Hello, Everyone. Happy Fourth of July!
This week, I would like to talk about my favorite instrument — the banjo. I’ve always loved the sound of bluegrass music, and I always listen for breaks with the banjo solos. Some tunes call for bands to play at blazing speeds. I like listening to them, but that’s not the kind of music I enjoy playing myself. I like some rhythm in my tunes, a little slower pace with syncopation — that’s my kind of music!
If you play the banjo, or just love the sound of it, Tom Adams is my hero. I absolutely love the way he plays. He also writes original tunes, and I liked so many of them that I got his whole book of tunes, with accompanying tablature. They’re better suited for intermediate to advanced banjo players ’cause they’re not easy, but I do love every tune! If you’re interested in learning more about Tom Adams, you can find him at www.AdamsCountyBanjo.com. I’m not promoting him, I’m just a fan!
Comedian Steve Martin also plays a mean banjo, and he is one of the guys who inspired me to learn. He plays fast, three-finger style too, but the last time I saw him, he played the clawhammer style. Clawhammer is okay, but for me, I prefer the sound of the three-finger style.
I still love my violin and playing Irish music on the fiddle, too. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to pursue music right now, because I am very involved in the marketing and publishing process of A Shadow Away, the first book of my “Alex Cort Adventures” series. In addition, I have just completed my second book, All Under Heaven, a time-traveling adventure in ancient China, with a sorcerer who controls mythical dragons and wants to force my hero, Alex, to find the enchanted cauldron of the First Emperor of China. It is now going to the copyeditor/proofreader and will be released in the fall of 2018. The third book, Secrets of the Crystal Skulls, a different take on the legend of Atlantis, is now entering the editing phase, so that it can be released in the spring of 2019. As wonderful as my stories are, there is always a bit of editing needed to make sure they are “perfect” for you to read and enjoy.
Again, all that editing and correcting and copyediting and proofreading takes time! And that’s why I don’t have time right now for my banjo, or anything else, really. If I play a little, then don’t get back for a while, I forget the progress I made and have to start all over again. That’s happened to me at least three times, and it’s very frustrating! I learned a beautiful boss nova tune on the guitar — and now it’s completely gone from my brain. Muscle memory is very interesting, because my fingers can remember parts of the tune even if I can’t. That’s why practice and repetition are so-o-o-o important!
Music is a part of my life, and always will be. It gives me joy, and a sense of accomplishment when I learn a new piece. I’m happy to say that while I will still be involved in my weekly blogs, writing articles, and doing radio interviews, I have scheduled time for my music in a way that I can still write my fourth book, The Black Horseman, set in Ireland, which will be released in the fall of 2019.
I hope you all enjoy music of some kind in your lives, too.
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