over a year ago, a friend gave me his grandfather’s old 5-string banjo for safekeeping. he and his family were moving out of the country, and he couldnt take it, and he knew that I loved instruments. so he asked me to take it and I gladly accepted. I did a little research and figured out it’s about 100 years old. I love the inlay and the carving on the base of the neck, as well as the old-timey lack of resonator. but I didnt feel like teaching myself how to play banjo, figuring I play enough instruments with middling skill. also, being left-handed, I’m not very good at the finger-picking style, so it was just a nice decoration for a while.
but then I started learning a little more finger-picking on the guitar, which bolstered my confidence a bit, and what made me finally pick it up was going to the Be Good Tanyas show. the banjo-playing Tanya has a nice, mellow style, although she has more skill than she lets on. so I was inspired to try some mellow banjo for myself, learning just a few chords and teaching myself some rolls. I’m sure I’m doing some if not most of it wrong, but it sounds ok to me so far. it will undoubtedly be a while before I’m ready to play for anyone besides myself however. any advice Bear? I may need to look up Scott before he leaves town.
and then tonight I had another encounter with a 5-string, but it was of a very different sort. Tom asked me to play bass with him and Carl for a church function, but alas, I sold my bass and amp last year (big mistake, by the way). so I borrowed Dave’s which happens to be a 5-string. it should be a fun show, although I havent played bass for about a year and havent played in front of people since college (with Andrew) so we’ll see how it goes.