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Milestone? Hmph.

Posted by raharris on Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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I've reached the 1500 post mark.  Is that a milestone?  Hmm -- other people have more, but I'm continuously told that size doesn't count --

When I joined on I was a 5-string player.  I still have 5-strings and even play them sometimes, but often as plectrums rather than in the clawhammer style.  My hands have been swollen and painful for years but in the last few my right hand is just blowing up like a balloon. Like most people I used to think that arthritis was an old persons disease -- ha.  I thought things would improve after the shoulder replacement, but no such luck.  Finger picking is right out, and striking down on the strings with my middle finger is not much better.

But being a stubborn bastard I found that I could hold a pick and I moved into the four string world.  Mandolin, tenor banjo, tenor guitar and cello banjo.  I can suck at them as much as I ever did the 5-string banjo!

I love playing with strings and picks and things.  Hey, when you can't play the instrument well you can still play with the accessories!  I wanted to try Nylguts on my 1923 Bacon C, but they just didn't work out.  To be fair I probably installed them wrong.  It's not just that they sounded dull, the strings did not sound the right notes up the neck and never stayed in tune.

Off they went, replaced with heavy classical banjo nylon strings.  Again, I couldn't get the sound I wanted, so in short order I strapped on nickel-wound with STILL sounded dull!  It was only then that I realized other factors might be at play and, measuring the scale, realized the bridge was too far north.  Moved it south and now the banjo sounds happy.

I occurred to me that I'd mistreated those poor classical nylons.  Bad karma.  Strings have feelings too.  Since the cello banjo was looking lonely I put the short-lived Bacon nylons on the cello, and moved the former cello strings to the tenor guitar.  Harmony achieved.  Next step?  Cut the Nylguts in half and string a mandolin --



Miracles are to come. With you I leave a remembrance of miracles: they are somebody who can love and who shall be continually
reborn,a human being;somebody who said to those near him,when his fingers would not hold a brush "tie it to my hand"--


2 comments on “Milestone? Hmph.”

beetlegeist Says:
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 @10:07:00 AM

If the banjo makes you happy and saves you from your troubles then keep playing. You give me inspiration to keep going.

raharris Says:
Thursday, November 17, 2011 @6:11:00 AM

Well thanks there, Kester. I know there are lots of people a lot worse off than me -- I'm a lucky guy.

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