From that 100-item list of Janet’s, I managed to write five posts on item two, which had to do with sleeping under the stars – five posts about something that I hadn’t done. So, there’s ninety-eight more items to consider, and at five posts per list item of things that I haven’t accomplished …
No, I’m just kidding, but point three asks if one has played in a band. I’m going to say yes … sort of.
Partly, it depends how one might define a band. That’s not easy for me because I grew up understanding it to be a brass ensemble whereas an orchestra was made up primarily of wood instruments like violins. To me, a musical group like the Beatles was just that – a musical group. However, somewhere along the line in pop culture, groups became bands, and that isn’t wrong because group and band are synonymous. I simply have to get used to the terminology.
In the sense that a musical ensemble of any sort is a band, I have played in a band – exactly once. Just over a year ago, I performed as part of the Blue Skies Fiddling Orchestra in their Christmas concert (blogged here). This was part of my delving into the world of the fiddle and attempting to learn to play the dang thing. I’ve mentioned fiddling in this blog on a number of occasions but nothing lately. So what’s up?
Not much. Although I had been participating in the jam (which, keeping consistent with this topic, I guess is kind of a non-performing band) in the early autumn, due to certain commitments and exigencies, I was forced to miss a number of sessions last November. When the missing continued on into December, I decided to wait until the New Year to make my return.
During my period of withdrawal, however, I realized that my arthritic hands and fingers weren’t doing too well, and I began to practice less. The thing is that I need to work on tunes quite a bit before I am close to being up to jam speed, and, since there are so many tunes to learn, that remains problematic. In the event, I haven’t been back to the jam in more than four months.
I still play for my own amusement (or amazement) once or twice a week, and I still really enjoy it when I do. But playing in the jam was hugely motivational for me, and now that I’ve set it aside, for now at least, it’s not the same, and I practice less.
It would be really nice if there was a slower jam for us less accomplished players so that I could still enjoy the band-ishness aspect of fiddling without having to practice endlessly, just to get each tune up to breakneck speed. However, it seems that, around here, even when slow jams been tried in the past, the more accomplished players tend to show up and end up imposing their preferred tempo.
Oh Fiddle Faddle, indeed!