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Sorry it's been so long!

Posted by luthier99 on Friday, October 17, 2008

Well, I've been gone for about a year now.  For those of you who were reading and/or responding to my blogs, I appoligize.  To make a long story short, I have been without internet access.  In some ways that has been ok, like spending the time playin'.  In other ways it has been  torture, like not keeping up with 'new to me' material, friends, and listening to so many of you great players here.  Just so you know, I still am without internet access, but hope to be taking care of that soon.  However, I am going to make more of an effort to write, read, and listen at the 'hangout' than I have been.  To get right back into the swing of things, I will tell you a story.

Back in 2006, when I had only been frailing for about 6-7 months, I started messing around with my own tune.  This would be the first song I would personally write on the banjo.  This is important for both new and experienced players, because 'messing around' as part of your practice breeds better playing, origionality, and style.  In not too long a time, I had something that resembled an a-part, b-part, and c-part.  I was proud, and seemed to get a good response from close friends and family (which of course, you always do no matter what).   A few years went by, still playing by myself, still playing that first song I wrote.  It changed a little over time, but basically stayed the same.  Then, one night I got a call from a close friend, "Dude, you gotta come up here, the Huckins' are havin' a 4th of July party tonight and there's an awsome bluegrass band here, you should grab your banjo and swing up."  Now, I know the Huckins' always throw the best 4th parties around, because Mr. Huckins sets up his own fireworks displays that are out of this world.  I'm talkin' 45 minutes of explosion filled vividly colorful sky.  For an amature, he sure knows how to blow things up and make 'em look pretty.  But I never played banjo with other musicans, and I was kinda nervous.  My friend talked me into bringin' the banjo anyway.  When it came time to sit down and play, I just went with the groove.  Strumming basic chords as background to whatever they were playing, weather I new the tune or not.  After a while, one of the members said, "Why don't you go 'head and lead us in a tune."  So I did, I played 'up on cripple creek', 'shady grove, and a couple other standard tunes.  After that, I had built up the courage to play the first song I had ever written.  I just jumped right into it.  These guys were really good, and caught right on.  We jammed this tune.  It was me, a guitar, an upright bass, a fiddle, and a mandolin.  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!  All these people and instruments playing my song.  Afterward, the onlookers hooted and hollered.  The band members slapped their knees, and asked me, "what in the world is that tune, it so much fun to play, an' 'oo boy, what a great sound."  I told them I wrote it and they were the first to ever play it besides me.  I was given prays.  I can't tell you how GOOD this felt.  So anyway, I guess the moral here is, don't be afraid to go out and play with people you don't know, regardless of your skill level.  These guys were all much better players with more experience than I, but that night, I was the one they were all talkin' about.  We still get together and play sometimes.  If I hadn't brought my banjo to the party that night, I would not be the same player I am today.

2 comments on “Sorry it's been so long!”

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Friday, October 17, 2008 @9:18:36 AM

Henceforth take a digital recorder with you so that you can post sound MP3 examples and permit us to more fully share your joy.

luthier99 Says:
Friday, October 17, 2008 @2:20:09 PM


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