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Happy New Year, Fourth Quarter of Leftwich, Second Fiddle Anniversary, Banjo Birthday and Welcome Back

Welcome back, banjo nerds. I took a much-needed hiatus over the solstice celebration, and I return to you fresh as a daisy. But in the intervening weeks between my last post and this one, I've missed a few milestones. So, Happy New Year! Now, let's get back into the swing of things.

Christmas marked three important anniversaries:
  1. Last year, I received the Brad Leftwich DVDs that I've been using to learn down-bow fiddling. In that time, I've made it through all of Lesson 1 and halfway through Lesson 2. The videos have greatly improved my bowing, though I know I still have a LONG WAY to go. I expect to finish Lesson 2 by June. By then I should have a nice repertory of tunes under my belt in various keys and tunings. 
  2. With that said, two years ago was when I bought my fiddle from my friend Guy and began this crazy journey. It's hard to believe it's been that long. The time has flown by, and it's been a heckuva challenge. 
  3. Finally, six years ago, I purchased my current banjo. It's been a good workhorse, despite many urges to get something else. That urge has instead manifested itself in learning different ways to tweak my instrument or learn new things. I love my current set-up, and a new strap (this year's Christmas present) has me getting used to standing up to play. With my one-year-old son around, standing is about the only way I can play without him grabbing at my strings.
The last year has been a good year for the fiddle, but the banjo was a bit neglected. As my wife and I were busy raising a baby, there wasn't much time to play tunes with others. Except for a couple parties and a festival, I mostly played by myself. In 2015, I hope to change that and reconnect with my old-time music community.


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