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Musically Frustrated!!!!!

Posted by Possom on Sunday, June 26, 2011

For 4 years I've played in church. Figured if the good Lord blessed me enough to pick this contraption i best use it right. I played with my uncle who plays guitar. Now at first i was like man he can really play some solid rhythm. Then i started going to jams some of which he would attend from time to time but i noticed he wouldn't pick long and he'd put his guitar back up. He cant get no speed up...thats understandable hes older and its ok . A good mid tempo song is all he can handle and thats fine. Most of the stuff for church aint blistering fast anyways. In the past year he's gotten on my nerves to the point that i kinda started making excuses not to pick with him. We were playing at a couple of different churches and on local TV station for a church program at least 2 or 3 times a month. I havent picked with him now in a good 6 months or so. Him making little comments like "yea hes done got too good to play with me" aint helping any. Before that it was "when you going to buy a real banjo, one that costs $$$$$"  I want to say"That $2800 Martin aint helping you out a lot is it???  Work schedule changed so I've miss every other Sunday and those days were the ones we'd get asked to play. Thats fine he went on and played alone. He called last night said we were having a all music service in the morning as my cousin, the pastor, was down with his back. I show up this morning with banjo, guitar and mandolin in hand expecting to do some serious picking. My wife was finally going to sing one for me and i was going to play guitar, he was gonna do one i pick on the mando, and i had How Great Thou Art and Blessed Assurance in mind to do as instrumentals. I walk in extra early and say wassup uncle what we gonna do? O ima do one thatll let you really show off on the banjo....wait for it....Crying Holy. Now theres nothing wrong with that at all, good driving song i can cut up on it something fierce. BUT everytime we play there thats what he plays....or Using My Bible for a Roadmap, I Saw the Light,  What Kind of Man, or This Lil Light of Mine ...See the pattern... all of these songs with the exception of one plays pretty much the same rhythm. Not to mention he'll slow EVERYONE of them down to a point its no longer BG but something of his own creation that sounds horrible. Plus they've heard that from us at least 100 times So to his suggestion of Crying Holy i replied " Nah what else you got" and he named off the other ones. Nah got anything else. He thinks for a moment and starts playing a peppy version of Victory in Jesus and i was thinking ALLRIGHT! Something new! "Yea lets do that" so we play through it a time or two i got the melody notes nailed down then he asks 2 ladys in the church if they wanna help sing so they do and we go back to a classroom to run through and HE TOTALLY CHANGED IT!  Went from a peppy version to a DEAD SOUTHERN BAPTIST CRAWL!  Baptists dont need another excuse to sit in a pew and be quiet. It takes quite a bit to get a Amen or applause out of this crowd. He played through and looked at me said how does that sound. I reply you need to speed that thing up a lil man. So he takes off again. I swear it sounded like every piano player i've heard growing up in church...boom chick boom chick....where it should have been boom chick  a chicka boom chick a chicka boom... and as he went along it SLOWED DOWN AGAIN, maybe more than 1st time. Its more the rhythm than so the speed. Again he turned and said "Hows that?" I said sounds fine you need to get some life into it. I try to show him on the banjo and he just goes back to talking and they begin walking away. Whatever i'll pick whatever i get handed.

We get up on the platform and he starts bragging how their lil jam at the local Hardees made the local news in a blurb.  (At which they interviewed almost all the regulars up there BUT HIM LOL)Takes off on the song and of course its deathly slow. For crying out loud its called Victory In Jesus. Its oughta make you want to stomp your feet and yell loud enough to drown out the angels. Not cry, sob, and seriously contemplate suicide. It comes time for my break and heres what really really pissed me off. I play with folks.....not make them play with me. By that i listen to whats going on with the other person not just play whats in my head and nothing else. Well hes the opposite of that.  I'm halfway through the first measure and he's starting the 2nd. I look over there to see where he is and get right on track. He totally was not listening to me as i played some lead in notes and he just skipped all that. As soon as i picked the last note i walked off and put my mess up and sat down. My wife knew i was pissed off and leaned over to say she was sorry. Church let out and i loaded up. Went to get my guitar and mando and hes in behind me talking bout "I thought that sounded good, thats a good song what you think?" "I turned halfway and said "It was so-so and its still too blasted slow"  He says " Oh well maybe we'll try ...." I really didnt hear the rest of it cause I really couldnt care less.  I will never ever ever pick with him in church again. I'll sit in the pew and watch him caterwall and beat that poor beautiful D-35 to death before i stand there and get made to look like a fool again. I know its not about me, its about the Lord. I'm not in it for the glory, hopefully somebody enjoyed it. Maybe the half deaf 85 y/o woman midway to the back did but not me. I'm just that serious about it. Play it right or don't play it at all.

In the 4 years I've wasted farting around with this guy I've been shot down on song after song. He's never played one song that I've suggested and the ones i actually like to pick he comes up with an excuse not to play those. I've played in the blasted keys of E, C#, G#, D, for him a million times cause thats what he wanted. I used to have to haul 2 banjers around one tuned up a half step just cause thats what he wanted to do.  Not no more.  I'm gonna start my own thing. Just a jam band really. I have no true desire to be playing out somewhere every weekend. I got a handful of folks with years of picking experience under their belt who are going to get talked to soon to see what we can get going. Got one of the best mando & guitar players/singers in the area whos ready at a moments notice. 2 awesome bass guys one who called me today and told me when i need him just tell him where and when. Got a dobro man who will probably come help me out too. So thats it, I'm going to make something happen here.  Sorry for the long rant but i just had to let all this out. Those of you who know me personally know next to my wife and kid(gonna be plural in 2 weeks) music is my life. When part of your life aint going quite right you just gotta tell somebody.

8 comments on “Musically Frustrated!!!!!”

quikcarl Says:
Sunday, June 26, 2011 @11:11:10 PM

Sounds like when it comes to playing in church possom you got the spirit in you, as for him maybe not so much. I don't see anything wrong with you going out on your own if thats what you are being lead to do, just do what you do best and glorify the good Lord that gave you the talent, he will bless you a thousand times over. quikcarl

Texasbanjo Says:
Monday, June 27, 2011 @5:27:22 AM

Sounds like you might need to find another group which which to pick and maybe another church.

banjoman_18 Says:
Monday, June 27, 2011 @5:41:36 AM

possum if you ever want me to play with you in church let me know i will play rythm for you i dont mind at all

rickshunter1 Says:
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 @7:08:29 PM

Well you got to do what your mind tells you to do I have heard your songs and man you can play you need to be with someone who is in your talent range or better to make you the best you can be.

banjodawg Says:
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 @7:37:12 AM

I don't like the funeral dirge tunes either - or the tunes that should not be funeral dirge speed that people slow down to a dead snail's pace. We had a funeral for a dear friend on Saturday at our church and the music was a celebration!

copron Says:
Thursday, July 7, 2011 @8:31:23 AM

Welcome to the wonderful world of playing music with others.......if this sounds cynical, that's because it is. This sounds like your first good taste of the " Musician's ego" and you will run into it many more times in your playing career. Don't let it hold you back though......because when you finally find the right combination of people to play with the music can be great.......and if you find these people, cherish them because they are rare indeed. I have heard your playing and your quite'll do well.

Ks_5-picker Says:
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @1:34:50 PM

I used to play with my great uncle and his timing wasn't all that good. I just had to cut him some slack.Bible says we gotta forgive others so our heavenly father will forgive us. I don't say you have to keep pickin with him.....but make sure you don't feel sour grapes every time you see your uncle in church......when he's gone,you'll wish you'da picked with him a little more,even if it wasn't up to your standards.
I remember when I was a kid,an old man used to sing and play guitar in church.......he was AWFUL from a worldly standpoint,but I know the LORD appreciated his efforts.

Possom Says:
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @1:47:40 PM

Yea rod I understanbd that totally, but his point of being up there is to boast himself up or something. Not humble in the least and it just grates on my nerves. Its more his attitude than playing ability. I have a great uncle who can call me and no matter what I'm going to be there cause he's playing for all the right reasons. I've missed work to pick with him. He loves to play, loves to sing for the Lord. He cares nothing about being "the man" or center of attention

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