Friday, June 20, 2014

Once More Into the Fray

For Father's Day: A New Method for Torturing the Kids
I've resisted this one for quite a while...

It started with the mandolin -- everyone knows that story. And when I felt I needed a little variety or to explore outside the edges, I added a banjo, a guitar, and eventually even a bass guitar. Every so often I try to tune my voice with the guitar, too, and I do keep a harmonica in the car for when I'm stuck in traffic.

This, though, is something different.

The overarching intention hadn't changed: I want to see more amateur musicians practicing out in the wild. It didn't seem that that was going to happen unless I was part of the scene, so I picked up an instrument of my own and started. Along the way, I also picked up the notion that it would be wise to have one or two of each of the bluegrass band basic instruments on hand so that I could host and encourage the effort. With that, I also picked up the notion that I should at least be passable on each of those instruments so I could fill in on one if people dropped by with particular expertise or interest in another.

The fiddle, I figured, would be the last -- and a long way off before I would even consider it. The learning curve to "passable" -- or even "bearable" -- is comparatively huge.

Now here it is.

In retrospect -- or rationalizing backwards -- I couldn't have imagined the fiddle being my first instrument: there would simply be far, far too much for me to learn all at once.  Now with some fiddle tunes under my belt from the mandolin, why not try them out on a fiddle?

It's going to be a while before anyone else enjoys this as much as I do, but at least I've gotten out of my own way to give it a shot.