We need more banjo...

If anyone has been keeping up with me or my new years resolutions/five year plan for the past few years, you'll notice a few things always seem to pop up. No, it's not work out more... lord knows I should probably work out less... the two items which always seem to pop-up are A) floss more and B) learn how to play the banjo.

While I can't really vouch for how more effective or not my flossing has become, I did make the first step the other week in Plan B), by actually purchasing a banjo - which i figure, is the first step in learning to play one. I've always heard that in comparison to the guitar, banjo's are rather difficult to learn, but I've never learned to play the guitar so I really have nothing to compare it to. I figure that when it comes to learning to play the instrument, that ground zero is probably the best place to learn. And yeah... I really don't know how to read music either, so that's another obstacle to overcome. Maybe by the time we're all said and done flossing everyday may be the more obtainable task, but I'm all about the challenges here.

Just so you know, my only prior musical experience came from Jr. High Band where I played the snare drum. Ideally during this phase in my life I should have learned to read music, but I had a rather poor introduction (since I joined band in sixth grade as opposed to fifth like most of my peers), so because of this, I think I learned most of my songs by memorization, improvisation and twirling my drumsticks. This learning process probably explains why after a year or two in band, I was moved from the drums to the cymbals and then finally to the triangle. By then, I saw the writing on the wall and regulated "playing music" into something I did once... much like show choir. Speaking of which... I will gladly dance and sing at random these days... but if ask me to sing "properly' without changing key, we might have some problems.

Also, I can't overly vouch for why I wanted to play the banjo in the first place... I guess part of it stems from that EVERYONE it seems, can play the guitar and well, the banjo is just a little more obscure (which is so hipster of me, I know). And I'd say the other part of is that I stem from Appalachia, so... it's in my blood if you. The banjo and bluegrass is the music of my people!

While I don't have big plans of learning to play "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" overnight and starting my own bluegrass band, I'm making strides to try and go over some online lessons a few times week in between work and spin classes. Hopefully eventually I'll at least be able to play "Cripple Creek" within a year. And if I can't well... there are always my goals of better dental hygiene (as the fine folks in Deliverance can tell you).

PS: as an interesting side note: I recently told my dad about buying banjo and he told me an interesting anecdote which I had no idea about, apparently, my grandfather had wanted my dad to learn how to play the banjo, and for whatever reason... my dad never did. So, one way or another, it appears as if my Grandfather is getting his wish.

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