Monday, December 16, 2013

Lessons Learned

Regular readers have probably noticed me posting some musical interludes this year. Most of you are kind enough not to comment. I post these not as a path to stardom but as a way of allowing some insight into things that I enjoy. I have been playing with a folk music club on Sunday nights for the last year or so. Some weeks we have 15 or 20 pickers. Some weeks there could be 40. Believe it or not, I have actually been practicing both my picking and singing. Posting them is really more a sharing of songs that I like that you may not have heard than anything else but I have learned a few things that I can apply in other areas.

If you can't sing, sing anyway.

If you REALLY can't sing, sing louder. You will sound better and may drown out some of your critics.

A good steady rhythm is more important than always picking the right string.

If you screw it up, keep going.

When it's your turn, stand up and play. Nobody wants to wait while you try to tune a banjo.

Every note in the scale is equally important. Some because you put them in, some because you leave them out.

You will never play like Lester, Earl, or Mississippi John. If you try you will be a poor imitation. Play it your own way. It's just a song .

You can't buy skill or talent. Get some reasonably good equipment then quit shopping and start practicing.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great holiday season, a super solstice, and a Merry Christmas.


  1. Thanks Dennis. I'm not a musician, but do try to warble, and your advice is great!

  2. A very good teacher told me long ago, touch clay everyday and you might be a good potter. Worked for gardening too and evidently music and warbling :)

    Happy everything!

  3. Such good advice. I love to sing but have never been comfortable with singing in a group unless it was for children (I was an early childhood educator for 20 years). Jeff is a musician (plays sax, flute, harmonica) and has been the one person who has encouraged me to just sing out loud!

  4. Well now there are two of us encouraging you. That's en courage as in add courage. I've been using a little tablet to video myself and the quick feedback really helps me at least find a key I can manage. Just have fun.

  5. Adding more music to my life is my goal for this coming year, thanks for the good reminders and encouragement in this post


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