Posted by SkaStan on Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Had a bit of a lull in the banjo playing during December. Mainly due to the workload going into over drive (building shows in the desert and Jack and the Beanstock in the theatre). Also, and dont linch me for this, but Earls book did not fill me with enthusiasm the way I had hoped. Let me explain - the trouble I had was that although the techniques were well explained, to go from the basics to trying to take on the tunes was just to big a step. Nearly had Cumberland Gap down but nothing to the way Earl plays it. I will return to the songs in the book at a later point in my journey for sure but have a lot a practise to do before hand.
So whats new in 2009? Well had a right good tinkering with the 'jo. The clear head has gone and a 5 star is in it place. I tryed removing the varnish from the rim as had been recommended for a MM but you really need more than a small piece of sand paper to do this effectivly so not sure it made much difference. For my Chrismas I was given (or rather orderd myself and the wife paid) a Drum Dial, a Katz Eye bridge and Tony Trischkas' "Complete 5 String Banjo" (more of it later) I love the sound now, very mellow which surprised me as the head is tightened to 92. I also received some national picks but I still go back to my Sammy Shellors every time.
Having taken a month off playing I am amazed how badly this has effected my playing. With the banjo you absolutly must keep up the practise. I am enjoying Tonys book, but having just restarted regular practise sessions I am finding some of the most simple rolls and tunes very difficult. Thankfully just yesterday I thought that I was progressing again so hopefully I am back up and running.
There are going to be some big changes in my life this year, I will be moving to Bali in April to try and start a new life there (still not sure what to do for work..any ideas out there?) and probebly the biggest event will be my first Baby in August!! But to keep me pickin' I have bought several books in advance - Tom Hanaways Celtic Tunes, Tonys Melodic Banjo and Janet Davis' 25 Banjo Tunes - I think that these will easily keep me occupied (not to mention going back to Earls songs) well in to next year...
A Happy New Year to You All!
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