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gnat (29)

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Journal of gnat (29)

Monday February 25, 2002
04:58 AM

Better banjo

[ #3102 ]
After years of trying to play like Bela, I'm finally zeroing in. Tunes that I just couldn't play before (e.g., Whitewater and "Cheeseballs in Cowtown") are coming to my fingers (albeit with work).

In other news, I listened to myself from 1995 and I was surprisingly good. It wasn't as clean as I'd have liked, but I still have the same time. In one case I actually think it's something I could turn into a tune for an album. I feel the urge to go back in time and tell myself "you can't play like Bela yet, but you're still not that bad!" It's strange how we think we suck when we're really not that bad after all.

Of course, I'm trusting that nobody from my university days is reading this and will remind me of just how badly I really did play back then :-)


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  • I just wish there were more people who could play like sara grey. I love that gentle frailing style.
  • At least you're not getting this enthusiastic about the accordion. Then, well, we'd have to have you put away for your own safety.

    I can get you a "Play an Accordion, Go to Jail. It's the Law" bumpersticker, if you'd like. Local music store called "The Starving Musician" prints them up as promos...




    • I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm getting used to the sound of the accordion in Irish music. I even have "The Irish Accordion Masters" CD ... if I'm ever raided by the music police, that'll be Exhibit A in my show trial :-)


      • The accordion is a fine instrument, in moderation. As long as no one brings one to the next TPC or YAPC, I'm happy. ;-)

        Speaking of which, I wonder if for the next conference(s) we should pre-arrange a setlist for a Jam BOF?
      • Big difference between the accordion that gets used in Irish music and in some American roots music (16 Horsepower uses an accordion more like the Irish style on some of their tunes). I was talking about the big, wear-across-your-chest, Lawrence Welk, champagne-bubbles variety of accordion you hear in polka music a lot.

        Someone brings one of those to TPC, my advice is to wear kevlar under it. It can bring out the worst in people faster than yelling "God save the Queen!" on the streets of Belfast...




      • s/Irish/Scottish/ and Phil Cunningham [] is awesome. I saw him live, and I swear sometimes it sounded like he was playing fiddle and accompanying himself on piano (and in a way he sometimes was, as he had a midi-synth thingamajig hookup).