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Banjo versus TV week 115: Gotta get me some mutes

Posted by jrjenks on Thursday, May 20, 2010

A check-in on the Banjo versus TV project — J.R.'s ongoing plan to spend time on his banjo than on TV. This post covers 5/9/2010 through 5/15/2010.
Banjo 673 hrs, TV 665 hours

I was in better health this week. I got in some actual practice and went to my first banjo lesson in a few weeks.

I also went a little mute-happy. I already own...

...but I'm in an experimenting mood. So I've ordered up...I'll let you know how they compare.

Banjo Newsletter May 2010Stuff from the May 2010 Banjo Newsletter:

  • Yes, that's Steve Martin on the cover, acting like he doesn't know which picks go on which fingers. Stop the false modesty schtick, Steve. It makes us actually mediocre banjo players feel worse about ourselves.
  • Loved Tony Trischka's interview of Steve Martin.
    • Steve Martin mentioned that Steve Arkin suggests putting a mute between the bridge and the tailpiece, which is what got me thinking about mutes.
    • When Tony and Steve described how a new student should learn Cripple Creek, I think it was a reference to Steve Martin's "I can't stand to play Cripple Creek" routine, which Tony has used in performance:

    • I'm really tempted to try Tony Trischka's School of Banjo online.
  • Plugs work. After reading in the Callous Thumb column about the Grascal's new album, The Famous Lefty Flynn's I put the CD on my Amazon wish list.

    Grascals - The Famous Lefty Flynn's
  • Ads work. I ordered a copy of Slow Jam With Murphy and Casey to add to my collection of play-along DVDs.

    Slow Jam With Murphy and Casey

Things I learned at this week's banjo lesson:

David is in the middle of some heavy-duty dental stuff and had his jaw wired shut, which made for an interesting lesson. It made me realize how much of my lessons I spend chit-chatting instead of playing.

So we concentrated on Dueling Banjos, which allowed David to demonstrate a bunch of things to me without having to speak much.

Also in the last week:

  • NBC cancelled some shows this week that I used to watch (Lost, Scrubs and Heroes) and one that I wish I could keep watching (FlashForward).
  • I practiced that Alan Munde up-the-neck-solo technique that I'd previously described. I'm kinda okay when it comes to playing the melody on one string but I'm having some trouble figuring out how to play harmony or chords on the other strings at the same time.

Cross-posted at J.R. Jenks' blog

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