Posted by dbrooks on Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Last night was so much fun! The Monday night contra dance here in Louisville is always a friendly setting, and you never know whether 6 musicians will show up or if there will be 12. No matter, the dances are spirited and quick, and the dancers smile, applaud and visibly appreciate the music we volunteers provided.
And I felt I played a bit better than average. Both hands were working together well and the quick tempo seemed to help me rather than challenge me. Last week, our fiddler changed the setup on the mics and monitor so we could hear ourselves better. I play a quiet Bay State 19C banjo that is not loud even with a microphone. Last night, I sat next to Mark, the fiddler, and I seemed to play with little effort matching his melodies more closely than usual. And it sounded really good in the monitor. It's the kind of night I hope for.
Mark tends to watch the dancers walk through the dance as they learn it, and he calls two tunes just as we're getting ready play. So I have time to retune, if needed, but no time to refresh my fingers' memory of the tunes. Fortunately, I know most of them pretty well, but a new tune or one that we haven't played in a while can throw me. And, for the last two years, Mark has regularly paired two tunes in different keys, so I have to retune in the middle of the dance.
But none of that was a problem last night. It seemed so easy. I guess I'll go back for the next dance. ; )
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 @3:11:30 AM
Fun! We play for dances a lot. I always play bass though. I can't imagine having to retune the banjo. It's always a little hard for me retuning when other instruments are playing. I'm glad it went well for you. We're going to a contra dance this weekend. This time I'm dancing!
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