Postcard #23 “I Heart the Banjo”

Posted on July 24, 2011. Filed under: music, Postcards | Tags: , , , , , |

 It all started here.

Did you hear about the guy who left his unlocked car in a rough neighborhood with his banjo in the backseat? When he came back he found three more banjos in the car. What about this one: What’s the difference between an anchor and a banjo? You tie a rope to the anchor before you throw it overboard. I could go on for days with the banjo jokes, but why bother when others will do it for me? Sure, I laugh right along with them not because I think the jokes are funny (though some are) but becasue I know what they’re missing out on.   

I am a beginning beginner banjo player (sort of like a kindergartner) and yes I have all my teeth, my house doesn’t have wheels, and I have graduated from the 6th grade. I like playing the banjo and I feel sorry for others who don’t play; so I guess I’m feeling sorry for a lot of people in the world.

 Someone asked me why I chose the banjo when I could have just as easily picked up the ukulele or a piano and I told them that I blame the Grateful Dead. Sure you start off with a bootleg tape from the December 1972 Winterland show in San Francisco and before you know it you’re sitting in a field in northern California watching Ralph Stanley and thinking: hey, the banjo is for me!  Before you know it you’re back home driving around sounding like you have Roy Clark and the entire cast of Heehaw  shoved in the back of your car, what with all the banjo music blaring out the windows.

 So let people laugh at me, I don’t care because I know that if I keep practicing, tomorrow’s playing won’t sound as bad as today’s and that’s okay by me.

Parts of a Banjo

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