa is probably enjoying the session very much.  Heck, when you were learning from him, do you think he had the attitude you have now?   No, he likely took a lot of satisfaction from playing along with you.



So time to do the same.



 

chuckv97 - Posted - 05/13/2020:  20:34:06


Just enjoy your time playing with him, imho. I never had a Dad or Grandpa that played music, so I never had that special opportunity, ,,,it would have been great.
I go to jams now that have many less experienced players and sometimes I don’t enjoy it very much,,,but I stay because others put up with me when I was learning.

Ira Gitlin - Posted - 05/13/2020:  20:56:39


I understand what you're saying, blue20boy17. Musically, I get the most pleasure out of playing up to the best I'm capable of, with people who can provide the musical support that requires.

But like most musicians, I'm in social circles that include solid professionals, part-timers, amateurs, and rank beginners. I teach a lot, and some of my students have become good friends. I enjoy playing with all these folks. Even when it's musically frustrating, I enjoy sharing the music with them. And if they're not as far along as I am, I do my best to give them what THEY need to play up to the best that THEY'RE capable of--even if it means playing basic songs at 70 beats per minute.

Your teacher told you, "You become what you're around." That's not just true about music. It's also true about the rest of life. I'm sure you're grandfather is proud of the musician you've become, and who knows? Maybe you're helping HIM to play up to his best level.

Sorry for the late-night rambling. This is an interesting topic, and I look forward to seeing the rest of the conversation.

Rich Weill - Posted - 05/13/2020:  21:39:43


It’s the age-old father-son dilemma (applied to grandfathers and grandsons). The son simultaneously wants to show he’s now good enough to beat the father (at whatever), yet doesn’t want to embarrass his father by having beaten him. This has been going on for centuries.



But what sons (and grandsons) don’t realize is that fathers (and grandfathers) aren't embarrassed. They're delighted. 

ChelseaQ - Posted - 05/13/2020:  21:57:24


This can happen with daughters too. Although sadly as my musical ability progressed, my father became weirdly envious and sarcastically competitive. When I was very young, I would come along to his gigs and even sing along side him on stage a bit, now and then. But his strange jealousy put a stop to us playing music together eventually, which is sad.


Looking back as a grown woman now, I think he felt that he should have succeeded more in his music career, and he didn't like seeing young people full of talent and ambition for the industry. Sort of like: "if I didn't make it, what makes these naive youngsters think they will"! 


Music and the Arts in general is supposed to be expansive, not constrictive. I believe his personal issues got in the way of him enjoying the community side of music to its full potential. When everything is a competition, there's no place for sharing.


It's an important topic this one.


 


quote:

Originally posted by Rich Weill

It’s the age-old father-son dilemma (applied to grandfathers and grandsons). The son simultaneously wants to show he’s now good enough to beat the father (at whatever), yet doesn’t want to embarrass his father by having beaten him. This has been going on for centuries.



But what sons (and grandsons) don’t realize is that fathers (and grandfathers) aren't embarrassed. They're delighted. 






 

boarstud - Posted - 05/13/2020:  22:03:44


It is time now that you learn a lesson of life because you are young, very ignorant, and full of yourself. Go back to your post and count how many times you referred to "I, I'm, I've, my, me, myself, etc." The world does not revolve around you. There will always be someone else better than you. Life is about serving. Don't get angry over these truths. Take these truths with humility and become a really thankful American for the privilege of having someone to sacrifice for you and love you more than life itself. You are 18 years old! You ought to be ashamed for even thinking such foolishness. These are things you take to the Lord and discuss. I submit these thoughts out of LOVE with hope that you will become a light of truth in a disturbed America.

KEEP PICKING!

Banjowen - Posted - 05/14/2020:  00:51:33


Perhaps a good dose of humility could help ?

ChelseaQ - Posted - 05/14/2020:  01:53:35


@Blue20Boy17 If you are more accomplished than your Grandpa now, or anyone else, for that matter, that's just a fact. It's nothing to get emotional about. Another fact,is that there are other players out there who are more accomplished than you. 



Here's the thing - we play an instrument because we enjoy it (unless you are one of those unlucky kids who is forced to become a concert lever player of an instrument you hate). So, when you are with your Grandpa, or anyone else, just enjoy it! 



You can't go backwards in musical ability. You may get rusty if you don't practice for a while, but the natural ability stays intact. It's part of who are are in this life - a gift you were born with. Playing music with people who are not at your level is not going to somehow magically corrode your natural musical ability! You won't stop hearing things in time... or being able to tell if your instrument needs tuning etc. Musical ability isn't like that. Trust me - I am a teacher, and I am around kids who deliberately play out of key just to be funny!!!! I'm 42 years old, and I can still hear and hold a tune just as well as when I was your age. 



The fact that you feel guilty just indicates to me how much you love and respect your Grandpa. He probably knows you have become very good - and is probably happy to see this. Either way, there is no need to focus on who is better than who etc. That's not the point of you two playing music together now. The point is to enjoy each others' company and enjoy the music you create together, no matter what it sounds like.



Your Grandpa did you an amazing service by nurturing you into your musical awareness, and providing you with the opportunity to get better at playing. Now, as a young man, your job is to repay that service with love, by continuing to play music with him. Who cares about ability or yours, in this context - with family and friends it's about love, not ability. Save the ability thoughts for your career, for building bands, entering competitions, composing music, etc. 



You sound like a nice person. Ease up on yourself and have fun!  Your music will benefit from it  : -) 



 

stanleytone - Posted - 05/14/2020:  02:30:17


"make new friends but keep the old.....one is silver and the other is gold".works in music as well as in social circles.

overhere - Posted - 05/14/2020:  03:24:45


My father taught me how to play songs on guitar. He was an old timey country. He played harmonica with a holder and guitar as accompaniment with his songs. I could never grasp the harmonica but I did go on to exceed him on guitar. And after a few more years way beyond his capability. I in turn taught others guitar over the years. Many became better and many became far above me. Some didn’t. But being better or worse has never crossed my mind. I just enjoyed through life for what I did know and was very proud that I taught those better pickers the basics that gave them their beginning and incentives to continue on with that passion for the instrument.

reubenstump - Posted - 05/14/2020:  03:33:14


If he were just another musician, you could sort of let him go. But he's your grandpa and you seem to like him. So look at the time as simply BEING with him, not PLAYING with him. You still have your better/faster friends to play with.

Texasbanjo - Posted - 05/14/2020:  04:40:14


I think time and maturity will help you immensely. You're young and full of yourself and that's normal.

Perhaps your grandpa is getting older and his motor functions are not as sharp as they once were and therefore, he can't keep up. So what? Can't you still enjoy being with him, sharing your talents with him?

Don't feel guilty, but do try to find a common ground with your grandpa. It's not necessary that every song you two pick together has to be at breakneck speed. Try playing slower songs, vocals, something that your grandpa CAN play and feel like he's keeping up with you and enjoying your company and making music together.

This is from an old lady who can't pick as fast as I used to, but still enjoys getting together with others, regardless of their age.

Fretting Fingers - Posted - 05/14/2020:  05:41:52


Just keep in mind most of us become fathers an grandfathers. Your at, maybe, your peak right now, but the son/daughter/grandson/granddaughter that is in your future will be playing with you one of these days. If I had a son daughter/grandson/granddaughter that picked and they could out pick me I would throw my chest out and say THAT is my...!

slowdeath - Posted - 05/14/2020:  05:42:18


small price to pay for what it sounds like he's done for you. He's raised you, taught you how to play etc... All you have to do is play music with the man (something you like to do). You can absolutely still get a ton out of picking with him too. Try new things, new licks and the like when you are playing with him. Wish i could play music with my grandfather.

TheChaplain - Posted - 05/14/2020:  05:46:54


Thanks for your vulnerability. Despite whether you are thinking about this correctly or not, it takes a lot of guts to open up about it in front of all the hangout members. Some of them have been pretty ruthless towards you in their comments. I can empathize with you because I believe there is more below the surface than what others are seeing in you right now.

Parker135 - Posted - 05/14/2020:  05:52:59


I've been on the other side of this; not in music but on bicycles. I still remember the day I could no longer keep up with my son on the bike. My wife teases me about it, but this is the way it should be. We rode many miles together when he was younger, and i would pace myself so he could keep up. Now, he sets the pace so I can keep up. And, he's always encouraging me to get out on the bike and go with him on another week-long riding adventure.

Hunter, go easy on yourself and enjoy your grandpa while you can.

1ST GEN CUMMINS - Posted - 05/14/2020:  06:05:34


Amen!

mike gregory - Posted - 05/14/2020:  06:11:20


I can name at least five people to whom i taught their first 3 banjo chords, and within a year or so, they could play rings around me.

Didn't make me unhappy at all.

Enjoy your Grampa while you can, at whatever level he's at.
And let him know how happy and grateful you are, that he got you started.

stomapicker - Posted - 05/14/2020:  07:09:22


One of the prouder days of my grandpas' life was when I could leave a furrow straighter than he, my dad bragged all day when my corn rows were better spaced then his.
The day my son, then my grandson surpassed my ability in something I taught them were proud days for me indeed. As a father/grandfather, or probably a teacher, there is no greater reward then knowing you did your job so well that you not only passed on your knowledge, but it become better because of both of your skills.

Jack Baker - Posted - 05/14/2020:  07:29:27


Hunter,


Rather unusual post but Just keep playing and don't worry about all the other stuff. It's a long journey to becoming a good musician....




Originally posted by Blue20Boy17

 



Edited by - Jack Baker on 05/14/2020 07:29:48

beegee - Posted - 05/14/2020:  07:46:04


it is not a competition. Play what your Grandpa wants to play and enjoy it. There will come a time you'll wish he was still around to play with. Play with your other pickers, but always remember where you started.

eagleisland - Posted - 05/14/2020:  07:54:51


quote:

Originally posted by Rich Weill

But what sons (and grandsons) don’t realize is that fathers (and grandfathers) aren't embarrassed. They're delighted. 






This. Exactly this. Play your heart out and enjoy sharing music with your grandfather. He sounds like a fine man. He gave you the skills and encouragement to play. Odds are good that he's well aware of the fact that you're a better player than he is, and is pretty darned pleased with the idea.


Edited by - eagleisland on 05/14/2020 07:55:14

Eric A - Posted - 05/14/2020:  08:06:46


Enjoy your time with your Grandpa. When it's gone, you'll never get it back and you'll miss it the rest of your life.

Alvin Conder - Posted - 05/14/2020:  08:17:55


Don’t be concerned.

I’m sure he is proud of you.

I’m also sure one of his greatest joys is getting to play music with you.

Instead of being concerned, you should really cherish the time you have with your Grandpa.

Listen and learn, and that goes beyond music. He will teach you things that will take you far in life.

Bronx banjo - Posted - 05/14/2020:  09:07:53


Unless your grandfather is overly competitive, he should relish the fact that you play than he does. Why wouldn’t it be a source of pride for him ?

Bronx banjo - Posted - 05/14/2020:  09:09:12


Play better, I meant to say.

ron robinson - Posted - 05/14/2020:  09:46:07


i just hope your grandad does not see this as he might think he is not good enough to play with you that would take away his pleasure i did hear GLEN CAMPBELLS daughter said to her dad she wants to be a great banjo player he said just be a great person first what a man with all of his talents

AGACNP - Posted - 05/14/2020:  11:07:14


Much good advice has been given here. I doubt I’ll add much except for a personal anecdote.



My dad gifted me with the love of music. As a teenager, my sense of timing had really developed under his tutelage. There was an old timer who was a fiddler who my dad took a liking to, and we both started going regularly to visit and make some music.



Although the old man knew many, many fiddle tunes, because he had not played with anyone for years, he’d clip the ends of phrases and ‘jump time’ regularly.



I complained to my dad that it was unnerving and that I didn’t want to go any more. Dad reminded me that other musicians better than myself had put up with my inexperience and lack of musicianship for several years prior to that. He then asked me in his simple way: “are you too GOOD to pick with him?” This shamed me a bit at the time, but was a great life lesson.



I'm currently jamming regularly with musicians much better than me, improving my chops as a result.  They are infinitely patient. This is a continuum...no one is at the same level.



You won’t have your granddad long. Keep picking with him.


Edited by - AGACNP on 05/14/2020 11:09:41

From Greylock to Bean Blossom - Posted - 05/14/2020:  18:11:20


quote:

Originally posted by Blue20Boy17

I'm really concerned about the way I'm feeling...



I've been playing music with my grandpa for 10 years. I'm 18 now. He got me started on the mandolin, then I progress to fiddle, banjo, bass, then guitar. I'm the best on fiddle and banjo, but I'm still fairly fluent on the other three. I'm ashamed to say it, but I've far surpassed my grandpa, and that's why I'm concerned.



We just finished picking for about an hour or so. For the past few picking sessions we've had, I haven't enjoyed myself nearly as much as I used to. I'm really worried about this. I'm afraid that it's because I'm at a higher level then he is and I can't play some of the things I want to play. I'm totally ashamed of myself for thinking and feeling this way, but it worries me. I could never, ever tell him how I feel because I know it'd make him not want to play anymore.



Don't get me wrong, my grandpa is pretty good, but I've been playing with some REALLY good players around here, and as my the guy who started teaching me after my grandpa couldn't says, "You become what you're around." Like I said, I'm super ashamed of myself for even thinking of this stuff, but I can't help it. Maybe it's just from being in quarantine so long. I just don't know. I guess I'm rambling.



My grandparents raised me, from the day I was born. I owe so much to them, especially my grandpa for sparking my interest in bluegrass, which is why I feel so bad for feeling the way I do. Maybe one of y'all can make sense of my ramblings and give me some advice.






don't play with them for the sake of music, play with them as a sense of love and a gift back. they gave you a lot.  If it hinders your picking 5% don't bow at the curtain call next time on the Grand Ole Opry.wink



ken

Waldguy - Posted - 05/14/2020:  18:55:12


Not sure why some posters say "You should be ashamed of yourself" when you state you are ashamed, "totally" ashamed, and "super ashamed"! I'd say enough of that.
You've had a feeling, a thought, and a thought to correct it. So good on you. You're growing beyond your selfish thoughts into someone bigger.
Skills are one thing, but character is to be treasured. Keep working at that and you'll one day be a man others treasure.

bigleaf - Posted - 05/14/2020:  19:29:39


I’m mostly a drummer. I play guitar, and I’m learning the banjo. My dad was a really good saxophonist, and the finest jazz clarinetist you’ve ever heard. We couldn’t stand each other, and we both felt bad about it, but there you are. And though I ran sound and logistics for his bands, we never played together. Pride... it’ll mess you up.

I’m also a bird watcher. (Stick with me, I’ve got a point.) I just saw four young wrens leave the nest the other day. In the days just before, they’d put a foot on the edge and look. They’d flap some. They were anxious. It was time to leave the nest. They weren’t displeased with how things had gone so far. Plenty of protection, warmth, and grubs. But it was gettin’ on time to leave. Maybe that’s how you’re feeling.

And while I have my Cape Breton grandfathers fiddle, and I had guitars to play with him, for some reason we never played with each other. That still stings.

All this to say, you’re doing great. You love your grandfather, he loves you, and you’ve become a better musician than him. He must be remarkably proud of that. And he must really like playing with you. Just enjoy that for what it is. Trust me, it won’t last forever. And you’ll probably love the memory of it.

bigleaf - Posted - 05/14/2020:  19:36:17


And can I add, Hunter, just how open and brave I think you are? At eighteen, I wouldn’t have had the emotional vocabulary to even express how I felt in the clear way that you did. You’re okay.

Lemon Banjos - Posted - 05/14/2020:  19:43:02


quote:

Originally posted by bigleaf

And can I add, Hunter, just how open and brave I think you are? At eighteen, I wouldn’t have had the emotional vocabulary to even express how I felt in the clear way that you did. You’re okay.






Well, I was just nominated as Valadictorian of my class ;).

Lemon Banjos - Posted - 05/14/2020:  19:47:01


Thanks to everyone for the advices! They've humbled me even more, and got me thinking too. I've been learning more and more progressive things, trying to expand my lick vocabulary and such, and have sorta forgotten those older songs that can't hardly be beaten. I can rightfully blame a lot of that on the quarantines, because I played those older songs every weekend with my peeps. But now, I play by myself a lot and try to learn these new things, and come to find out, I've became rusty on the old songs. Perhaps that is why I'm not enjoying myself as much. I need to practice those old songs more so that I can enjoy myself, and so that my grandpa can enjoy himself even more. Thanks again to everyone!

ceemonster - Posted - 05/14/2020:  20:27:46


Is your grandpa trying to stop or forbid you from playing in other contexts and stretching your wings? I don't think so. You are still free to experiment and do new and more difficult things, in other contexts including on your own. But I assure you, decades from now it is this playing time with your grandpa that you will long for. One day your grandpa will not be here to play with you, and you will think to yourself how willing you would be to give anything to sit there playing and enjoying the music and the time together with him again. Try to imagine that now, and savor every second you can get. You are too young to understand how rare it will be in your life to have the love of someone who would eat glass for you. To share the joy of music with such a person in your life, and to have them share it with you, is truly rare indeed. Cherish every minute of it.

Richard Hauser - Posted - 05/15/2020:  06:54:54


You should stop analyzing the aspects of everything you do musically and just relax and enjoy the experience. Doing that may make playing music more enjoyable. If you play with friends, and "drop" them to play with better players, they may stop being your friends.

Time spent playing with friends and relatives is as much a social event as it is a musical event.

Ken Potts - Posted - 05/15/2020:  18:44:46


Maybe you two are just playing the same old things over and over. I bet you'll both have fun if you ask him to teach you another song.
If he says he doesn't know another one, you can ask him if he wants to learn one. If I were him I bet I'd get a kick out of that.

stanger - Posted - 05/17/2020:  01:41:06


quote:

Originally posted by Blue20Boy17

Thanks to everyone for the advices! They've humbled me even more, and got me thinking too. I've been learning more and more progressive things, trying to expand my lick vocabulary and such, and have sorta forgotten those older songs that can't hardly be beaten. I can rightfully blame a lot of that on the quarantines, because I played those older songs every weekend with my peeps. But now, I play by myself a lot and try to learn these new things, and come to find out, I've became rusty on the old songs. Perhaps that is why I'm not enjoying myself as much. I need to practice those old songs more so that I can enjoy myself, and so that my grandpa can enjoy himself even more. Thanks again to everyone!






Yup. Something gets lost when something else is gained. It's good to go back and try to keep your older stuff refreshed. Those are the roots that brought forth the flowers.



You might try playing some of the music you think your Grandpa can't play and ask him if he would like to try to learn a tune. He may- a good teacher likes to learn from a good student oftentimes.  Most parents and grandparents hope their children will do better than they have done, so this offer may be taken by your Granddad as a compliment, not an insult, if it's politely offered.



Most good players want a challenge once in a while. For all you know, your Granddad may be bored playing his old stuff, and asking him won't hurt anything. You can always find new ways to play old familiar tunes, too. 



You're a good Grandson. It's very good you're thinking about this; it shows to me how much you respect him, and I think he won't be insulted if you introduce some of your new stuff to him. He might not be able to you do, but working a tune out so it can be played by both of you can be a lot of fun in itself.



I have a son who's an excellent player, and we play different music in different styles. I always like to learn one of his tunes that's new to me, even if it's old to him, and he likes to try to learn some of the things I do just as much. While we probably wouldn't ever be in the same band together, it's fun for us both.



regards,



stanger

Tom Meisenheimer - Posted - 05/17/2020:  11:00:41


As a grampa (I'm 81) and a long time banjoist I am delighted when a grandchild plays "rings" around me. Lets me know that there will be good music in the family long after I'm gone.

3-pick - Posted - 05/17/2020:  13:58:57


Just a thought: You may be able to find alternative ways to grow as a musician without changing your playing partner. Questions like: "Even though I'm better than him, how can I play backup to make HIM sound better?". Or maybe challenge yourself to use new chord positions or play those old songs tastefully in the style of another famous picker (Crowe/Dillard/Fleck/.../anyone).

For myself, I wish I could become a musician who is good at bringing out the best of other people. :)

Paul R - Posted - 05/17/2020:  18:15:16


Well, you clearly love your grandfather.

Playing with other people may be somewhat competitive. But playing with him ought to be a no-brainer, a family social time. All you need to do here is ask yourself, "How can I complement his playing and the song?" It's a time for you to relax and drop the "need" to be a hot picker and just lay back and play for the fun of it.

ChelseaQ - Posted - 05/17/2020:  19:15:28


@bigleaf you are a beautiful writer. I wonder if you have been told this before? Your way of expressing yourself has a ring of the great classics about it. A bit of Steinbeck maybe.


 


I just saw four young wrens leave the nest the other day. In the days just before, they’d put a foot on the edge and look. They’d flap some. They were anxious. It was time to leave the nest. They weren’t displeased with how things had gone so far. Plenty of protection, warmth, and grubs. But it was gettin’ on time to leave. Maybe that’s how you’re feeling.

 


monstertone - Posted - 05/19/2020:  10:46:57


quote:

Originally posted by stomapicker

One of the prouder days of my grandpas' life was when I could leave a furrow straighter than he, my dad bragged all day when my corn rows were better spaced then his.

The day my son, then my grandson surpassed my ability in something I taught them were proud days for me indeed. As a father/grandfather, or probably a teacher, there is no greater reward then knowing you did your job so well that you not only passed on your knowledge, but it become better because of both of your skills.






Amen to that! A ton of good vibes on this thread & I've hit the like button on so many I've lost count. But this one ranks right up there at the top of the heap. Keep on pickin with Grandpa. He won't be around forever.

cvandien - Posted - 05/20/2020:  16:37:40


After 7 heart attacks and flatlined 3 times I am not as nimble as I use to be.So I stay and play to myself. Slow down enjoy him and love him...we aren't here forever.

Buck the Banjo Player - Posted - 05/21/2020:  14:54:57


quote:

Originally posted by Blue20Boy17

I'm really concerned about the way I'm feeling...



I've been playing music with my grandpa for 10 years. I'm 18 now. He got me started on the mandolin, then I progress to fiddle, banjo, bass, then guitar. I'm the best on fiddle and banjo, but I'm still fairly fluent on the other three. I'm ashamed to say it, but I've far surpassed my grandpa, and that's why I'm concerned.



We just finished picking for about an hour or so. For the past few picking sessions we've had, I haven't enjoyed myself nearly as much as I used to. I'm really worried about this. I'm afraid that it's because I'm at a higher level then he is and I can't play some of the things I want to play. I'm totally ashamed of myself for thinking and feeling this way, but it worries me. I could never, ever tell him how I feel because I know it'd make him not want to play anymore.



Don't get me wrong, my grandpa is pretty good, but I've been playing with some REALLY good players around here, and as my the guy who started teaching me after my grandpa couldn't says, "You become what you're around." Like I said, I'm super ashamed of myself for even thinking of this stuff, but I can't help it. Maybe it's just from being in quarantine so long. I just don't know. I guess I'm rambling.



My grandparents raised me, from the day I was born. I owe so much to them, especially my grandpa for sparking my interest in bluegrass, which is why I feel so bad for feeling the way I do. Maybe one of y'all can make sense of my ramblings and give me some advice.






trust me, this was the goal He wants you to be the best ever, not at his level 


Edited by - Buck the Banjo Player on 05/21/2020 14:56:26

SkippyV - Posted - 05/22/2020:  10:05:34


Perhaps it would be helpful to look at it this way: when you are playing with your Grandfather what you are really doing is being with him. The banjo is largely irrelevant. Can’t do that with anyone else. And when you want to be “playing your instrument”, well, there are lots of people out there for that.

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