Wednesday, January 02, 2008


My most treasured Christmas gift this year was a banjo.

Don't kid yourself. Those hillbillies aren't all inbred "special-ed" types. It's an easy instrument to get a melody out of (probably because I'm familiar with instruments in general--e.g. piano and tenor saxophone--and stringed instruments in particular--e.g. guitar and ukulele). I also tried the violin, but I've gotten better sound out of wounded rabbits (which, if you don't know, sound like upset babies).

However, the link between what my mind wants to hear (thanks especially to Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt) and what my hands can do is a very weak link. Right now it has the strength of tissue paper.

Once I'm good enough, perhaps I'll post a video.

For now, I have a great deal of respect for those fellows in Appalachia who make the instrument sound easy.

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