I've got a confession to make here. I'm madly in love, and I'm going to tell the whole world about it. After twelve years of waiting, I finally got a banjo, and I've been smitten ever since. I don't remember exactly when the banjo fever took hold of me, but when I was about 18, I started entertaining visions of sitting out on the back porch picking away. College kept me pretty busy, and then children, and somehow twelve years slipped by without that dream being pursued. Life rolled along, the dream wove into my subconscious, and I just kept listening to more and more old-time banjo music. One day I found myself pretending to pick banjo strings in the air while singing along. This was starting to get serious, folks. Then Jenna Woginrich over at Cold Antler Farm really stirred things up with her Banjo Equinox post this Spring, making old-time banjo sound so darn easy to learn, that I just couldn't deny it any longer. I needed a banjo in a real bad way.
I decided my birthday was as good a time as any. I scrimped, I saved and the Hobo Bean Blossom arrived via UPS the day after my birthday. I just took it out of the box and stared at it for a while. I couldn't even believe it was my very own. Finally I picked it up and plucked at a string, and that sound was sweet music to my ears. Since the book I was planning to learn with, Wayne Erbsen's Clawhammer Banjo for the Complete Ignoramus was on back order, I decided to find some You-tube videos on tuning and get started with the basics. I studied banjo diagrams and fiddled around with my electronic tuner until I had Double C tuning figured out, as well as tuning the banjo to itself. Keeping to my 15 minute per day commitment, pretty soon I moved along to clawhammer picking, and even picking out a simple tune by ear. This week I started on my first tune, "Old Molly Hare" reading tablature. The lyrics involve bear hunting and some wild woman who smokes cigars, so it's really my kind of music. That's where I'm at now. Working my way through the book at 15 minutes a day minimum, and getting the hang of it as I go along. It's good to teach yourself something new every so often in life, just so you remember that you can.
So, there you have it, a banjo and a dream. One of these days soon I'll be sitting in that old rocking chair on the front porch, picking away at old-time mountain tunes on hot summer evenings with some sort of frothy, delicious beverage in a glass. Life will keep rolling on, good things will come and go, but I know I'll have my banjo. We've got a good thing going.