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Playing banjo at a gig for the first time!

Posted by hdplayer on Thursday, January 26, 2012

I've only told one trusted friend about this, but figured I should go ahead and tell the "world" so I'll be fully invested in doing it!

I gig from time to time, but not a lot.  I'm a decent hammered dulcimer player and sing unaccompanied ballads.  I love to sing. I write songs but only perform them when traveling with a guitarist.  I've also taught at a few music camps and festivals, but that's more a thing of the past than something I do so much of now.  But once in a while I still get asked to play locally.  Such is the case this coming Sunday.  

I've been asked to do a concert and then lead the group in a song for the finale.  Well, I don't sing with the HD - I can barely say anything while playing the dulcimer :)  So I was thinking I'd just lead the song a cappella - then it occurred to me - I PLAY BANJO!  So I told these folks that I'd lead this group song, "I'll Fly Away", with the banjo.  Of course I tried it in my living room first to make sure it was even possible - and now I'm committed!  Mind you, this banjo arrived on my doorstep on Dec 22, so I've been playing a month... hmm... maybe I should be committed for saying I'd do this!  But oddly, I'm more excited than worried or nervous.  

Will write again with an update and report the results!

8 comments on “Playing banjo at a gig for the first time!”

Bob Buckingham Says:
Thursday, January 26, 2012 @5:28:57 AM

This sounds like you got the bug and hopefully you will continue on this fun journey. If you ever want to get together to go over pieces you are learning, I live over in Greer just let me know. We play banjos here and love it.

I am teaching a beginning clawhammer banjo class at John C. Campbell Folk School next week. The last beginning banjo class I taught ended up with the students not only playing the piece they learned for the show case at the the show case but they also played and sang "I'll Fly Away" at the showcase.

rinemb Says:
Thursday, January 26, 2012 @7:22:38 AM

I loved my experience aat JCCFS. I took Mary's class. We did "Napolean Crossing the Rhine" half the group playing lead, the other playing a harmony line. R Buck, I am envious you will be there. Also, I must have put on 10 pounds in their cafeteria. Brad

hdplayer Says:
Thursday, January 26, 2012 @4:07:30 PM

Never attended JCCFS, but always wanted to - I've heard great things. But I'm a college instructor and the classes I wanted never seemed to work well with the academic calendar. Summers are a little easier to get away, so I am planning to attend Midwest Banjo Camp in June and Augusta Heritage Old Time Week in Elkins WV in August. I have a spot reserved for Swannanoa Gathering in July, I've just got to see if I can swing that much time off from work. I've attended SG for 17 years, and taught there once, so it's like home. So I just hate to not go...

Thanks so much for the encouragement. Yes, I DO have the bug - just wish I had more time to put into playing - a couple of hours in the evenings just isn't enough. Speaking of which - it's time to go play!

SidBarone Says:
Thursday, January 26, 2012 @6:50:41 PM

You go girrl!.. & give 'em all you got!!:0)

hdplayer Says:
Friday, January 27, 2012 @3:11:57 AM

Thanks Sid! Y'all are awesome! If I'm going to catch a bug I'm glad it's the banjo bug!

Bob Buckingham Says:
Friday, January 27, 2012 @6:25:06 AM

The Folk School is an amazing experience and an intensive week of immersion in the subject you choose to learn, with 6 hours a day devoted to learning. The week is much more than that and the people you meet are wonderful and diverse. I have only slipped up to jam at SG on the occasional evening but that limited exposure has always been fun. You may want to get on the COTMN email list to keep up with the goings on in the upstate and Charlotte areas.

hdplayer Says:
Friday, January 27, 2012 @4:02:21 PM

I follow COTMN in Facebook, but I'm not on their email list. Is there a website or listserv? I am making a point to be more active in the CHarlotte Folk Society. I've supported them and been a member for years, just never made it to very many gatherings or events. I'm make a real effort to change that. Thanks so much for the information!

Bob Buckingham Says:
Friday, January 27, 2012 @6:15:15 PM

COTMN is on a Google list-serve but most of the info is also on Facebook.

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