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Motivated to Take It...

Posted by clawfootcurt on Thursday, January 17, 2008

To the next level...

I did some public playing recently at work and at church.  I am still a novice player.  Good enough for the back porch if you know what I mean.  But I received some good encouragement that my playing has really progressed from a year ago.  On the other hand, I know my limitations.  I feel like it is time to take another step down the road and try to extend my playing abilities.

I like the song Boatman.  I blogged Boatman.  I have a copy of Dwight Diller's "Banjo 99" cd and that's the first track, I downloaded a copy of Frailin's band playing the song, and most importantly, I have a copy of Ken Perlman's  "beginning clawhammer " instruction dvd, which has this as the last piece.  On the dvd, Ken says " do not feel you have to master this song before you move on, but it is here to show you good things to come."  (I think I got the quote right/close)

I also did some reading on Frailin's web site about his favorite teacher Dwight Diller's recomendations to learn no more than 6 songs per year.  (I think it would be the best thing ever to be able to go to a Diller banjo camp.  I don't know if I have enough courage to get myself to go at this point.  I hear Dan Levenson is a pretty good teacher too though.) 

So, I decided to, and started working on Boatman.  There are some new fingerings there and a lot of moving around the neck.  After 1 1/2 weeks, I am surprised at the progress.  I cannot play it smoothly yet, but I thought it would be worse than it is.  I want to get very good at this one before I move on, really get into the soul of the song.  I am thinking it will be a long road.  Maybe even up to 6 months.  But the mastery of this song would be quite a showpiece.  I have already noticed that it has helped me with the other songs that I play, since most of the other cord shapes are easier.  Maybe that's in my imagination, not sure.  But I also identified a "lazy thumb" problem with my playing which I have also been addressing.  Somehow, I let myself forget to sound the fifth string about half the time or more that my thumb needs to.

I am excited about the possibilities.  I hope I have not set myself up for failure.  I am just hard-headed and obsessive enough to get the job done no matter the cost I think.  Easy to say at the beginning of a long project.  We will see.

Oh, and Clawfoot says "Go Pack"

1 comment on “Motivated to Take It...”

Joanchek Says:
Thursday, January 17, 2008 @11:34:19 AM

Curt, let's say you have a big, gorgeous apple pie in front of you, and you want to eat it.  It's delicious.  You're hungry.  You want it ALL.

You still have to eat it one bite at a time.  Take that song one bite at a time, and before you know it you'll be asking if there's any more coffee in the pot while you put your empty plate in the sink.

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