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Still making progress, I think

Posted by Kevin G on Sunday, January 3, 2010

Some friends of mine have been concerned that I'd lose interest in the banjo after my teacher died unexpectedly last summer. Would I continue to practice? Don't you really need a teacher? Well, I guess it depends on your goals. I'm now approaching 50 faster than I ever thought, and really, my objective is to have fun playing the banjo. Most days, that means picking up one of the three I've collected, arming my hand with the appropriate picks and working my way through some old songs and new. I play on the porch in the summer to air it out a little, but mostly, it's a private pursuit.

Last night, though, a friend of mine (one of the concerned ones) invited me to bring my banjo over to play a few Christmas songs after we had dinner. He fired up his electric bass, and we worked our way through Silent Night (thanks Eddie Collins!), Auld Lang Syne (thanks again, Eddie!), Grandfather's Clock  (Janet Davis arrangement), and Jolly Old St. Nicholas (JD again.) Most of these were songs that my friend hadn't heard me play before, so he was pleasantly surprised that I was still going. What was extra nice was that I've stayed pretty good at keeping time, so my friend was able to play along smoothly.

So it seems that I'm still making progress, I think. One of these days, when I can get a clean recording, I'll post a few more songs so that you can judge for yourselves. But in the end, I'm the one who has to be satisfied with my progress, and as I add one more song every few weeks, they're starting to add up. Even if they're easy versions, friends and family who know are startled and pleased that I haven't given up, and I am too. I think that's something worth celebrating as the calendar turns to 2010.

Happy New Year to all of you!


4 comments on “Still making progress, I think”

TopCat Says:
Tuesday, January 5, 2010 @2:22:32 AM

Well done Kevin. From everything that you report on here, it seems that your passion for the banjo is as strong as ever.

BryanWB Says:
Tuesday, January 5, 2010 @5:03:02 AM

Good going Kevin! Yes, what helps is, that picking up the banjo is irresistible isn't it? Always good fun! Happy New Year from Bryan, Ivybridge, Devon, England.

Jane C Says:
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @11:33:53 PM

It's a great feeling isn't it, to be able to play publicly and be pretty sure that the audience appreciation is of genuine pleasure. Well done Kevin and keep going, the right teacher will come along in time I'm sure. Happy New Year.

Jonno B Says:
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @1:50:24 AM

When an interest grabs you, whether it be musical or otherwise, it is always a great feeling when after a while you want to carry on. Then you see yourself improving and in our cases you start to play 'in public'. Its very gratifying to see the encouragement from those listening and it does spur you on to better and greater things. Keep up the practice, it can only get better. Good Luck and Happy New Year to you and your family.

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