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Banjo versus TV week 102: Daring Foggy Mountain Breakdown

Posted by jrjenks on Saturday, February 27, 2010

A check-in on the Banjo versus TV project — J.R.'s ongoing plan to spend more time on his banjo than on TV. This post covers 2/7/2010 through 2/13/2010.
Banjo 608 hrs, TV ?? hours

I went to Costello's Jam and am now 80% of the way to my free sandwich. See?

During one of my turns at the jam I decided to try Foggy Mountain Breakown, which I limped through.

My banjo instructor, David, was there and he declared it "daring" — which I took to mean "Good for you for trying a song that you clearly weren't ready to play."

So at my lesson later in the week, David had me work on Foggy Mountain Breakown using the version from Earl Scruggs and the 5-String Banjo. I can now play the first part pretty well and am working on the second solo, which has a lot of up-the-neck string bending and some tricky pinky work.

Also in the last week:

  • I'm sure you've been wondering what's with all this TV time. Two answers: Phineas and Ferb. I've been watching episode after episode after episode as the two step-brothers figure out what to do with each day of their summer vacation.

    It's a tremendously fun cartoon that brings to mind childhood days when everything was possible. Reminds me a little of the Henry Reed series. It's just too bad that the show has nothing to do with the banjo. Hey, where's Perry?

    Curse you, Perry the Banjo-Playing Platypus

    Oh, there you are, Perry.
  • I got a new capo. I'd been using the Shubb S5-r capo:

    The "r" is for radiused; my Nechville banjo has a radiused neck. But I've been getting tired of putting the capo on and off the neck so I got a Paige capo which stays on the banjo all the time, resting behind the nut when it's not in use.

    And since my banjo has a tunneled fifth string I got the wider Paige guitar capo instead of a Paige banjo capo. The banjo capo only covers four strings and is designed to slide up only as far as the fifth fret, where it runs into the fifth string capo. But on my banjo the fifth string capo is on the headpiece (at the end of a tunnel) so I can side the wider guitar capo way up the neck.

Cross-posted at J.R. Jenks' blog

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