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 7/25/2010 through 7/31/2010. Weekly. Ha! If it's so weekly, then why is J.R. in catch-up mode, starting each post with a catsup bottle for every week he's fallen behind, huh?
I've been knocking around a few ideas for building banjo-like instruments. I'm not sure where or whether the Remo Practice Pad...
...will fit into my plans, but for $19.09 (at Amazon), I figured I'd order one up and see if I could do something with it. It's tunable. It takes a standard Remo timpani head. I'm sure I'll find something to do with it.
Maybe I'll combine it with a Mahalo Solid Top Banjo-shaped Ukulele...
($48.99 from Amazon) to make that uke into a more banjolele-like instrument. And who knows? Maybe I'll replace that Remo timpani head with a Muffle Head...
...(which can be gotten on eBay for around $30) to give me an electric banjolele (for around $100).
That'd be cool.
Things I learned at this week's banjo lesson:
David suggested that I could improve my chord inversion and chord change skills by learning the song Theme Time, which was written by Bill Emerson and became a big song for Jimmy Martin. Here's how Jimmy does it:
I spent a chunk of time setting up my banjo practice area — The Fortress of Banjotude. This is a project I'd started more than a year ago and which is only now starting to come together. I should write a post about what I've done.
I heard a good song: The Money Doesn't Matter by Jimmy Hall from his CD Rendezvous with the Blues. I'm able to provide those details because I snapped this photo of my Sirius radio...
...when I heard the song.
I often hear a song that interests me, so I've developed a few ways of noting them for later review. Without getting into a big thing about my GTD approach, here are some of the ways I take notes on songs:
I punch the speed dial on my iPhone and Jott myself a Toodledo To-Do item.
If the song info is displayed on something I use my iPhone to snap a picture, like I did for The Money Doesn't Matter, above, or like I did when I heard Chick Willis sing 1,2,3,4,5 Shots of Whiskey on a music cable channel.
I record myself a note with the Olympus WS-311M Digital Voice Recorder that I carry in my pocket. The WS-311M is a handy little recorder that snaps apart for easy USB access to your audio files.
This technique has the added advantage of letting me record a snippet of the song for later identification.
For songs that I don't recognized I'll see if my iPhone's MusicID app can identify the song. If it can, I snap a screen shot, like this one...