Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Banjo versus TV: Week 11

Banjo 88 hrs, TV 61 hours
A weekly check-in on the Banjo versus TV project — J.R.'s resolution to spend more time in 2008 on his banjo than on TV.

Remember, from last week, how proud I was of my new practice regimen? The one where I enter songs from my practice books into TablEdit, play them back with my practice part turned off so I can play along?


Mike, my instructor, really hated it. I asked him his opinion and he gave it: big thumb-down.

The problem is with my song selection. Mike can understand that I want to play along with music and he doesn't object to that, per se. In fact, he recommended that I look for some band-minus-one CDs. But Mike says that practicing the songs as I was practicing them would make me a boring, soulless player. The songs, as TablEdit played them, were robotic and dull.

Back to the drawing board.

Also in the last week:

  • First time I've ever installed new strings! It took me more than an hour to put five new strings (D'Addario J60 Nickel 9-20 Light
  • ) on the no-name banjo. How did I do? Well, it sounds much better. But I did a terrible job of wire wrapping. I think I'll buy some more new strings and have the shop install them. Still, it was a learning experience. I'll keep trying until I get good at it.
  • Dropped the Oscar Schmidt banjo off at Hogeye Music in Evanston to have a Shubb fifth string capo installed. Jim, the luthier, was having a busy time of it and said it could take as long as a week for him to install it. I'm glad I've got my spare banjo so I don't have to go banjo-less.


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